Croatia beats Morocco 2-1 to finish in third place at World Cup

Sports

Croatia’s Luka Modric, front, duels for the ball with Morocco’s Hakim Ziyech during the World Cup third-place playoff soccer match between Croatia and Morocco at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — Luka Modric led Croatia to third place in what was likely the midfield great’s last appearance at the World Cup.

The runners-up from four years ago secured another medal by beating Morocco 2-1 in the third-place match on Saturday.

Mislav Orsic scored the decisive goal shortly before halftime at Khalifa International Stadium to ensure Modric finished on a winning note, if this does turn out to be his last World Cup match.

At the age of 37, that seems likely, even if there are hopes he will lead his country at the 2024 European Championship.

Josko Gvardiol put Croatia ahead in the seventh minute, but Achraf Dari evened the score in the ninth.

After becoming the first African team to reach the World Cup semifinals, Morocco’s tournament ended in two losses. But then team’s achievements in Qatar will be remembered for the outpouring of pride among Arab nations.

The World Cup final between defending champion France and Argentina is scheduled for Sunday at Lusail Stadium.

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