Surprise package Morocco became the first African country to reach the final four of the World Cup and will hope to take third place. Standing in their way was Croatia, finalists in 2018, hoping to end a golden era with another medal which they did by defeating Morocco 2-1 to earn bronze.
Two goals inside 10 minutes lit up the World Cup third-place play-off between Morocco and Croatia, only for Mislav Orsic to ramp up the excitement with a sumptuous finish.
Josko Gvardiol headed Zlatko Dalic’s team in front, with Achraf Dari equalising almost instantly. With half-time drawing closer, though, Dinamo Zagreb star Orsic curled in off the far post to restore his team’s lead.
The second half could not match the energy of an exciting opening period, and Morocco failed to find an equaliser as a fruitful campaign ended in back-to-back defeats.
Zlatko Dalic’s side was runners-up to France four years ago. They confirmed their status as one of the elite footballing nations with another third-place finish to go alongside that secured in their competition debut in 1998.
Defeat for Morocco saw them miss out on the chance to become the first African nation to pick up a medal at a World Cup, while Croatia’s victory meant a European nation has now won the third-place play-off in the last 11 tournaments.