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Morocco v Croatia Live Commentary, 23/11/22

FT
0 - 0
MAR
CRO
Al Bayt Stadium

Commentary

That's all for today, goodbye!
It's a point apiece for Morocco and Croatia as they open Group F. Up next for Morocco is a tough test against Belgium, while Croatia face Canada, with both of those games taking place on Sunday.
It finishes goalless between Morocco and Croatia. There wasn't much to split the sides, with both of them having just two shots on target each in the game. Croatia had the better of the first-half chances, with Perisic and Modric firing over and Vlasic forcing a good save out of Bounou. After the break, Mazraoui saw a diving header pushed away before Livakovic denied Hakimi's powerful long-range strike.
90' + 7' FULL-TIME: MOROCCO 0-0 CROATIA.
90' + 6' One last chance for Croatia to put the ball into the box as Amallah brings down Livaja on the left. Modric swings it in, but Aguerd rises highest to clear it away.
90' + 4' Croatia are still knocking the ball around comfortably in midfield, but they're starting to run out of time. They're in no hurry to get into the box until Gvardiol tries to thread it through, but it's straight at Saiss.
90' + 2' Ezzalzouli gets the better of Juranovic down the left again, and this time, he curls a good cross towards the far post. There's no one there for Morocco though, and Croatia comfortably clear their lines.
M. Oršić
I. Perišić
Croatia
90' Final roll of the dice for Croatia now as Orsic comes on to replace Perisic for stoppage-time.
88' Both sides look out of ideas on how to find a late goal in this game, with Ziyech losing out with a sloppy touch before Perisic hits it straight out of play going the other way.
86' There are shouts from the Morocco fans and players for a penalty again here as Ezzalzouli goes down holding the side of his face. It was a clean tackle for Lovren though, and the referee waves the claim away.
84' It's Morocco's turn to patiently play out from the back, but eventually, Ziyech decides to go long for Ezzalzouli. He cuts back before curling a deep cross into the box, but Livakovic collects.
A. Sabiri
A. Ounahi
Morocco
82' And Ounahi is also making way, with Sabiri replacing him.
A. Hamed Allah
Y. En-Nesyri
Morocco
81' Morocco are making their final changes now. En-Nesyri is the first to go off, with Hamdallah on for him.
L. Majer
M. Kovačić
Croatia
79' Croatia's third change is an attacking one as Majer comes on in place of Kovacic.
S. Amrabat
Yellow Card
Morocco
78' Amrabat is very late as he gets across to Modric and clips the back of the Croatian's heels. He's shown the first yellow card of the game.
76' Again, Croatia patiently work it upfield and Sosa finds a pocket of space down the left. He loops a cross in, but it's much too high for Livaja and Morocco comfortably deal with it.
74' Modric's corner is caught by Bounou and he sets Ezzalzouli on the counter with a long throw. He surges through the middle and has options on either side, but takes too long to knock it on and Lovren dispossesses him on the edge of the box.
72' Croatia have a free-kick on the right, and it's a wonderful delivery from Modric onto the edge of the six-yard box. Livaja is straight into the action as he stretches for it, but Aguerd gets there just ahead of him to take it over the bar.
M. Livaja
A. Kramarić
Croatia
71' Second change for Croatia now as Livaja comes on to replace Kramaric.
69' It's patient play from Croatia at the moment as they continue to look for a way to break through Morocco's compact shape. Juranovic shapes for a cross before deciding against it, and they have to start again.
67' It's a sloppy pass from Amrabat and he gifts it straight to Modric, who bursts forward through the middle. His team-mates are slow to get up in support though, and Aguerd is able to win it back.
A. Ezzalzouli
S. Boufal
Morocco
65' Second change for Morocco now, and it's Boufal that goes off for Ezzalzouli.
64' SAVE! Morocco have a free-kick through the middle, and though it's a long way out, Ziyech rolls it into Hakimi for a strike. He gets a lot of power on it and it swerves through the air, but Livakovic gets behind it to punch it away.
62' Ziyech holds it up for Hakimi, who surges forward on a great break for Morocco. His cross bobbles over Sosa when he pulls it back and En-Nesyri has to check back to get it before his deflected shot rolls into Livakovic's gloves.
Y. Attiat-Allah
N. Mazraoui
Morocco
60' Mazraoui is carried straight down the tunnel on a stretcher, and Attiat-Allah comes on in his place.
59' Mazraoui has just signalled to the bench and it looks like he won't be able to continue after his earlier back problem. The medical team are on again, and Attiat-Allah is getting ready on the sidelines.
57' Croatia are struggling to cope with Morocco's high press and they're finding it difficult to get upfield. Modric eventually decides to go long, but hits it over everyone and straight out for a goal-kick.
55' Mazraoui stayed down after his earlier header but got back to his feet to carry on. He's on the floor again now and the medical team do come on to give him treatment on his back, but he'll be able to carry on.
53' Croatia win another corner, and it's a good delivery from Modric once more. Bounou bravely stretches into the crowd to stop Gvardiol from getting a close-range tap-in before Saiss hooks it away.
51' GOOD SAVE! Boufal sees a long-range shot blocked by Lovren, and there are calls for a penalty from the Moroccan fans as they claim he used his arm. Play carried on, with Mazraoui diving forward to head it towards the near post, but Livakovic denies him.
50' Amrabat steps in to nick the ball off Kramaric and he's able to slide it through to En-Nesyri on the edge of the box. Again, Gvardiol is alert though and he's able to clear the danger.
48' Just like in the first half, Croatia look to their left side to make something happen. Pasalic takes Hakimi out of the game before playing it back to Kovacic, but Perisic is offside when he chases down his long ball.
46' Croatia get us back underway for the second half!
M. Pašalić
N. Vlašić
Croatia
46' Croatia are making a change at the start of the second half. Vlasic, who needed treatment for a muscle problem at the end of the first half, is taken off, with Pasalic on for him.
Despite having more possession, Croatia didn't really get going until the two minutes of stoppage-time at the end of the half, and Dalic will be looking for more of a threat after the break. Morocco have looked dangerous going forward, but without testing Livakovic, which is something Regragui will want to improve in the second half.
It's goalless at the break between Morocco and Croatia. The match took a while to get going, with only the one shot on target which came in stoppage-time when Vlasic's first-time shot was smothered by Bounou. Modric and Perisic also came close, but both sent their efforts over the crossbar. At the other end, En-Nesyri had a golden chance, but couldn't make contact with Ziyech's cross.
45' + 3' HALF-TIME: MOROCCO 0-0 CROATIA.
45' + 2' MODRIC! Perisic whips it in from the left this time, and Vlasic's first-time volley is blocked by Saiss, who threw himself in front of it. It bounces invitingly out to Modric and he puts his laces through it, but it flies over the bar.
45' + 1' GREAT SAVE! Bounou rushes off his line to push the ball away, but Croatia quickly win it back and it's worked to Sosa on the left. He curls a dangerous cross into the six-yard box and Vlasic takes it first time, but the keeper smothers it.
44' Morocco's main threat is coming down their right, and Ounahi tries to work it down that wing again. He has no support up with him though, and Croatia are able to get a goal-kick.
42' Vlasic has gone down off the ball and it looks like he's signalling that he's got a muscle problem. He's quickly back on his feet after treatment, and it looks like he'll be able to carry on.
40' Ziyech slides it into the space down the right of the box for Ounahi, and he decides to touch it back to the winger on the edge of the box. It's a poor pass though, and Lovren easily intercepts.
38' Sosa blocks the switch out to Ounahi and is asking for a throw-in, not realising the ball is still in play. The midfielder takes it around him, but luckily Kovacic was alert to dispossess him.
36' Three Moroccan players sell themselves as they slide in to try to dispossess Brozovic, but he coolly comes away with the ball before knocking it past Amrabat to look for Kramaric, but a loose touch takes it out.
34' It's Morocco that patiently work it upfield this time, and they're looking for Ziyech down the right again. He spins past Sosa before trying to clip a cross in, but Gvardiol is on the cover.
32' Modric plays a one-two with Perisic down the left before cutting Morocco open with a throughball into the box. Kramaric chases it but then fires his cross straight at Aguerd.
30' Morocco are trying to make it count when they win possession back as Ziyech gets his head up and floats it towards En-Nesyri again. He was caught on his heels though, and he can't reach it.
28' It's another lovely link-up down the left for Croatia, with Kovacic getting involved this time as he peels away from Hakimi. The cross is played deep, but Bounou is there once more.
26' Kramaric plays a clever one-two with Perisic to lose Ounahi before lifting a deep cross into the box. Again, there's no one there for Croatia though, and it's a comfortable catch for Bounou.
24' Ziyech gets his head up and plays it long down the right. It looks like a lost cause, but Hakimi apparently keeps it in play before trying to cut inside, but he can't find a way past Sosa.
22' Croatia have the opportunity to break quickly on the counter as Kramaric carries it down the right. He does well to squeeze it to Vlasic on the edge of the box, but he gets it caught under his feet and can only win a corner.
20' Modric catches Boufal with a late challenge and Morocco have a free-kick just outside the D. Ziyech steps up to take it, but he hits it straight into the wall.
18' GREAT CHANCE! Morocco go straight down the other end and Ziyech checks back before whipping an inviting cross towards the far post. En-Nesyri just reads it wrong and he doesn't make any contact with the header as it bounces wide.
17' CHANCE! Amallah loses the ball and the space opens up through the middle for Perisic. It's a great effort from him as he aims for the top corner, but it dips too late and sails just over the bar. It's the closest anyone has come so far!
16' It's patient work from Croatia as they play out from the back, and they find a bit of space down their left again. Modric curls a lovely cross in with the outside of his boot, but nobody is in the middle to get on the end of it.
14' Boufal dribbles past two down the left before looping a deep cross to the far post. Hakimi nods it down for Ziyech, who sees a shot blocked. They work it back out to Hakimi, but a deflection takes his cross straight into Livakovic's gloves.
12' Kovacic is caught on the ball and Ounahi tries to set Morocco on a quick counter-attack. He knocks it out to Ziyech, who tries to flick it into En-Nesyri first time, but Gvardiol gets in the way of it.
10' Morocco have won only one of their last 10 World Cup games (D2 L7), 3-0 against Scotland in 1998 in the group stages.
8' Mazraoui jinks his way down the left before cutting inside and having a go himself. It's blocked by Lovren and Boufal tries to recycle it, but Brozovic slides in with a vital tackle to stop him.
6' Modric's cross is deflected out to Gvardiol on the edge of the box, and he recycles it by looping it into the middle. Morocco just can't clear their lines as it pinballs around, but Ounahi eventually blocks Modric's throughball.
4' Croatia are still dominating the early possession here and it's a lovely switch out to Perisic on the left. It's worked into Kramaric in the middle, but Saiss gets across to take it off his toe.
2' Croatia are looking to get in behind Morocco early on here as Perisic pokes it forward to try and pick out Sosa's overlapping run. There's just too much on it though, and Aguerd is able to shield it out of play.
1' En-Nesyri gets the game underway for Morocco!
The teams are out on the pitch, the national anthems have been sung, and kick-off is just moments away!
Croatia have lost their opening game in three of their five World Cup appearances, with the exceptions being 1998 (reached the semi-final) and 2018 (reached the final).
Zlatko Dalic makes three changes from their last competitive match against Austria, bringing in Sosa, Juranovic and Kramaric. Modric becomes the first player to play in both the World Cup and Euros in three different decades with his inclusion today. Barisic, Stanisic and Budimir start on the bench.
Walid Regragui makes just two changes to the side that beat Georgia in a friendly last time out, with Amrabat and Mazraoui both coming in. Attiat-Allah and Jabrane drop to the bench.
CROATIA SUBS: Borna Barisic, Ante Budimir, Martin Erlic, Ivo Grbic, Ivica Ivusic, Kristijan Jakic, Marko Livaja, Lovro Majer, Mislav Orsic, Mario Pasalic, Bruno Petkovic, Josip Stanisic, Luka Sucic, Domagoj Vida, Josip Sutalo.
CROATIA STARTING XI (4-3-3): Dominik Livakovic; Josip Juranovic, Dejan lovren, Josko Gvardiol, Borna Sosa; Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic, Mateo Kovacic; Nikola Vlasic, Andrej Kramaric, Ivan Perisic.
MOROCCO SUBS: Zakaria Aboukhlal, Yahya Attiat-Allah, Badr Benoun, Ilias Chair, Walid Cheddira, Achraf Dari, Bilal El Khannouss, Jawad El Yamiq, Abdessamad Ezzalzouli, Abderrazak Hamdallah, Yahya Jabrane, Munir Mohamedi, Abdelhamid Sabiri, Ahmed Tagnaouti, Anass Zaroury.
MOROCCO STARTING XI (4-2-3-1): Yassine Bounou; Achraf Hakimi, Romain Saiss, Nayef Aguerd, Noussair Mazraoui; Azzedine Ounahi, Sofyan Amrabat; Hakim Ziyech, Selim Amallah, Sofiane Boufal; Youssef En-Nesyri.
Back in 2018, Croatia made it all the way to the World Cup final, only to fall at the final hurdle as they were beaten 4-2 by France. They'll be looking for a similar run again this time around and come into the tournament in good form. They topped their qualifying group, and are unbeaten in their previous six outings in all competitions, winning each of their last five (D1). Morocco are making their sixth World Cup appearance, and their second in a row after going out in the groups in 2018. They beat DR Congo 5-2 on aggregate to qualify and come into today unbeaten in their last five (W4 D1).
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the World Cup Group F meeting between Morocco and Croatia at the Al Bayt Stadium!