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Croatia beats Morocco to win third place match at the 2022 World Cup

Croatia edged out Morocco in the penultimate match of the 2022 World Cup.

Luka Modric of Croatia on the ball during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 3rd Place match between Croatia and Morocco at Khalifa International Stadium on December 17, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. Photo by Richard Sellers/Getty Images

The 2022 World Cup wraps up on Sunday, but the day prior we had the third-place match. Croatia and Morocco faced off in a match that sometimes can be one of the more entertaining from a pure soccer perspective. You win extra prize money for third place, but you’re not competing for the title, so there’s a certain “zero f—s given” attitude that makes for fun match-play.

Croatia claimed third place on Saturday with a 2-1. Josko Gvardiol got the scoring going with a seventh-minute header to give them a 1-0 lead. Achraf Dari tied it a mere two minutes later, heading in a goal off a set piece. Croatia took back the lead in the 42nd minute when Mislav Orsic booted in the goal. Neither team would score after that, sending Croatia home with third place and Morocco with fourth place.

This is the second time Croatia has won the third-place match. In their inaugural World Cup in 1998, they beat the Netherlands 2-1. Their other knockout round appearance came in 2018 when they reached the Final and lost 4-2 to France.

This is Morocco’s best finish ever, having previously reached the knockout stage once before a Round of 16 elimination. Their fourth-place finish is the best performance ever by an African squad.