62 matches have been played in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, and stages and teams are set for two remaining matches in the tournament: Argentina versus France in the final and Croatia takes on Morocco in the third place playoff. The clash between Kockasti and the Atlas Lions is a repeat of Group F’s second group fixture, in which both teams played out a nil-nil draw in Al Bayt Stadium.
Third Meeting Between Both Sides, Croatia Never Lost to Morocco
The third place playoff is the third meeting between last edition’s runner-up and the first African semifinalist in the World Cup. In those previous two matches, Croatia is undefeated with a win and a draw, but the sole victory was won by a penalty shoot-out in the 1996 King Hassan II International Cup Tournament. Zlatko Dalić’s men and Walid Regragui’s squad are definitely exhausted as they have now played three 120-minute games in the knockout round in total. But knowing this will be Luka Modrić’s final World Cup match and the Atlas Lions are eager to rewrite the history book, a tough contest is ensured.
Last Dance for Modrić
Fans of Croatia or not, one thing football fans can never deny is that what an exceptional leader Luka Modrić is to this Kockasti side. The 2018 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball winner is 37 years of age this year but his club form in Real Madrid has been sensational and unaffected by Father Time; Juggling between club and country duties did not prevent him from putting up consistent performances match after match either. As one of few players who had played in four different World Cups, the former Ballon d’Or winner would want to finish his international career on a high note: By winning another medal in the FIFA World Cup.
More Records to Be Broken by Morocco?
From finishing top in Group F with groupmates such as Croatia and Belgium to beating 2010 FIFA World Cup champion Spain in the Round of 16 and becoming the first and only African country to reach the semifinal stage of the World Cup after beating 2016 UEFA European Championship winner Portugal, the Atlas Lions’ journey in Qatar is beyond terrific. Despite the loss against France in last night’s fixture, Walid Regragui’s squad fought brave and dominated Les Bleus in terms of ball possession (62%). They can hold their heads high when they take to the pitch to face Zlatko Dalić’s men once again in this year’s competition, with the icing on the cake in form of a first Bronze medal for teams from the African continent is on the cards.
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(Photo Credits: Sporting News)