Croatia and Morocco reached the semifinals as heavy losers against Argentina and France, respectively. They tried, but their World Cup Cinderella stories were cut short earlier this week.
But being in the final four is nothing to scoff at, and while the ultimate goal won’t be achieved, a bronze medal isn’t a bad consolation prize.
Croatia and Morocco will battle it out for third place on Saturday at 10 am ET at the Khalifa International Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, six miles from Doha.
Here’s what you need to know about the match:
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How did Croatia get here?
Croatia lost to France in the 2018 final, and ironically, their first World Cup game this year came against Morocco in Group F. Morocco won the group with seven points, while Croatia finished with five. They played to a 0-0 draw on November 23.
Four days later, Croatia demolished Canada, 4-1, and in their final group game, played out another 0-0 draw, this time against Belgium. That was enough to take Croatia to the knockout stage and eliminated Belgium, who entered the tournament as the second team in the world.
Croatia met Japan in the round of 16, and after they drew 1-1 after extra time, they brought home a PK win. Oh, and they did the same against Brazil in the quarterfinals. However, they lost to Argentina, 3-0, in the semifinals on Tuesday.
LIONEL MESSI LEADS ARGENTINA TO WORLD CUP FINAL IN DOMINANT VICTORY OVER CROATIA
How did Morocco get here?
We talk about his first game upstairs. Following that tie, Morocco pulled off a miraculous 2-0 upset against Belgium and then defeated Canada, 2-1, to win the group.
In the round of 16, Morocco faced Spain and the match was goalless after 120 minutes. But Morocco blanked Spain, 3-0, on penalty kicks to advance. In the quarterfinals, Morocco faced Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal as big losers. But a first-half goal was all Morocco needed to become the first African nation to reach the World Cup semi-finals. Their magic carpet ride ended on Wednesday with a 2-0 loss to France.
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Who are the Croatian players to know?
Bruno Petković equalized the game against Brazil in the 117th minute as Croatia won 4–2 on penalties.
Who are the Morocco players to know?
Youssef En-Nesyri scored Morocco’s only goal against Portugal, and his two goals are the team’s most in the tournament.
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