World Cup 2022: Morocco snatches a valuable point from Croatia | DW News | DW
tear Moroccan national team A valuable point from his Croatian counterpart, runners-up from last edition, as he forced him to a goalless draw in the first round of Group F today (Wednesday 23 November 2022) at Al-Bayt Stadium in Al-Khor in the competitions in during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Belgium later meets Canada in the same group at Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan. For the “Atlas Lions” it is the sixth duel in their sixth final participation, with two wins and nine defeats.
Morocco faced Croatia and their stars Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic, Marcelo Brozovic and Ivan Perisic in a monotonous game that didn’t offer many opportunities. Modric, the game’s best player, said: “We were right, the Moroccan team is treacherous and difficult. We didn’t let them get too close (to the penalty area) and what we needed was the goal. If we were more creative, they might have given us more freedom.”
He added: “We didn’t just come here to play and get through the group stage. Our ambition is greater than that based on the experience we gained at the World Cup in Russia. But our first goal is to get through the group stage and if we can do that, we pose a danger to any team. Don’t get me wrong, our goal is to get past the group stage, but our ambition goes Furthermore.
Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic expressed his opponent’s strength: “We faced an organised, strong and well-prepared opponent who wanted us to make a mistake. What we needed was more crosses and forward passes and I believed that we would develop and we knew it was going to be a difficult game.”
The point is considered valuable in a strong group that includes them alongside Belgium, third at Russia’s World Cup, who will meet them in the second round at Al Thumama Stadium next Sunday, while Croatia on the same day Canada meets Khalifa International Stadium.
He in turn said Walid Al Rakraki Morocco coach “It’s a good result. They have a great midfield, they run a lot and they have great technical quality. We respected them a lot at times. We played hard and we got tired at the end. Thanks guys, we showed it .” that we are a good team. We have to keep working and we have four days to recover before the Belgium game.
It was the first time that the Moroccan and Croatian teams met in an official match and the second in their history after the first, which took place in December 1998 in Morocco at the first edition of the Hassan II International Tournament in Casablanca and with ended Croatia wins on penalties after the 2-2 draw at the time.
Regragui forced his perfect formation, bolstering midfield with defensive duo Soufiane Amrabat and Salim Amlah and blocking exits for Croatian playmaker and Real Madrid’s Spaniard Modric. Croatia tried to press from the start but to no avail, while the Atlas Lions threw up counterattacks, the most prominent of which was in the 14th minute, which Ashraf Hakimi ended with a sneaky side kick that was blocked by Croatian goalkeeper Dominik Levakovic.
And Tottenham’s England winger Ivan Perisic nearly made it into the salt with a deceptive shot from outside the box following a misplaced pass after noticing that Spain goalkeeper Yassin Bono had left his cave but the latter went wide by inches over the crossbar (16′) and Croatia waited the final seconds to threaten Bono’s goal as a defender crossed German Stuttgart’s Borna Sosa from the left, followed by Italy’s Torino striker Nikola Vlajic with a right from close range that Bono pressed kicked him away before the defense scattered him (45′), Modric shot a powerful ball over the bar from outside the penalty area (45’+2).
Angers’ French winger Sofiane Boufal almost made it early in the second half when she hit one of the defenders with a powerful shot from outside the box and bounced off the keeper to German Bayern Munich defender Naseer Mazraoui, who hit him with a followed by a header, which was removed again by the goalkeeper before the defense scattered it (51′).
Mazraoui was injured during this attempt and was unable to finish the game, so Wydad Casablanca’s defender Yahya Atiyatallah (60th) took his place and Ziyash, after an indirect free kick, carried a ball to Hakimi, who he hit with the right from 23 meters, which the goalkeeper fended off with difficulty with his fists (64th).
Al-Rakraki shoved Osasuna, Spanish striker Abdel-Samad Al-Zalzouli on loan from FC Barcelona, into Boufal’s place (65′), and Al-Nusairi tricked Bono into almost removing it after an attempted free-kick and it went a few inches over the crossbar (71). Al-Rakraki included Saudi Jeddah Al-Ittihad striker, who returned after a three-year suspension, Abdul-Razzaq Hamdallah and Sampdoria’s Italian midfielder Abdel-Hamid Sabiri, without changing the result.
hz/ af (dpa/ afb)
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