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Morocco vs Croatia LIVE: World Cup 2022 result, final score and reaction today

Croatia face Morocco in their World Cup opener as they bid to repeat their superb journey to the final in 2018.

Luka Modric, who won the Golden Ball in Russia four years ago, will hope to deliver one last time for Croatia in a World Cup, with Zlatko Dalić’s side packed with talent.

Speaking of which, Walid Regragui’s Morocco side have the potential to cause an upset in the tournament, having fallen slightly short of expectations in their run to the quarter-finals at last year’s Africa Cup of Nations.

Belgium and Canada are also in Group F, with each of the four sides capable of qualifying for the last 16 of the competition.

Follow all the action from the Al Bayt Stadium with our live blog below:

Morocco vs Croatia

  • Croatia and Morocco begin World Cup campaign in Al Khor - the game started at 10am (GMT)

  • 65’ - CLOSE! Achraf Hakimi tests Livakovic from range (MAR 0-0 CRO)

  • 45+2’ - BIG CHANCE! Luka Modric blazes over with his left footy (MAR 0-0 CRO)

  • 45’ - GOOD SAVE! Croatia’s Nikola Vlasic is denied by Yassine Bounou (MAR 0-0 CRO)

  • 18’ - GOOD CHANCE! Morocco striker Youssef En-Nesyri should do better from Ziyech’s cross (MAR 0-0 CRO)

  • 17’ - JUST OVER! Ivan Perisic goes close with fierce long-range shot (MAR 0-0 CRO)

Morocco 0 - 0 Croatia

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:53 , Kieran Jackson

90+3 mins: Morocco dominant in the last few minutes but Croatia holding firm - Ziyech loses the ball before lunging in on Modric.

Heading for a point apiece here...

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:50 , Kieran Jackson

90 mins: Six minutes of time added on - could we have some late drama?

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:49 , Kieran Jackson

89 mins: A late change for Croatia: Perisic OFF, Orsic ON.

Not quite been the Tottenham man’s day in Al Khor.

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:47 , Kieran Jackson

88 mins: There’s only been two shots on goal from each team, according to the FIFA statistics.

That, ladies and gents, rather sums up the match... how much added time will we get, however?

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:45 , Kieran Jackson

85 mins: Morocco bit more on the front-foot in this last few minutes, do they sense a winner is available here if they push on a bit more?

Ziyech still doing his best to be the playmaker in midfield. Into the last five (15) we go...

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:41 , Kieran Jackson

81 mins: Modric whips it in from the right but it can only be harmlessly headed wide by Josko Gvardiol, who is penalised for climbing on a defender anyway.

Two subs for Morocco: En-Nesyri and Ounahi OFF, Hamdallah and Sabiri ON.

Harry Kane to undergo ankle scan in injury scare before England vs USA

11:41 , Alex Pattle

England captain Harry Kane will undergo a scan on his right ankle to determine whether he sustained an injury during the World Cup opener against Iran.

Kane stayed down after being on the receiving end of a heavy challenge during Monday’s Group B match, with the striker’s foot appearing to twist awkwardly.

The Tottenham forward has a history of ankle injuries and he was subsequently brought off in the 75th minute of the 6-2 win.

England face the USA in their second group stage match on Friday night, with Kane now considered to be a doubt for Gareth Southgate’s side.

Full story:

Harry Kane to undergo ankle scan in England World Cup injury scare

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:39 , Kieran Jackson

79 mins: A sub for Croatia.

Kovacic OFF, Majer ON.

The 2018 finalists now have a free-kick in the Moroccan half on the right-hand side...

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:38 , Kieran Jackson

78 mins: We have our first yellow card - Morocco midfielder Sofyan Amrabat in the book for a late clip on Luka Modric, who turned him beautifully.

No-brainer.

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:36 , Kieran Jackson

75 mins: Hakimi does well to win a free-kick on the right, with Perisic baited in...

Not been the best game this, it has to be said. 15 minutes to go in Al Khor - will we have a late twist?

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:32 , Kieran Jackson

73 mins: Really good defending from Morocco’s Nayef Aguerd to deny Dejan Lovren a header at the back post, another corner.

Pressure growing from Croatia, but Morocco keeper Yassine Bounou claims easily.

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:31 , Kieran Jackson

72 mins: Modric plays in a terrific free-kick and it’s acrobatically cleared by Morocco in the box!

Croatia corner...

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:30 , Kieran Jackson

71 mins: Croatia enjoying a sustained period of possession here, but not really doing an awful lot with it - Morocco very solid in their shape.

Another sub: Kramaric OFF, Livaja ON.

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:25 , Kieran Jackson

65 mins: What a strike from Hakimi!

The ball is laid off to the PSG defender who smashes a 30-yard shot with immense power... but it’s straight at Croatia keeper Dominik Livaković, who palms it away!

Got the crowd off their seats though. Meanwhile, Morocco make another sub: Boufal comes off for Ezzalzouli.

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:23 , Kieran Jackson

64 mins: Hakimi makes a storming run down the right but his cross into the box misses everyone!

Morocco now with a free-kick 10 yards outside the box, centre-left of the pitch. Decent opening again...

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:20 , Kieran Jackson

61 mins: Yahia Attiyat Allah replaces Mazraouri at left back - like-for-like swap.

Second-half yet to really get going...

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:19 , Kieran Jackson

59 mins: Mazraouri doesn’t look able to continue here, he’s limping around and then finally goes over on the pitch.

The Moroccan left back was looking to get on the end of Lovren’s block a few minutes ago, heading tamely goalwards. Maybe a problem with his side...

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:15 , Kieran Jackson

56 mins: Noussair Mazraoui was the man down. He looks set to come back on.

That Lovren handball may also have been outside the box, in which case VAR couldn’t get involved!

Back underway.

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:13 , Kieran Jackson

53 mins: Croatia’s inswinging corner from Modric is glanced on from Perisic, but Yassine Bounou gets a hand to it - with the ball then further cleared.

A Morocco player now down injured...

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:12 , Kieran Jackson

51 mins: As soon as I say that...

Boufal has a shot from distance which looks to have struck Dejan Lovren on the arm! No penalty awarded from the Argentine referee; replays show Lovren was turning away so it would’ve been harsh.

Meanwhile, Hakimi does well to head clear at the back post for Morocco...

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:10 , Kieran Jackson

50 mins: Croatia really struggling to get out of their half here, with Morocco closing down brilliantly.

Unfortunately, the African side yet to fashion a clear opening...

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:05 , Kieran Jackson

45 mins: Bizarre start to the half with Morocco’s Sofyan Amrabat late to emerge to the pitch.

Waiting for around a minute for the midfielder to emerge! And now we are back underway!

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:04 , Kieran Jackson

SECOND-HALF: Croatia making a substitution at half-time; Vlasic does come off, replaced by Mario Pašalić.

Vlasic did receive treatment at the end of that first-half.

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

10:49 , Kieran Jackson

HALF-TIME: Even stevens at the break in Al Khor, in a game which has struggled to really take off!

Morocco looked lively early on but mellowed as the half went on, with Croatia having their two best chances right at the end thorugh Vlasic and Modric!

Goalless at the interval!

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

10:48 , Kieran Jackson

45+2 mins: So close from Luka Modric!

The ball breaks to the Croatia captain on the edge of the but his powerful shot with his left foot is just over the bar!

Should’ve hit the target.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

10:47 , Kieran Jackson

45 mins: Big save from Morocco keeper Yassine Bounou!

Croatia play the ball nicely down the left and Vlasic is first to the cross at the near post... but the keeper makes himself big and saves well!

Two minutes of added time, unusually normal...

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

10:44 , Kieran Jackson

44 mins: Vlasic all OK to continue.

Back underway... just a minute or so until the 25 minutes of added time or whatever it will be!

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

10:43 , Kieran Jackson

42 mins: It’s a poor delivery from Hakim Ziyech, who fails to beat the first man.

He then thinks he’s fouled, but gets no decision. “You’re joking,” he screams at the Argentine linesman. Not sure he’ll understand you, Hakim...

Break in play too with Croatia’s Nikola Vlašić down and receiving treatement/

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

10:41 , Kieran Jackson

40 mins: Maybe Modric is immune to a booking!

He tugs Hakimi’s shirt on the right-hand side - clear free-kick. Good angle this for Morocco...

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

10:37 , Kieran Jackson

35 mins: Morocco enjoying the majority of possession in the last five minutes, with Croatia struggling to get out of their own half with the African team pressing intensely.

Still, has been a bitty 10 minutes or so in Al Khor.

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

10:31 , Kieran Jackson

30 mins: After his earlier foul on Hakimi, Modric perhaps lucky to get away without a booking here after a late lunge on Sofyan Amrabat.

Game has gone into a slight lull here. Remains very even.

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

10:26 , Kieran Jackson

25 mins: En-Neysri makes an excellent run into the box, tries to control but Lovren gets a foot in at the crucial moment.

Morocco look threatening in attack though!

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

10:22 , Kieran Jackson

21 mins: Ziyech is the man who takes the set-piece... but the Croatia wall stands firm and blocks.

The 2018 finalists break down the other end - and get a corner out of it, but nothing comes of it.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

10:20 , Kieran Jackson

19 mins: Modric upends Hakimi just outside the penalty area, centre of the pitch!

The Croat wins the ball but does catch Hakimi on the follow-through.

Big chance now for either Ziecyh or Hakimi...

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

10:19 , Kieran Jackson

18 mins: Ziyech again looking to provide. His cross is whipped beautifully in for En-Nesyri, but the Morocco striker fluffs his lines and misses his header!

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

10:18 , Kieran Jackson

17 mins: Woah... so close from Ivan Perisic!

The Tottenham man has a go from a good 30 yards with his left-foot... but it’s just over the bar!

It looked set for the top-corner - it would have been the goal of the tournament so far! Great effort.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

10:15 , Kieran Jackson

13 mins: Ziyech down the right tries to play in Youssef En-Nesyri in the box but it’s well anticipated by Croatia defender Josko Gvardiol, who is sporting a face mask today...

Ziyech then has a shot from the edge of the box which is blocked by Dejan Lovren.

African team just building some momentum in this game. The duo of Hakimi and Ziyech on the right already proving fruitful...

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

10:08 , Kieran Jackson

8 mins: First serious attack from Morocco is snuffed out at the last second by Lovren in the penalty area, after a lovely switch of play from Hakim Ziyech.

Good to see the Chelsea playmaker back playing for his country again...

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

10:06 , Kieran Jackson

5 mins: Croatia dominant with the ball early on - Andrej Kramarić looks to have an opportunity in the box but Romain Saïss, formerly of Wolves, quickly and crucially intercepts.

Luka Modric over Croatia’s first corner, but Morocco clear their lines.

Morocco vs Croatia: KICK-OFF!

10:02 , Kieran Jackson

We’re underway at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor for the first encounter from Group F!

Morocco in red shirts and green shorts, with Croatia in their traditional red-and-white checkered strip.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Morocco vs Croatia: Today’s teams!

09:58 , Kieran Jackson

Morocco: Bounou, Hakimi, Saiss, Aguerd, Mazraoui, Ounahi, Amrabat, Ziyech, Amallah, Boufal, En-Nesyri.

Subs: Hamdallah, Zaroury, Sabiri, Mohamedi, Chair, Aboukhlal, Ezzalzouli, El Yamiq, Dari, Cheddira, Tagnaouti, El Khannous, Benoun, Attiyat Allah, Jabrane.

Croatia: Livakovic, Juranovic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Sosa, Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic, Vlasic, Kramaric, Perisic

Subs: Stanisic, Barisic, Erlic, Majer, Grbic, Livaja, Pasalic, Petkovic, Budimir, Orsic, Vida, Ivusic, Sutalo, Sucic, Jakic.

Morocco vs Croatia: The teams are out!

09:55 , Kieran Jackson

Both sets of players have entered the fray at the Al Bayt Stadium on a scorching hot day in Al Khor! Morocco very well supported in the stands, at the stadium which hosted the tournament opener on Sunday between Qatar and Ecuador.

Now time for the national anthems...

Morocco vs Croatia: Pundit quotes...

09:53 , Kieran Jackson

Nigel de Jong, speaking to ITV:

“He’s an amazing player, he’s such a force of nature for Real Madrid and his country. The technique, he’s the soul and heart of the team. Also he’s such a humble guy - he’s the silent captain, not the most vocal, but he lets his football do the talking.”

Joe Cole:

“Morocco are a good team. Croatia’s blend of olf and new, but I think they’re entering a transitional period. You’ve still got Lovren and Perisic, 33, 34. It may be a tournament too late - I have high hopes for Morocco.”

Morocco vs Croatia: A reminder of the team news!

09:46 , Kieran Jackson

Morocco: Bounou, Hakimi, Saiss, Aguerd, Mazraoui, Ounahi, Amrabat, Ziyech, Amallah, Boufal, En-Nesyri.

Subs: Hamdallah, Zaroury, Sabiri, Mohamedi, Chair, Aboukhlal, Ezzalzouli, El Yamiq, Dari, Cheddira, Tagnaouti, El Khannous, Benoun, Attiyat Allah, Jabrane.

Croatia: Livakovic, Juranovic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Sosa, Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic, Vlasic, Kramaric, Perisic

Subs: Stanisic, Barisic, Erlic, Majer, Grbic, Livaja, Pasalic, Petkovic, Budimir, Orsic, Vida, Ivusic, Sutalo, Sucic, Jakic.

Morocco vs Croatia: Match odds!

09:41 , Kieran Jackson

Morocco: 14/5

Croatia: 11/10

Draw: 9/4

Odds provided by Betfair

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Morocco vs Croatia: Both teams are out warming-up at the Al Bayt Stadium!

09:38 , Kieran Jackson

Luka Modric, who won the Golden Ball in Russia four years ago, will hope to deliver one last time for Croatia in a World Cup, with Zlatko Dalić’s side packed with talent.

Speaking of which, Walid Regragui’s Morocco side have the potential to cause an upset in the tournament, having fallen slightly short of expectations in their run to the quarter-finals at last year’s Africa Cup of Nations.

Belgium and Canada are also in Group F, with each of the four sides capable of qualifying for the last 16 of the competition.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Morocco vs Croatia: Mateo Kovacic profile

09:24 , Kieran Jackson

If surprise 2018 runners-up Croatia take the World Cup by storm again in Qatar, in the thick of it this time will probably be Mateo Kovacic, one of the beating hearts of their midfield.

The 28-year-old is going into his third finals having finally established himself as a key member of coach Zlatko Dalic’s team after proving his credentials as a top-level performer at Chelsea in the Premier League.

Success has not always been so easy for the Dinamo Zagreb teenage prodigy who joined Inter Milan aged 18 and moved to Real Madrid two years later where he failed to leave his mark.

Kovacic has had his ups and downs for Croatia too. After featuring early in their unexpectedly long run in Russia four years ago, Kovacic was an unused substitute when Croatia knocked England out in the semi-finals and did not come on in the final either when they lost 4-2 to France.

At club level, Kovacic has four Champions League winners’ medals, three of them from his time at Real. But he had not played a minute in a final of Europe’s most prestigious club competition until he came on as a substitute for Chelsea in their 1-0 win over Manchester City in Porto in 2021.

Luka Modric’s heir Mateo Kovacic trying to fuel a Croatia World Cup repeat in Qatar

World Cup: Cristiano Ronaldo appears to taunt Manchester United with new watch unveiling

09:15 , Kieran Jackson

Former Manchester United player Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to taunt his old club with the unveiling of a new jewellery collaboration. Ronaldo, 37, saw his contract with the Premier League club ended with immediate effect on Wednesday (22 November). The decision was said to be mutual.

Just hours after the announcement, the Portuguese footballer shared news of his partnership with jeweller Jacob & Co. with his 500 million Instagram followers, writing in the caption: “I’m excited to announce my partnership with @jacobandco, one of the leading watch brands in the world.

“Today, we reveal our first watch collection that I co-designed with my dear friend @jacobarabo.”

Fans were quick to notice that the clock face design on the watch Ronaldo was wearing in the image depicted the infamous header he scored against Manchester United while playing for Real Madrid in 2013 during a Champions League match. This prompted many to suggest that the new designs could be a “swipe” at his old club.

“Cristiano Ronaldo’s ICONIC header vs Manchester United is the face of his new luxury watch,” one person on Twitter commented along with a cry-laughing emoji. Ronaldo posted a new luxury watch that featured his header vs Manchester United minutes after he announced he has left Man United. Lmaooo. Another goal against them?” another person wrote.

Cristiano Ronaldo appears to taunt Manchester United with new watch

Morocco vs Croatia: Achraf Hakimi profile

09:10 , Kieran Jackson

Morocco defender Achraf Hakimi has already achieved a lot for a player who has just turned 24.

He has played for Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Paris St Germain, winning the Champions League, Italian and French league titles with those clubs respectively, has more than 50 caps and is preparing for his second World Cup.

The Spain-born right back came through Real’s youth academy before breaking into the senior team in 2017. He was part of the side that won the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup titles in the 2017-18 campaign.

But Hakimi, who can also play at left back and wing-back, could not hold down a regular place at Real, joining Borussia Dortmund on loan in 2018. He starred in Germany over two seasons with Dortmund before joining Inter where he won Serie A in 2020-2021 before moving to Paris Saint-Germain the following season, adding the Ligue 1 title to his collection of silverware last term.

A modern full back, Hakimi has a knack of pushing forward down the flank, unsettling backlines with his efficiency. He has scored more than 20 goals at club level, a decent tally for a defender who made his professional debut five years ago.

Morocco’s marauding full back Achraf Hakimi keeps adding to list of accomplishments

Morocco vs Croatia: TEAM NEWS

08:54 , Kieran Jackson

Morocco: Bounou, Hakimi, Saiss, Aguerd, Mazraoui, Ounahi,Amrabat, Ziyech, Amallah, Boufal, En-Nesyri.

Subs: Hamdallah, Zaroury, Sabiri, Mohamedi, Chair, Aboukhlal, Ezzalzouli,El Yamiq, Dari, Cheddira, Tagnaouti, El Khannous, Benoun,Attiyat Allah, Jabrane.

Croatia: Livakovic, Juranovic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Sosa, Modric,Brozovic, Kovacic, Vlasic, Kramaric, Perisic

Subs: Stanisic, Barisic, Erlic, Majer, Grbic, Livaja, Pasalic, Petkovic,Budimir, Orsic, Vida, Ivusic, Sutalo, Sucic, Jakic.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

World Cup: Gareth Southgate ‘worried’ over England penalty situation at World Cup

08:45 , Kieran Jackson

Gareth Southgate will seek dialogue with Fifa for “clarity” on rules on penalties at the World Cup, after what England felt were inconsistent application of the laws for penalties in the 6-2 win over Iran.

Harry Maguire appeared to have been man-handled in the box during the first half, but the incident didn’t even go to VAR despite teams having been warned that was precisely the sort of moment that would be penalised. Southgate said it concerned him all the more since it had been an England goal that was used as an example in guidance to referees before the tournament.

The officials had been shown Kalvin Phillips blocking Albanian defenders for a Maguire goal in a 5-0 win last November, with Pierluigi Collina saying “that would be disallowed here - it would be interfering with an opponent from an offside position”. Southgate felt that rationale wasn’t applied. England did give away a penalty for the last goal of the game.

“Well, what worries me is we were used in an example in the referee’s video. And what we were shown, the incident in the first half, we were told that would be a definite penalty, the second half, maybe there’s a shirt pull, we’ve got to be better on that but I’m a bit worried we were the example shown, and then to get a decision as happened in the first half, we need some clarification really as to how it’s going to be.

“That happened in Russia actually, and we’ve got to have that dialogue with Fifa and just make sure... we want clarity, otherwise, we don’t know where we stand. Goals are going in and we don’t know whether they stand or not. The bit that worries me is we were the example we were shown.”

 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

France 4-1 Australia: A blow for the holders!

08:21 , Kieran Jackson

Lucas Hernandez has become the latest France player to be ruled out of the World Cup.

The Bayern Munich defender was forced off in the first half of Tuesday’s 4-1 win over Australia and subsequent scans have shown a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament of his right knee.

It means Hernandez will be set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines and play no further part in the holders’ attempts to defend their World Cup title in Qatar.

National team boss Didier Deschamps said: “Like the whole group, players and staff, I am extremely sorry for Lucas.We are losing an important element. Lucas is a warrior and I have no doubt that he will do everything possible to return to the game.

“First plan, I know him well. Courage, he will have it, that’s for sure. On behalf of the group, I wish him the best possible recovery.”

Hernandez has become the third player to leave the France camp since the squad linked up for the tournament with Karim Benzema and Christopher Nkunku also suffering injuries during the past week.

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

Morocco vs Croatia predicted line-ups: Team news ahead of World Cup fixture

08:19 , Kieran Jackson

Croatia play Morocco in Group F of the World Cup. With Belgium favourites to top Group F, Croatia and Morocco could be battling it out for the second qualification spot alongside Canada.

Croatia were finalists four years ago in Russia and Luka Modric remains the leader of the side, with Mateo Kovacic being his partner in midfield. Morocco will look to influential wing-back Achraf Hakimi and Chelsea forward Hakim Ziyech as they aim to improve upon their showing in 2018 when they failed to qualify from the group stages.

Here’s everything you need to know.

Team news and predicted line-ups ahead of Morocco vs Croatia

Morocco vs Croatia team news

Tuesday 22 November 2022 16:42 , Jack Rathborn

Neither team seem to have any reported injury concerns in the build-up and may opt to stick with settled sides.

Croatia have key partnerships in defence and midfield, with Dejan Lovren partnering Josko Gvardiol at the back and Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic and Marcelo Brozovic in midfield.

Ivan Perisic will look to rampage down the left, while Bruno Petkovic and Andrej Kramaric may compete for the starting spot up front.

For Morocco, Nayef Aguerd should start at the heart of defence despite barely featuring in the Premier League for West Ham this season.