Croatia beat Atlas Lions to finish third at 2022 World Cup


Croatia edged to a close-fought 2-1 victory over Morocco today to ensure a third-place finish at the World Cup in Qatar.

Defender Josko Gvardiol scored a header on seven minutes to hand Croatia an early lead, but Morocco fired back shortly after through a close-range header from defender Achraf Dari in what was his first international goal.

Morocco are the only African team in World Cup history to reach this stage of the competition, but they were consigned to a fourth-place finish as Croatia winger Mislav Orsic netted a superb curled effort on 42 minutes that proved to be the winner.

Croatia finished runners-up in Russia four years ago and were hoping for an unlikely return to the final in Qatar but saw their tournament end on Tuesday in a 3-0 semifinal defeat to Argentina. Croatia previously finished third in their first-ever World Cup appearance in 1998.

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