Qatar 2022: Croatia claim Bronze medal after Morocco victory
FIFA World Cup Croatia Morocco

Croatia claimed the 2022 FIFA World Cup bronze medal after defeating Morocco in an entertaining third/fourth place playoff game. 

The match ended 2-1 in favor of Croatia who put up perhaps their best offensive performance of the tournament. Morocco were on the front foot as well during the match and it made for an entertaining spectacle uncommon with this particular match. 

The third place playoffs at the World Cup has historically come under scrutiny as people often question the motivation of the teams involved after losing in the semifinal stage. 

Saturday evening's fixture will serve as proof that the match for the World Cup's bronze medal does matter. 

The fireworks in this match began as early as the seventh minute with Croatia scoring the opening goal from a well worked set piece. 

Modric played a delicate ball into the edge of the area which was met by Ivan Perisic. Perisic was able to lose his man and head the ball back into the middle of the goal where Josko Gvardiol was able to head home. 

Bounou could not stop Gvardiol's diving header as the 20-year-old capped off a fine tournament in style. 

Just two minutes after Croatia went ahead, they were pegged back by Morocco who scored from a set piece of their own. 

Hakim Ziyech's poor cross is deflected off Lovro Majer's head and high into the air. Achraf Dari was rewarded for his anticipation with a well placed header past Dominik Livakovic in the six yard box to draw the game level. It was Dari's first international goal. 

Croatia responded well to getting pegged back two minutes later through Mislav Orsic but his attempt at a curled shot from the left wing flew wide of the post. 

At this point in the match, Croatia were in control of the game and had a decent chance to pull ahead in the 24th minute. 

Luka Modric cut inside to his weaker left foot and took a shot which went through Moroccan legs and unsighted Bounou. The keeper was able to make the save but he spilled the shot before recovering just in time to prevent Perisic from scoring a tap-in on the rebound. 

Croatia's persistence eventually paid off with a second goal of the game which was scored by Mislav Orsic in the 42nd minute. 

After trying one earlier in the half, Orsic made no mistake with his second attempt at a curling shot which soared past a diving Bounou in the Moroccan goal to give his team the lead at half time. 

Shortly after halftime, Orsic was once again the dangerman for Croatia as after he found space at the edge of the box and fired a shot which was on target but Jawad El Yamiq was on hand to block his attempt. 

Morocco's best chance to equalize came in the 75th minute after a rare error made by Gvardiol. His poor clearance was met by Youssef En-Nyesri in the box but his well struck volley was denied by Dominik Livakovic who spread himself very well. 

En-Nyesri was presented with another good chance to equalize at the death from a cross by Attit-Allah. He rose highest in the box but he couldn't bring his header down.  

The full-time whistle was blown after the resulting goal kick and Croatia capped off their tournament with a bronze medal. 

Morocco came up short on the night but will be proud of their achievements in this competition.