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World Cup: Croatia into last 16 after draw with Belgium 

Croatia has advanced through to the last 16 of the 2022 FIFA World Cup after a 0-0 with Belgium in the final group F match at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Qatar on Thursday. 

Zlatko Dalić decided to stick with the same starting XI which beat Canada 4-1 on Sunday, whilst Belgium coach Roberto Martínez left Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku on the bench. 

Croatia started the game well, causing Belgium a number of problems early on. Ivan Perišić came close with the shot which brushed past the post.

Croatia were awarded a penalty in the 15th minute when Andrej Kramarić was brought down after a free-kick but it would ruled out by VAR when it was shown that Dejan Lovren was just millimetres offside.  

Belgium got back into the game and looked dangerous on a couple of attacks, most notably when Kevin De Bruyne put through Dries Mertens but he could only hit his shot wide.

Belgium would bring on Lukaku at the break and immediately he would force a save from Dominik Livaković with a header at the back post. 

In the 49th minute Mateo Kovačić had a chance but his shot from inside the box was well saved by Thibaut Courtois. Five minutes later Courtois was called upon again, this time saving from a Brozović shot from just inside the box.

Croatia were mounting the pressure and Luka Modrić almost found a way through but Courtois was too good again.

Belgium almost went ahead in the 60th minute but Lukaku’s shot from close range would hit the post.

Croatia created more of the pressure and looked more likely to break the deadlock, but the final pass was missing on a number of occasions.

Belgium had a golden opportunity to snatch in the final minute but Lukaku with an open goal begging failed to control the ball. Then a minute later, the outstanding Joško Gvardiol saved the day when he poked the ball away from Lukaku with the goal begging. 

With the draw Croatia advance through to the last 16. but with Morocco beating Canada, they have to settle for second place in the group and will likely face Spain in the last 16. 

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