Morocco Player Ratings vs Croatia: Injury Crisis Cripples Atlas Lions

Morocco found themselves on the wrong side of a 2-1 scoreline in today’s 2022 World Cup third-place playoff encounter against Croatia at the Khalifa International Stadium. The tournament’s surprise package failed to shine without several key first-team players and eventually had to settle for a third-place finish.

With numerous first-team stars ruled out through injuries, Morocco started the match on a back foot as Croatia took an early lead through Josko Gvardiol. Walid Regragui’s backline was caught napping in the seventh minute, with the sought-after RB Leipzig defender heading home to hand the 2018 beaten finalists a well-deserved advantage.

However, Morocco replied almost instantaneously as another rearguard stepped up to the plate. Stand-in center-back Achraf Dari took advantage of a scrappy situation inside Croatia’s box to draw the Atlas Lions level only two minutes after Gvardiol’s deadlock-breaker. Unfortunately for Regragui, his injury-crippled defensive set-up capitulated again on the stroke of halftime.

Dinamo Zagreb talisman Mislav Orsic netted one of the most spectacular goals in Qatar to restore Croatia’s one-goal cushion and eventually win the bronze medal for his nation. Despite enjoying more of the ball in the second half, Morocco failed to beat Dominik Livakovic again. Though they missed out on a place at the podium, the Moroccans gave their fans every reason to dream big in the future.


Bono – 6

A long and painful afternoon for the Morocco goalkeeper, who looked uncomfortable and was made to pay for this by the likes of Gvardiol and Orsic.

Achraf Hakimi – 7.5

There’s no shred of doubt that the former Inter man is one of, if not the best, right-back on the planet. Almost impossible to round by while too hot to handle when on the front foot, he enjoyed another eye-catching evening.

Achraf Dari – 7

Took Romain Saiss’ place in the starting XI and excelled. In addition to bringing Morocco back on level terms with a poaching finish, he made light work of keeping Andrej Kramaric at bay.

Jawad El Yamiq – 6.5

Another second-string defender that caught the eye for his energetic performance, El Yamiq held up his end of the bargain but was unfortunate to see Gvardiol heading home from under his nose.

Yahya Attiat-Allah – 6.5

Noussair Mazraoui, who? Despite plying his trade at Wydad Casablanca, the 27-year-old showed he’s a top-class left-back, keeping Lovro Majer in his back pocket.

Sofyan Amrabat – 6.5 

Perhaps the only Morocco midfielder to emerge from this match with some credit, the Fiorentina man was winning back possession time and time again while barely giving the ball away.

Abdelhamid Sabiri – 4

Unlike his abovementioned teammate, the Sampdoria youngster couldn’t do anything to help his side gain a foothold in the game.

Bilal El Khannous – 4.5 

Despite being handed a rare start at this tournament, the Genk teenager would want to forget this match in a hurry, having been pushed over by the experienced Croatian midfielders.

Hakim Ziyech – 7

Not just the only player to really come close to creating some meaningful attacks for Morocco, Ziyech was by far the most exciting player to watch on the pitch. His quick feet and slick passing caused all sorts of problems for the Croats.

Sofiane Boufal – 6 

Never managed to influence the game the way he would’ve wanted as his reluctance to play the ball first time often hindered Morocco’s bid to harm their rivals on the break.

Youssef En-Nesyri – 5.5 

Even though he could have done the crossword during this match, given his team’s inability to carry the ball into Croatia’s box, the Sevilla striker could and should have done better. His last-gasp header flew just over the bar.


Illias Chair – 4.5

Azzedine Ounahi – 5.5

Anass Zaroury – 4 

Badr Benoun – 4

Salem Amallah – N/A