Saturday, 10 December, 2022

Solid Morocco hold Croatia

Solid Morocco hold Croatia
Croatia’s midfielder Luka Modric (up) and Morocco midfielder Hakim Ziyech fight for the ball during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group F football match at Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor on Wednesday. –AFP PHOTO

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Morocco held Croatia to a 0-0 draw in their opening game of the World Cup on Wednesday, producing a spirited display against the 2018 runners-up led by Luka Modric.

Backed by Qatar's large Moroccan community at the Al Bayt Stadium, the Atlas Lions followed up north African rivals Tunisia's strong performance against dark horses Denmark a day earlier to frustrate Croatia.

Morocco took the game to a Croatia side featuring four players who started the 2018 final but struggled to create genuine chances against a defence marshalled by the experienced Dejan Lovren.

Azzedine Ounahi strangely opted against shooting when well placed inside the area, with Hakim Ziyech and Achraf Hakimi heavily involved down the right without exerting undue pressure on Croatia.

Croatia pushed for a late winner but found Morocco's defence in unforgiving mood as Walid Regragui's side secured a valuable and deserved point.