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Croatia wins World Cup bronze medal!

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Croatia has won the bronze medal at the football World Cup for the second time in just their 6th appearance. 

Croatia beat Morocco 2-1 in an entertaining 3rd-4th playoff match at the Khalifa International Stadium on Saturday to finish the 2022 FIFA World Cup on a high. 

Goals to World Cup sensation Joško Gvardiol and a typical Mislav Oršić finish was enough to give Croatia the win to see them finish third at the World Cup. 

With a number of small injuries, coach Zlatko Dalić was forced to make changes and he surprised many when he announced a very attacking line-up before the match. 

Oršić, Josip Stanišić, Marko Livaja, Josip Šutalo and Lovro Majer all started in a new 3-5-2 formation and immediately it paid off with Croatia looking more direct and dangerous going forward from the start. 

Ivan Perišić at left back gave Croatia another dimension and his overlapping with Oršić caused Morocco all sorts of problems. 

Croatia took the lead in just the 7th minute after a cleaver free kick to Perišić who headed back into the path of a diving Gvardiol who head home to score his first World Cup goal. 

Two minutes later Morocco would get back on level terms when Croatia failed to react to a looping ball in the box and an unmarked Achraf Dari would headed home to make it 1-1.

It was proving to be an entertaining game from the outset, Croatia were playing a lot faster in transition than they have been all tournament and this was leading to chances. 

Luka Modrić went close with a shot before Kramarić blocked a shot in the box from Oršić which looked like it was going in. 

Finally Croatia took a deservedly lead in the 42nd minute when Oršić found the back of the net with an exquisite trademark curling shot from the right which went in off the post. 

Croatia continued to look dangerous at the start of the second half with Majer playing some teasing balls into the danger zone. Oršić also went close to finding his second but his shot was blocked. 

Dalić made changes with 25 minutes to go, bringing on Petković, Pašalić and Vlašić and Croatia looked more defensive as they looked to hold onto the lead. 

In the 75th minute Gvardiol found himself on a run and when he was put through in the box by Oršić he would be clipped down but the ref would wave play on.

Livaković would then make a great save moments later at the other end as Croatia were in shock that VAR was not used for the foul on Gvardiol. Kovačić came close with minutes to go but his shot from close range would go just past the post.

In the end Croatia would hold on to win their second bronze medal, adding to the won they won in 1998 in France. 

The team will now arrive back as winners to a big welcome party in Zagreb tomorrow. 

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