The third-place game is a bit of a meaningless exercise, especially after three-weeks of ultimate drama that is the rest of the World Cup, but that lack of pressure and occasion can often lead to high-scoring, high-fun affairs.
And this year’s third-place game was no different, certainly early on, with Croatia and Morocco both scoring inside the first ten minutes — defenders Joško Gvardiol and Achraf Dari trading proverbial punches — and the former then taking the lead for the second time just before half on gorgeous goal from Mislav Oršić (Mateo Kovačić playing a key role in winning the ball back and setting that up).
GOLAZOO DE ORSIC pic.twitter.com/ojZtNNR5tk— (FUT) JaimeLotero1829 (@JaimeLotero1829) December 17, 2022
The first time these two sides met, in the opening game of their group stages campaign, the game would finish scoreless. This time there was no danger of that, though the second would also finish without further changes to the scoreboard. But certainly it was not for a lack of trying, with some questionable refereeing and another couple masterful saves from Dominik Livaković ensuring that outcome.
Croatia thus finish third, after taking second four years ago. Morocco finish fourth, which is even a more tremendous accomplishment. Hopefully Hakim Ziyech can bring the form he’s shown over the past month back with him to Chelsea.
Tomorrow, it’s the final then, with Argentina taking on France. That should be a lot more dramatic, if perhaps a bit less fun overall.