Croatia And Morocco, Racing for Third


Gregory Vine

This world cup has been a first for a lot of things: the first world cup in the Middle East, to the first African/Islamic team to make it into the Semi-Finals, to beating a star studded Brazilian team on penalty kicks, to Lionel Messi and Argentina returning to the finals after 12 years, to France returning to the finals consecutively. This world cup has been nothing short of interesting but Croatia and Morocco specifically Morocco have been some of the greatest surprises. During their individual quarter-final games both played strong teams to advance; Morocco played against Portugal and won 1-0. Moroccan player Walid Cheddira also received a red card near the end of the match but it was not enough to save Portugal from a bitter defeat. Croatia’s quarter-final match was a bit different as Croatia was facing off against the ever-formidable Brazil, who was rated number one overall to start the World Cup. The match was scoreless until the 105th minute when Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior scored the first goal of the match making it 1-0 in extra time. Croatia responded shortly after with a spectacular goal by Bruno Petković in the 117th minute, tying the game 1 all. Croatia then beat Brazil on penalty kicks securing a spot in the semi-finals. Unfortunately both teams would lose to Argentina and France respectively ending their world cup dreams in the semi-finals. Croatia was unable to return to the finals and get redemption for the 2018 World Cup Finals loss against France. Morocco would end their World Cup run making history as the first African and Islamic country to make it to the semi-finals. Croatia and Morocco will now be competing for third place on the 17th while France and Argentina fight it out in the Finals.