|Morocco will hope to finish on a high against 2018 semifinalists Croatia on Saturday when they meet at the third-place game. (Photo credit: GOAL)|
It’s the losers’ final, a consolation game that affords the teams that lost out in the World Cup semifinals to earn something; not their first choice as they would have loved to play the other final but it is what it is.
Croatia was a little underwhelming in their semifinal clash against Argentina but again, the magic of Lionel Messi cannot be contained and you just have to give it to the Albiceleste in the way they contained the Croats.
Morocco gave a good fight against France; not many gave them a chance against the defending champions and despite losing 2-0, they gave a great account of themselves and Africa will be grateful for how they flew the flag.
The third-place game takes place on Saturday with both sides under no pressure to win. The trophy doesn’t have as much value as the big one, it’s a bragging right and a nice one to have but don’t expect a feisty affair or a number of tackles.
How will they line up? Croatia will seek to give Luka Modric a befitting end to a tournament that could be his last on international front; they will have to manage the game better than they did against Argentina if they want to rise above the North Africans.
Morocco has nothing to prove; the Arabian nation shocked everyone on its way to the semifinals where it lost to France. Morocco topped a group that had Belgium and Croatia, they beat Spain and Portugal in the round of 16 and quarter-final respectively.
Morocco will remain disciplined and compact, it will take a lot to break them down and they will hope to contain the Croats like they did in the group stage where they settled for a goalless draw. It’s a game that has extra time written all over it again.
Both managers will like to give chance to players that haven’t tasted action at the tournament so far. Croatia has an experience of such a game as they made the semifinal in their World Cup debut at France 98; since then, they have made the semifinals three times and they lost to France in the 2018 edition in Russia.