Croatia and Morocco will end their participation in the World Cup in Qatar today. European and African teams will compete for bronze medals.
The 12th and 22nd FIFA ranking-teams will play at the Khalifa International Stadium.
The Croatians are the reigning world runners-up, while Morocco is the first African team to reach the semi-finals.
Eastern Europeans have the experience of taking third place at the World Cup. In 1998, Davor Šuker and his teammates beat the Netherlands for bronze medals.
Then, France became the champions for the first time after defeating Brazil at home.
Head to Head meetings
Croatia and Morocco have met each other twice. Zlatko Dalic’s team won one match, and the other ended in a draw at this World Cup.
The first match these teams played against each other was in 1996, at the friendly tournament named after Hassan II. Then, the groups of Henri Michel and Miroslav Blažević ended 2-2 in the semi-finals, and the Croatians won 7-6 in the penalty shootout.
In Qatar both teams, were in Group F. The first-round match between them ended 0-0. In the end, they left Belgium and Canada in the group.
A match different from the tradition
After all, football is a fight for first place, for victory. Therefore, in the history of the World Cups, we remember several bronze matches taken part by the favorites of the tournaments. However, for this meeting, the approach from the favorites was only sometimes serious, which, among other things, was demonstrated by the rotational lineups.
However, the situation is different now – for Croatia and Morocco, taking the 3rd place will be honorable one. The pre-match comments and mood were also appropriate. Both teams promise to fight until the end and to give everything on the pitch.