Croatia edges Morocco to clinch 2022 World Cup third-place

Croatia captures third-place honors after taking down Morocco (

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Croatia saved their best for last and beat Morocco, 2-1, to secure a third-place finish in the 2022 FIFA World Cup last December 17, 2022, held at the Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar.

It was an explosive start for the Croatians after immediately stepping on the gas pedal in their first few offensive executions.

Croatia’s aggressiveness finally paid off at the 6:23 mark after a beautiful goal from Josko Gvardiol who headed the ball home to draw first blood.

It was a beautifully set up goal from Croatia after Ivan Perisic received a free kick pass in the left side of the penalty box and dished a bouncing header assist to Gvardiol.

However, Morocco’s pitch magic was still in full display after retaliating two minutes after the Gvardiol goal to equalize the score at 1-1.

Morocco’s play was generated from the right side of the pitch through a free kick. Unfortunately, a Croatian defender headed the ball back which gave Achraf Dari a clearer sight of the ball for a strong header inside the penalty box.

The play boosted Morocco’s confidence again and helped them revert to their original gameplay of pulling off their defensive sets and counterattacks.

Despite the ramped-up defense and a quicker counterattack, Morocco still failed to find the back of the net and got challenged by Croatia’s varied offensive approach when the 35th minute struck.

Just when Morocco thought they could turn the showdown into a highly-defensive game in their favor, the Croatians unleashed another offensive snowball in the 41st minute.

Perhaps one of the best goals of the entire 2022 World Cup came from Croatia’s Mislav Orsic who fired a right-footed kick off a difficult angle on the left side of the pitch.

After holding his balance off a slow ground pass, Orsic didn’t hesitate and immediately fired his attempt that bounced in the right bar into Morocco’s goal post.

The match turned into a nip-and-tuck affair as both teams were able to pull off clean attempts but it was Croatia who prevailed and won the third place.