Morocco vs Croatia live updates and score: Game at an impasse as both sides struggle to sustain pressure in Group F opener

November 23, 2022 at 5:50 AM EST

Halftime: Morocco 0-0 Croatia

XG: Morocco: 0.26 Croatia 0.4

It was an attritional but tactically astute first half, with Morocco’s midfield three working well to combat Croatia’s possession-grinding trio. There was very little goalmouth action apart from the final two minutes, with chances falling to Vlasic and Modric for Croatia. Both teams have fine technical players who are good tactically, but need to go through the gears.

Jacob Tanswell

Jacob Tanswell

November 23, 2022 at 5:48 AM EST

47. Modric blazes over from the edge of the box

Croatia have woken up in first-half stoppage time. A deflection sees the ball fall to the oncoming Modric outside the box, but his first-half effort blazes over the bar. The 37-year-old has his head in his hands and Lovren raises his arms up in the air. Two big chances.

Jacob Tanswell

Jacob Tanswell

November 23, 2022 at 5:46 AM EST

45. Vlasic has a big chance but well saved

The biggest chance of the first half comes on the stroke of half-time (only two minutes added on). Croatia get down Morocco’s rgight-hand side, with Perisic playing to the overlapping Sosa.

The left-back’s low cross is met by Vlasic at the near post but goalkeeper Bounou saves with his feet. It was the first effort on target for either side.

Jacob Tanswell

Jacob Tanswell

November 23, 2022 at 5:42 AM EST

41. Hakim Zieych, you’re joking

Ziyech thinks he deserves a throw but the linesman about two-yards away gives it the opposite way. And in true Sunday League style, Ziyech shouts “you’re joking” three times before trotting away.

(Photo: Getty Images)

Jacob Tanswell

Jacob Tanswell

November 23, 2022 at 5:40 AM EST

37. Amrabat body checks Vlasic – no yellow card given

As Jack Pitt-Brooke observed after Modric got away with one earlier, referee Fernando Andrés Rapallini seems very reluctant to dish out any yellows just yet. This time, Vlasic looks to have skipped past Amrabat on the halfway line, before the Morocco midfielder slams him to the ground. A few words of warning, but that’s about it.

Jacob Tanswell

Jacob Tanswell

November 23, 2022 at 5:38 AM EST

Morocco turning into Iceland?

Moroccan fans giving it a Iceland 2016 Viking clap.

Jack Pitt Brooke

Jack Pitt Brooke·

Football Writer

November 23, 2022 at 5:35 AM EST

34. Boufal protests for another foul

The former Southampton man looks to break quickly but seemed to have been brought down. No foul given. Morocco certainly look the more incisive, but apart from a close-range block from Dejan Lovren after Youssef En-Nesyri’s strike, there’s been little of note.

This stat pretty much sums up Croatia so far…

Jacob Tanswell

Jacob Tanswell

November 23, 2022 at 5:33 AM EST

Interesting timing of tweet from Inter…

A penny for the thoughts of Morocco and ex-Inter defender, Achraf Hakimi…

Jacob Tanswell

Jacob Tanswell

November 23, 2022 at 5:31 AM EST

30. The game at an impasse

It has been a well-fought contest, but both teams are struggling to put together a sustained period of pressure. Modric and Brozovic have been combative (making two fouls each) but neither have been able to improve Croatia in possession, who look a little one-paced. Morocco’s widemen, Ziyech and Boufal, look sharp but need better service into their feet.

Jacob Tanswell

Jacob Tanswell

November 23, 2022 at 5:26 AM EST

Are Morocco in the game?

Half way through the first half, Morocco have pressed their way into a few openings. Ziyech has hit a free kick into the wall. Croatia having to be patient. (Morocco fans ole-ing now that they’re passing it around the back for the first time.)

Jack Pitt Brooke

Jack Pitt Brooke·

Football Writer

November 23, 2022 at 5:23 AM EST

UK highlights of Perisic’s attempted strike

23 minutes in and that is the closest either side have got so far.

Jacob Tanswell

Jacob Tanswell

November 23, 2022 at 5:21 AM EST

How do the two sides differ so far?

Croatia much more focused on building up from the back. Morocco don’t do that but they’re good at winning it back and putting Croatia under pressure. Interesting clash of styles.

Jack Pitt Brooke

Jack Pitt Brooke·

Football Writer

November 23, 2022 at 5:21 AM EST

20. Ziyech hits the wall from close range free kick

No more than two-yards away from the edge of the D, Ziyech wins free-kick duties over Hakimi, but his left-footed strike hits Croatia’s wall.

Anyway, how do you manage to get this through the turnstiles?

Jacob Tanswell

Jacob Tanswell

November 23, 2022 at 5:19 AM EST

18. Morocco dangerous free kick

Modric brings down Hakimi on the edge of the box. A dangerous position

Jacob Tanswell

Jacob Tanswell

November 23, 2022 at 5:18 AM EST

16. Perisic over the bar

Amallah looses the ball inside Morocco’s half, with Perisic latching onto it. The Tottenham man takes a touch before striking a powerful effort that goes over the bar. But it was close enough for the crowd to let out a collective “ooooo” afterwards.

Jacob Tanswell

Jacob Tanswell

November 23, 2022 at 5:16 AM EST

14. Modric gets into the box, but no one there

Modric, with his languid 37-year-old legs, expertly gets past Sofyan Amrabat near the byline before his left-footed cross is floated across the box but no team-mate is on the end to meet it. Croatia’s forward, Kramaric, is cutting a slightly isolated figure currently.

Jacob Tanswell

Jacob Tanswell

November 23, 2022 at 5:13 AM EST

12. Morocco trying to pick Croatia pockets

Morocco are mostly sat in a mid-block, staying in shape and allowing Modric to pick up the ball from the two centre-backs. But there has been a few times already where Morocco have caught Croatia dallying, stealing in or committing a foul. Boufal, not exactly famous for his pressing during his time at Southampton, was brought down by Brozovic after nicking in to win the ball.

Croatia’s midfield three – Modric, Brozovic and Kovacic – have 319 caps between them – staggering.

Jacob Tanswell

Jacob Tanswell

November 23, 2022 at 5:09 AM EST

Perisic vs Hakimi

Ivan Perisic playing very high and wide on the left for Croatia. His battle against former Inter team-mate Achraf Hakimi is going to be one of the big contests to decide this game.

Jack Pitt Brooke

Jack Pitt Brooke·

Football Writer

November 23, 2022 at 5:06 AM EST

4. Saiss clears from danger

A loose throw from Hakimi gives Croatia the chance to pounce on the ball just outside Morocco’s 18 yard-box, but captain Saiss is on hand to cover and boot the ball away for a corner. He then turns around and simultaneously calls for calm while being furious. Croatia have settled the better, here.

Jacob Tanswell

Jacob Tanswell

November 23, 2022 at 5:04 AM EST

How are Morocco looking?

Morocco lining up in a clear 4-1-4-1 with Sofyan Amrabat sat in front of their back four. All of their plahy is going through him.

Jack Pitt Brooke

Jack Pitt Brooke·

Football Writer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button