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Morocco holds for draw against Croatia in World Cup

In the first half, things seemed at least somewhat even between Morocco and Croatia in their World Cup opener. Croatia threatened Morocco keeper Yassine Bounou from long range as usual. Luka Modric had to be tightly marked several yards away from the goal, and his midfield partner Ivan Perisic’s outside-the-box screamer cleared the crossbar by inches.

Morocco had some of its own chances as well. Hakim Ziyech flew past Croatia left-back Borna Sosa and swung a great cross to Youssef En-Nesyri, who timed his jump wrong and couldn’t get a jump on the ball.

Croatia ended up dominating by the end of the first half. Bounou saved a dangerous Nikola Vlasic attempt, and Modric nearly scored from range but sent his shot over the crossbar.

In the second half, Morocco came close yet again. Noussair Mazraoui dove for a floated ball near the six-yard box, but Dominik Livakovic’s solid save stopped the chance of a Morocco goal. Mazraoui injured himself badly in that play, as he left the game on a stretcher.

Morocco forced Livakovic into an excellent save once again when Achraf Hakimi belted a screamer from beyond the box. Livakovic couldn’t hold on because of the ball’s speed, but the save effectively killed Morocco’s momentum.

Morocco and Croatia both had their chances in the match. Both Bounou and Livakovic made excellent saves. It puts Morocco in a good position going into a duel with Belgium on Sunday.

Ziyech and Mazraoui return to Morocco

Although his cool demeanor may not show it, Morocco’s draw against Croatia was manager Walid Regragui’s first-ever World Cup match. He replaced Vahid Halilhodzic in early August. Even then, he quickly found a feel for the team right away. He built solid relationships with the players, unlike his predecessor, and introduced a high-octane offense. Hopefully, that gives the side a chance in what is a tough World Cup group.

Not only did he bring in more goals, but he brought in more players….


Source link : https://worldsoccertalk.com/news/morocco-draws-against-croatia-to-start-their-world-cup-20221123-WST-409595.html

Author : Deolu Akingbade

Publish date : 2022-11-23 15:16:49

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