The first match of Group D of the Qatar World Cup between Croatia and Morocco ended in a goalless draw on Wednesday at the Al Bayt Stadium. Both sides suffered due to a lack of a proper finisher to find the back of the net, and eventually all the attacks were stopped by the defenders. Therefore, Croatia and Morocco got one point each from this contest.
Croatia vs Morocco: Match Report
It was a game where both sides tried to formulate attacks while keeping three players in the midfield. Morocco took more shots at Croatia’s goalpost, but only two were on target. Croatia, on the other hand, had two shots on target out of five. But given the way Morocco tried to pose attacks, they were closer to finding the net than their opposition, despite having less possession (35%) than Croatia.
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Morocco’s primary target was to formulate an attack by using their two wing-backs, Achraf Hakimi and Noussair Mazraoui. On occasions, they attempted to sneak past the Croatian defenders from the middle.
Hakimi, in particular, played an important role going forward and blocking Croatia’s attack when going back to defense. But they struggled to find the net because of the lack of efficiency in the attacking lineup.
Croatia had the same problem as well. Playing with the same 4-3-3 formation, Croatia tried to make attacks through the midfield position, and they had 65% of the possession.
Veteran Luka Modric was the heart of their attack. However, the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner was mostly ineffective in this contest. He tried on a number of occasions to beat the opposition’s defenders and also made solo efforts with long-range shots, but none were successful. But Ivan Perisic and Andrej Kramaric couldn’t really provide the magical performances upfront, and they failed to outfox the defenders.
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In contrast, defenders were more solid and tight and had a better game than their respective sides’ offensive players. It seemed both sides’ coaches took a cautious approach. They tried not to lose the contest rather than play with aggressive intent. They seemed happy to share points with one another.
Croatia and Morocco are genuine contenders in Group F to move on to the next round. The other top contender from this group is Belgium, while Canada have a very minimal chance. Therefore, both sides have this equation in the back of their minds when playing the match. They played safe and shared the points with each other. Overall, from a fan’s perspective, it has been probably one of the least impressive games so far in the Qatar World Cup tournament.
Source: United News of Bangladesh