Luka Modric leads Croatia to finish third at 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar

Mislav Orsic of Croatia scored the game-winning goal with a dipping, curled drive from close range that deflected off the post.

In the World Cup third-place playoff on Saturday, Croatia defeated Morocco 2-1 to finish in the top three for the second consecutive year. Croatia, who were in third in 1998 and second in 2018, defeated the Netherlands 2-1 to take third.

Josko Gvardiol’s expertly executed set-piece play gave Croatia the advantage. After receiving a free kick from Lovro Majer, Ivan Perisic dribbled past his defender to head the ball to the middle of the box, where Gvardiol was waiting to spectacularly dive head the ball into the net.


Morocco scored the equaliser, also from a free kick, in just two minutes after Croatia’s Majer attempted to clear the ball but failed due to poor decision-making with his header. Achraf Dari of Morocco was left unmarked in the six-yard box and scored a close-range header.

Mislav Orsic of Croatia scored the game-winning goal three minutes before halftime with a dipping, curled shot from close range that rebounded off the post. Throughout a thrilling but scoreless second half, they kept their edge.