ATLAS Lions’ fall to another defeat after their heroic giant-killings in Qatar has disappointed legions of its fans worldwide who were hoping for Africa to get third place at Soccer World Cup this year.
Mislav Orsic’s first-half beauty was enough to seal third place at the World Cup for the Croats as the Africans lost charge.
A diving header by Josko Gvardiol put Croatia in front in the seventh minute. Morocco’s Achraf Dari equalised two minutes later in a frantic start in Qatar. It was Mislav Orsic’s brilliant curled effort that put Croatia back in front before half time.
A few minutes from the end, Morocco centre forward Youssef En-Nesyri jumped higher than his marker in the Croatia box and nodded a header towards goal.
It went inches too high. Morocco still trailed. Near the centre circle, a couple of Morocco players fell to their knees in despair before they resumed the desperate search for an equaliser.
When the final whistle went to confirm Croatia’s victory and a third place to go with their runners-up finish in Russia four years ago, a cohort of the Moroccan players rushed over to the Qatari referee Abdulrahman Al Jassim and surrounded him but it helped nothing.
Croatia sealed third place in Qatar, just like they did back at the 1998 World Cup in France.