Croatia Player Ratings vs Morocco: Orsic Hands Blazers Bronze Medal

Croatia came out on top of an exciting 2022 World Cup third-place playoff tie against Morocco, claiming a hard-fought 2-1 triumph at the Khalifa International Stadium. All three goals came in an action-packed first half as beaten finalists from 2018 won their second bronze medal at the World Cup.

Zlatko Dalic’s team came flying out of the traps, taking an early initiative against injury-crippled opposition. It paid off almost immediately, as in-demand RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol’s flying header opened the scoring with only seven minutes on the clock. But Croatia’s celebrations were short-lived, with Morocco replying in a matter of minutes.

Highly-rated goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic stood on his line as stand-in center-back Achraf Dari latched onto the rebound to draw Walid Regragui’s men level in the ninth minute. However, Croatia made the Atlas Lions pay for withdrawing the bodies deep into their own territory. Mislav Orsic came up huge on the stroke of halftime, producing a sensational first-team effort over Bono and in off the far post to restore the Blazers’ lead. If you didn’t watch the game, you should check the highlights for this one.

Despite losing interest in threatening Morocco’s goal in the second half, Croatia defended like a unit, preventing their rivals from creating anything meaningful up top. But they almost came to regret their defensive-minded approach when Youssef En-Nesyri’s header flew just over the crossbar deep into the 90th-minute stoppage time.

While Croatia emulated their success from 1998 when they defeated the Netherlands via an identical scoreline, surprise package Morocco had to settle for a fourth-place finish. After being beaten by France in the 2018 grand final, Dalic’s lads have made it to the World Cup podium again, showing the last tournament’s achievement was no fluke.


Dominik Livakovic – 6

Slow off the line to deny Morocco’s equalizer, the penalty shoot-out specialist upped his form as the match progressed.

Josip Stanisic – 6 

Despite enjoying a decent defensive game, the makeshift right-back was too shy of going forward on more than one occasion, even though he had plenty of freedom to push down the line.

Josko Gvardiol – 8 

What a way to round off a stellar World Cup for arguably the best defender at the tournament. In addition to scoring with a flying header, the sought-after center-back shut everything down in front of his goal.

Josip Sutalo – 7

Slotted in for first-choice center-half Dejan Lovren and went from strength to strength alongside Gvardiol, making it impossible for Morocco to threaten Livakovic’s goal.

Ivan Perisic – 7.5

Another lively performance from the aging winger saw Perisic outperform his markers as a stand-in left-back, showing off some dazzling dribbling skills and pushing forward whenever he had a chance.

Mislav Orsic – 7 

This man is an exceptional talent. Even though he didn’t see much of the ball in the first half, it took him a moment of magic to chip it over Bono and hand Croatia the bronze medal.

Mateo Kovacic – 6.5

Not as active in the front third as he would’ve liked, yet the Chelsea midfielder delivered another high-quality showing, keeping the ball moving with intent.

Luka Modric – 7

Modric’s last game at the World Cup got the epilogue it deserved as the Real Madrid maestro architected another massive victory for Croatia with his slick passing and perfect vision.

Lovro Majer – 5.5

He should have no complaints about being subbed off early in the second half.

Marko Livaja – 6.5

Despite not having a single clear sight of goal, the Hajduk Split frontman laid off a crucial pass to Orsic to inspire Croatia’s winner today.

Andrej Kramaric 5.5

Not one of his most eye-catching evenings in the national team shirt as he often failed to deal with Morocco’s physical presence at the back before being withdrawn at the hour mark due to injury.


Nikola Vlasic 4.5

Bruno Petkovic 5.5

Mario Pasalic 5.5

Kristijan Jakic N/A