PLAYER RATINGS: Luka Modric pulled the strings as Croatia beat Morocco

PLAYER RATINGS: Luka Modric pulled the strings in midfield in his final World Cup appearance, and Mislav Orsic produced a moment of magic to lead Croatia to victory over Morocco in the third-place play-off

  • Croatia beat Morocco at the Khalifa International Stadium to seal third place
  • Luka Modric, 37, produced another fine display in his final World Cup match
  • Winger Mislav Orsic also shone and scored a stunning winner late in the first half
  • Achraf Hakimi played well for Morocco, but could not prevent his side losing 
  • Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results

Croatia battled past Morocco to seal third place in Qatar on Saturday, matching their achievement from the 1998 World Cup in France.

Achraf Dari cancelled out Josko Gvardiol’s opener, as both sides founds the target within nine minutes.

It was left to Mislav Orsic to provide the decisive moment, with his delightful curled effort finding the far corner via the post.

Following an entertaining third-place play-off, Sportsmail’s Sam Brookes rates the players from both teams. 

Croatia sealed third place at the World Cup by beating Morocco on Saturday afternoon

Dominik Livakovic – Not much he could have done with Dari’s close-range header. Made an excellent save to deny En-Nesyri in the second half which prevented the game from going to extra-time. 7.5

Josip Stanisic – Has had to play second fiddle to Juranovic for most of the tournament but came in and delivered a solid performance here. 6.5

Josip Sutalo – Only 22 year of age but showed no signs of nerves in this game as he replaced Lovren. Came across well to put Boufal off in the first half when the Moroccan winger looked to have a good shooting opportunity. 6

Josko Gvardiol – Messi may have made him look a bit foolish in Wednesday’s semi-final, but Messi has made most defenders look foolish over the years. Gvardiol bounced back well here, scoring a diving header and making some important clearances. 7

Ivan Perisic – The Tottenham wing-back is less than two months away from his 34th birthday but has shown no signs of slowing down yet. His well-directed header set up Gvardiol’s goal, and he linked up effectively with Orsic throughout. 7

Ivan Perisic was a constant handful down the left flank for Croatia against Morocco

Andrej Kramaric – Worked hard down the right wing, but his final ball lacked quality. There was one particular occasion in the second half where he had to get a shot off or at least find a team-mate, and he ended up doing neither. 6

Lovro Majer – Has been more of an impact player at this World Cup but deputised for Brozovic here and did a fine job. It was his delicate clipped ball that led to Croatia’s opening goal. 7

Luka Modric – Pulled the strings in midfield for probably the final time at a major tournament. 

Has led his side to top-three finishes at the last two World Cups, and if he does now bow out, it has been an absolute pleasure to watch the maestro at work. 8

Luka Modric (above) dazzled in his final World Cup appearance as his side secured third place

Mateo Kovacic – A couple of driving runs from midfield, and played some good through balls that were wasted by the team’s attackers. 7.5   

Mislav Orsic – Was a threat every time he got the ball. Took his goal superbly, and could have had another but hit the side-netting early in the second half. 

Provided the spark that has been lacking with some of Croatia’s attacking play in this tournament. 7.5

Mislav Orsic scored a fantastic goal at the end of the first half that proved to be the winner

Marko Livaja – Came close to getting on the end of a dangerous Majer cross in the second half. Croatia have struggled to replace Mandzukic in recent years, and Livaja still has plenty to do to prove that he can be the team’s long-term No 9. 6.5

Substitutes 

Nikola Vlasic – Replaced Kramaric with hour an hour to go and added energy, but did waste one good opportunity as he hit a shot from the edge of the area well over. 6.5

Mario Pasalic – Had one chance to burst into the box and get a shot off, but dallied on the ball too long and the opportunity was gone. 

Summed up Croatia’s hesitant attacking play at certain points during this tournament, which is the only thing that has let them down in Qatar. 6

Bruno Petkovic – Won a couple of free-kicks for his side as Croatia looked to wind the clock down in the final minutes of the game. 7

Kristijan Jakic – N/A

Manager

Zlatko Dalic – Had to deal with some injuries heading into this match, but put out a team that largely controlled the game, and he can be immensely proud of his team’s achievement in Qatar. 8

Morocco

Yassine Bounou – Almost scored a ridiculous early own goal when he played the ball across his six-yard box and out for a corner. Recovered well from his scare, though, and pulled off a good stop to deny Modric before half time. 7

Achraf Hakimi – Kept driving his team forward until the end. He has proven at this World Cup why he is considered one of the best right-backs in world football. 7.5

PSG defender Achraf Hakimi has had a fine World Cup at right-back for Morocco in Qatar

Jawad El Yamiq – Has only come into the team due to injuries to Aguerd and Saiss but acquitted himself fairly well here until he was forced off in the second half due to injury. 6.5

Achraf Dari – Was in the right place at the right time to score the equaliser, and battled on bravely when he was clearly struggling with an injury. Probably shouldn’t have come back out for the second half as he had to limp off 20 minutes later. 7

Yahia Attiat-Allah – Another player that would not normally be playing, but had to come in for Mazraoui. Managed to keep Kramaric quiet for the most part. 7

Bilal El Khannouss – What an experience for the 18-year-old. Coming in to replace Ounahi was a thankless task, but he gave a good account of himself up against Modric and Co. 6

Sofyan Amrabat – Deserves to be in the team of the tournament. This was not his best game and he could have given away a penalty when he appeared to trip Gvardiol, but his stock has certainly risen over the past few weeks. 7

Sofyan Amrabat had to play in central midfield and central defence during Saturday’s match

Abdelhamid Sabiri – Struggled to get into the game much before the break as Morocco gave the ball away too cheaply too often. Was replaced at half time. 6

Hakim Ziyech – The winger has been a standout performer at this tournament and has shown that Chelsea need to get more out of him. Linked up well with Hakimi at times, and Morocco looked a threat down their right flank. 7

Sofiane Boufal – On the opposite flank, Boufal has shown that he is a much better player than the one that frustrated Southampton fans. 

He was only able to show glimpses of his best in this match, and perhaps this was a game too far for the 29-year-old. 6.5

Youssef En-Nesyri – So nearly the hero for Morocco as his late header hit the roof of the net rather than nestling in the top corner. He is a major asset in the air as proven by his winning goal against Portugal in the quarter-finals. 6.5

Youssef En-Neysri came so close to taking the game to extra-time with a late header

Substitutes 

Ilias Chair – Came on at half time for Sabiri and offered his side a little more control in the middle of the park. 6.5

Azzedine Ounahi – One of the finds of the tournament. Clearly wasn’t fit enough to start here, but looked bright off the bench. It is surely only a matter of time before the Angers midfielder is snapped up by a big European club. 7

Anass Zaroury – Came on for the tiring Boufal but could not inspire his side to grab a late equaliser. 6

Badr Benoun – Replaced the hobbling Dari at a time when Morocco were trying to figure out what formation to go with due to so many injuries at the back. Tried his best but to no avail as Croatia held on. 6

Selim Amallah – Made an impact as he flew into a couple of tackles. Was perhaps a little unfortunate to be booked for accidentally catching Petkovic in the face. 6.5

Manager

Walid Regragui – His hands were somewhat tied due to how many injuries his side have picked up at the back end of the tournament. Still managed to keep his team competitive until the end. 7

Walid Regragui was unhappy with the refs, but will reflect on a brilliant tournament for his side

Referee

Abdulrahman Al Jassim – Missed a blatant penalty to Croatia when Amrabat tripped Gvardiol in the second half, but should have been given some help by VAR. 

Stood up well to pressure from Morocco who were looking for a late penalty themselves. 6 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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