Doha: In the first match of Group F, Morocco managed to come second in the Russian World Cup, Croatia. The game opened with a flurry of chances with both teams unable to find the back of the net and sharing the points. Morocco held off Russian 2018 World Cup runners-up Croatia at the Albeit Stadium in a draw that went as far as victory. This is Qatar’s third goalless draw at the World Cup.
Having managed to pass the group stage in just one of the last five World Cups, Morocco entered the pitch against Croatia confident that they have not lost in five games. Croatia is the team that stunned the opponents with their performance in the final of the World Cup 2018. Luka Modric, the midfield wizard, was the backbone of Croatia then and now.
In the game, there was a consistent performance from both teams. But Croatia had a slight advantage in possession and attack. But they failed to convert this lead. It was up to Morocco to shake the current second place with a noisy first half. But the mistakes in the end set them back.
The best scoring chances of the game came in the first half. In the 17th minute, long keeper Ivan Perisic was narrowly missed by Croatia fans.
Morocco had the best chance in the next minute. Youssef N Nesiri tried to head Hakim Ziyech’s cross but couldn’t touch it. Morocco’s ‘pen’ award.
In injury time of the first half, Croatia made good moves but the goal did not come. Just before the end of the first half, Croatia came close to scoring through Nikola Vlasic, but goalkeeper Yassin Bonou’s brilliant save saved Morocco. Immediately after, Lukamodrich shot a long keeper from outside the box with a narrow difference.
In the 51st minute of the second half, Nasir Masroi’s header was saved by goalkeeper Livakovic when Krastian ran near the post. Then Ashraf Hakimi’s sweeping long keeper would have changed the course of the game if Livakovic hadn’t knocked her out.