World Cup runners-up Croatia endured a frustrating start as they produced one of the goalless football scores of the midweek action in the World Cup. It was the third 0-0 tie at this winter’s tournament in as many days, and with both defenders dominating, chances were scarce. In fact, three of the last four World Cup games have ended in 0-0 draws, which is more than there were in the previous 73 competition games put together. Despite the best efforts of the air-conditioned Al Bayt Stadium, located 50 kilometers north of Doha, there were only two attempts on goal from both teams in a game played in the sweltering desert heat.
Having either been ousted in the group stages or at the very least made it to the semifinals, Croatia, who was defeated by France in the World Cup final four years prior, was competing in their sixth World Cup. However, they would go without a goal for the first time in 12 World Cup games since their lone goalless draw against Japan in 2006. Zlatko Dalic’s employment expires after this tournament, but he saw his team put on a lackluster performance in the first half while Morocco appeared to be a more unified team. Hakim Ziyech’s enticing cross from the right should have been met by Youssef En-Nesyri, but the striker was unable to make contact.
First, Sevilla goalkeeper Bono made a superb save after Ivan Perisic skillfully found full-back, Borna Sosa, on the overlap down the left. Nikola Vlasic then stroked Nikola Vlasic’s low cross on target. The latest first shot on target in a game at the 2022 World Cup so far was Vlasic’s saved attempt for Croatia at 45 minutes and 12 seconds. Dominik Livakovic carefully observed Achraf Hakimi’s stinging free-kick and blocked it just after the hour mark. Morocco persisted in trying to win its first World Cup match since defeating Scotland in 1998, but Croatia seemed more likely to find a breakthrough that would never materialize as Modric’s influence grew.
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