Croatia vs Morocco live: World Cup score, highlights, result as Orsic produces wonderstrike after early flurry

By | December 17, 2022

Croatia and Morocco traded goals in an action-packed start to the third-place playoff at the 2022 FIFA World Cup before a stunning Mislav Orsic goal but the European side ahead.

Morocco were without key defenders Romain Saiss, Nayef Aguerd and Noussair Mazraoui and they began uncertainly before Josko Gvardiol converted a smartly worked set piece in the seventh minute.

But centre-back Achraf Dari was left unmarked to hit back immediately.

Both sides continued to attack with the the pressure off, making for an attractive spectacle. The most sumptuous moment of the first half came when Orsic lofted a beautiful finish over Bono and in off the far post after the Morocco goalkeeper saw his team give possession away on the edge of his area.

Sporting News is tracking live scoring updates and highlights for Croatia vs. Morocco at the 2022 World Cup. Follow below for complete results from the third-place match in Qatar.

MORE: Best bets for Croatia vs Morocco third-place match

Croatia vs Morocco score

  1H 2H Final
Croatia 2
Morocco 1

CRO — Josko Gvardiola (Ivan Perisic) — 7th min.

MOR — Achraf Dari — 9th min.

CRO — Mislav Orsic (Marko Livaja) — 42nd min.


Croatia (4-2-3-1, right to left): 1. Livakovic (GK) — 2. Stanisic, 24, Sutalo, 20. Gvardiol, 4. Perisic — 10. Modric, 8. Kovacic — 9. Kramaric, 7. Majer, 18. Orsic — 14. Livaja

Morocco (4-3-3, right to left): 1. Bono (GK) — 2. Hakimi, 20. Dari, 18. El Yamiq, 25. Attiat-Allah — 23. El-Khannouss, 4. Amrabat, 11. Sabiri — 7. Ziyech, 19. En-Nesyri, 17. Boufal

MORE: Watch every World Cup match live with fuboTV (U.S.-only free trial)

Croatia vs Morocco live updates, highlights from 2022 World Cup

55st minute: Good opportunity to get in down the right for Andrej Kramaric but Yahya Attiat-Allah makes an important challenge. Azzedine Ounahi, one of Morocco’s starts of the tournament is going to come on for the 18-year-old Bilal El-Khannouss, who has been very easy on the eye.

51st minute: Beautifully worked attack down the left from Croatia, with Ivan Perisic involved and Lovro Majer whipping in a dangerous ball that Marko Livaja is just unable to convert under pressure. Replays show Croatia should have had a corner.

47th minute: Mislav Orsic goes looking for his second and it’s deflected into the side netting.

46th minute: We’re back underway and there’s a halftime change for Morocco. Not Achraf Dari, who is fit to continue, but Abdelhamid Sabiri is replaced by Ilias Chair. It looks like Chair will be stationed out on the right, with Hakim Ziyech tucking into a central role. 

Halftime: The teams head for the tunnel, with the exception of Morocco goalscorer Achraf Dari, who is down and needing treatment. Walid Regragui can scarcely afford another centre-back injury.

MORE: Why are Croatia fans wearing water polo caps at World Cup? Explaining supporters’ celebration of 2022 success

45th minute+2: That looked a nasty deflection from Marko Livaja’s shot but Bono gets back to pouch the ball.

45th minute: There will be two minutes of stoppage time at the end of this thoroughly enjoyable half.

42nd minuteGOOOOAAAALLLL!!!! Mislav Orsic!!!!

What a wonderful finish from Orsic! Again, Morocco give away possession on the edge of their box but the Dinamo Zagreb winger still had so much to do as he lofted a right-footed finish from the left-hand side of the area over Bono and in off the far post. Absolutely sublime.

40th minute: Hakim Ziyech chops inside and lines up a long-range shot. It’s off target but shows the extent to which he is oozing with confidence. Chelsea fans will be wanting him to bottle some of this and bring it back from Qatar.

37th minute: In-swinging corner from Hakim Ziyech and Youssef En-Nesyri get to the near-post header. It flashes wide of the far stick, with no one available to apply the finish.

33rd minute: Another wonderfully worked Morocco attack, with Sofiane Boufal coming off the wing and interacting sublimely with Bilal Khannouss. Josip Sutalo gets back to make a vital tackle.

29th minute: Morocco are now being limited to largely operating on the break, but boy they’re good at that. Achraf Hakim and Hakim Ziyech exchange passes and the Paris Saint-Germain full-back is away down the right. His cross is a bit on the wild side though and flies behind Youssef En-Nesyri, who might reasonably have expected a simple finish.

23rd minute: It’s comedy hour in that Morocco defence, with two botched clearances leaving Modric to claim possession on the edge of the box. The master playmaker shuffles into space and lets fly with a deflected shot that Bono parries and then just manages to scramble away the rebound from Marko Livaja.

18th minute: Sofiane Boufal is dispossessed and here come Croatia again. They are crowded out by a scampering Morocco defence before Andrej Kramaric gives Bono a routine save.

MORE: Why is Croatia player Josko Gvardiol wearing a mask? Injury forces defender to don face protection vs Morocco

14th minute: Morocco are not covering themselves in glory trying to play through the Croatia press. Again they cough up possession and Josip Stanisic, up from right-back, clatters over.

10th minute: Back come Croatia as Mislav Orsic clatters wide from 25 yards. If you were wondering how these two defensively cautious teams might approach this ceremonial game, you have your answer!

9th minuteGOOOOAAAALLLL!!!! Achraf Dari!!!!!

Well, Croatia’s lead didn’t last long. A set-piece is taken short and the delivery balloons up off Modric’s attempted block and into the box. Somewhat foolishly, no one decided to mark Dari and the big centre-back gleefully headed home from close range. Handbreaks off all over the place.

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7th minuteGOOOOAAAALLLL!!!! Josko Gvardiol!!!

It’s been on the cards and the opening goal is wonderfully worked by Croatia, with Ivan Perisic glancing a free-kick back towards the centre of goal and Gvardiol dispatches a fine diving header.

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3rd minute: Morocco clear their lines, more by accident than design. This is a backline thrown together due to injuries, remember, but Walid Regragui is not a happy man with this start.

2nd minute: Ivan Perisic gets down the left flank and delivers a dangerous cross that Achraf Dari heads clear. Bono then gives away a corner – something of a relief given he almost booted the ball into his own net.

1st minute: And we’re off. Croatia won their previous third-place match in their first ever World Cup, beating the Netherlands after a semifinal loss to eventual winners France.

30 mins from kickoff: Will be a delight to see this man one last time on the biggest international stage. And with plenty of attacking talent to pick out ahead of him.

50 mins from kickoff: There’s a growing consensus from chatter around the game that Ivan Perisic will line up at left-back for Croatia in a 4-2-3-1. That probably makes more sense than the 3-5-2 I threw together, so let’s go with that. If Dalic does set up in that way, those are two attack-minded lineups.

1hr from kickoff: Morocco have given me a more straightforward puzzle to crack. They’re in their usual 4-3-3 and there’s a start for 18-year-old midfielder Bilal El-Khannouss.

1hr 10 mins from kickoff: Bit of a head-scratcher how that Croatia lineup might shake out. Stanisic, Sutalo and Gvardiola are the only orthodox defenders in the side. I’m going to tentatively suggest a 3-5-2 with Perisic and Orsic as the wingbacks and Livaja joining Kramaric up front.

1hr 24 mins from kickoff: Here’s how Croatia line up:

1 hr 40 mins from kickoff: Team news will be with us within the next half hour. There promise to be some intriguing matchups across the field, depending on how strong Walid Regragui and Zlatko Dalic opt to go with their starting XIs.

2 hrs from kickoff: This will be the final game of the tournament at the Khalifa International Stadium. The first saw England beat Iran 6-2. Wouldn’t mind another eight-goal thriller, if I’m being honest.

2 hrs 20 mins from kickoff: We’ll get one last outing from some of the stars of the tournament in this game. And that might include Sofiane Boufal’s mum, depending on how the result goes.

2 hrs 40 mins from kickoff: Argentina goalkeeper Emi Martinez is on press conference duty ahead of the big one tomorrow. “It’s crazy to be in the world final,” he said. “We started losing to Saudi Arabia, but we improved game by game.” Crazy is the word. World Cups can bend your perception of space and time in most circumstances, but it feels like an incredible amount of time has passed since that shock opener for Lionel Messi and his teammates. The date stamp on the tweet below suggests just 25 days. I’ll never believe it!

3 hrs from kickoff: As this World Cup takes place amid the holiday season, it occurs that the third-place playoff can feel like the football equivalent of a cold turkey sandwich when you’re already more than full. However, it doesn’t have to be like that. With the shackles off, the players on display can produce some special moments. Take this obscene goal from Nelinho for Brazil against Italy in the 1978 bronze medal game as the most emphatic example.

3 hrs 45 from kickoff: We only have to rewind to day four in Qatar for an indication of how today’s match could play-out. Morocco versus Croatia is the only fixture to be played twice at this World Cup. They kicked off Group F with a 0-0 draw that saw Croatia control possession but struggle in the final third against the well-organised Moroccans.

Morocco Croatia World Cup 2022

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4 hrs from kickoff: Although no longer fighting for the World Cup, Moroccan motivation will remain. This afternoon, a new benchmark will be set for African nations on football’s biggest stage. Before Walid Regragui and his team arrived, quarterfinals were the maximum. Finishing in third place would be yet another hugely significant moment for the game in Africa.

Badr Benoun of Morocco celebrates vs Portugal at World Cup

Getty Images

4 hrs 15 mins from kickoff: One of Morocco’s leading lights throughout their incredible World Cup journey has been midfielder Sofyan Ambrabat. The Fiorentina star has attracted the attention of some top clubs for his performances in Qatar. The Atlas Lions’ No.4 is expected to start.

4 hrs 45 mins from kickoff: All eyes will be on Croatia captain Luka Modric who at 37 is expected to be playing in his final World Cup match against Morocco.

4 hrs 45 mins from kickoff: The Moroccan media has its pulse on the fan sentiment as DM Sport runs with the “Go even bigger” headline in a reference to the third-place spot on the line:

5 hrs from kickoff: It’ll be an all-Qatar officiating crew for the match::

Croatia vs Morocco lineups, team news

Josip Juranovic sits out to end due to a knock, ending a superb individual tournament on the sidelines, and Bayern Munich right-back Josip Stanisic takes his place. Ivan Perisic drops back to left-back in at attacking XI, with Josip Sutalo startling alongside Josko Gvardiol in the heart of defence

Midfielder Marcelo Brozovic is injured, which means Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic team up to play in a deeper role, leaving Lovro Majer as the lone attacking midfielder. Marko Livaja gets the nod ahead of Bruno Petkovic to handle centre-forward duties. 

Croatia lineup (4-2-3-1, right to left): 1. Livakovic (GK) — 2. Stanisic, 24, Sutalo, 20. Gvardiol, 4. Perisic — 10. Modric, 8. Kovacic — 9. Kramaric, 7. Majer, 18. Orsic — 14. Livaja

Romain Saiss, Nayef Aguerd, and left-back Noussair Mazraoui were all forced out against France, with West Ham’s Aguerd withdrawing after the warmup, and the defensive trio miss out.

Centre-forward Youssef En-Nesyri has recovered from and knock and leads the line, flanked by Sofiane Boufal and Hakim Ziyech. Belgian-born teenager Bilal El-Khannouss gets a start in midfield.

Morocco (4-3-3, right to left): 1. Bono (GK) — 2. Hakimi, 20. Dari, 18. El Yamiq, 25. Attiat-Allah — 8. Ounahi, 4. Amrabat, 15. Amallah — 7. Ziyech, 21-Cheddira, 17. Boufal

Croatia vs Morocco live stream, TV channel

The Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup third-place match will be played at the Khalifa International Stadium, as a warmup to the final 24 hours later.

Here’s how you can watch all the action in some of the major global territories.

  Date Time TV Channel Streaming
USA Sat, Dec. 17 10:00 ET Fox,
Fox Sports site/app,
Telemundo Deportes site/app,
Canada Sat, Dec. 17 10:00 ET TSN 1, RDS (French) TSN site/app,
RDS app
UK Sat, Dec. 17 15:00 GMT BBC One BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website
Australia Sun, Dec. 18 02:00 AEDT SBS SBS On Demand
India Sat, Dec. 17 20:30 IST Sports 18, MTV HD (Hindi) JioTV
Hong Kong Sat, Dec. 17 23:00 HKT Now TV (Ch. 616, 618) Now TV
Malaysia Sat, Dec. 17 23:00 MYT RTM TV2, Astro FIFA World Cup 1 Astro GO, RTMKlik
Singapore Sat, Dec. 17 23:00 SGT StarHub TV FIFA World Cup, Singtel FIFA World Cup 141 Singtel TV GO, CAST,
StarHub TV+, MeWatch
New Zealand Sun, Dec. 18 04:00 NZDT Sky Sport 7 beIN Sports Sky Go, Sky Sport NOW