Croatia’s World Cup marketing campaign has obtained off to a stuttering begin with a 0-0 draw in opposition to a battling Morocco because the 2018 runners-up lacked the punch of the aspect that went so shut in Russia.
Possibilities had been at a premium at Al Bayt Stadium on Wednesday as a fair group F contest produced little goalmouth motion, and ended within the third goalless attract 9 video games on the World Cup up to now.
There have been glimpses of purpose for each side, with Nikola Vlasic going shut for Croatia on the finish of the primary half whereas Noussair Mazraoui had a header saved for Morocco.
Croatia, overwhelmed by France within the last 4 years in the past, will now flip their attentions to their sport in opposition to Canada on Sunday, when Morocco will face Belgium.
Croatia’s greatest moments predictably hinged on Luka Modric, who was given the liberty of the park, floating effortlessly from again to entrance, with soccer’s conventional midfield roles seeming to not apply to Croatia’s captain.
One minute he was patrolling in entrance of his again 4, the following hanging off the shoulder of Andrej Kramaric up entrance, however at all times seeking to open up the north Africans.
But this Croatia efficiency lacked the minimize and thrust of the workforce 4 years in the past, which additionally boasted the abilities of the now-retired Mario Mandzukic up entrance and midfielder Ivan Rakitic, who has referred to as time on his worldwide profession.
Morocco appeared principally to Hakim Ziyech for inspiration and the Chelsea winger, recalled following coach Walid Regragui’s appointment, was their most harmful attacking outlet within the early phases.
Whereas the encounter was low on motion it was a minimum of excessive on depth, as each side battled for midfield supremacy, however the first half ended with neither purpose actually threatened till the closing moments when Vlasic’s low effort was saved by Yassine Bounou.
Borna Sosa’s cross to the close to submit discovered Vlasic, who poked out a leg to steer it in direction of purpose, however he could not beat Bounou.
There was extra motion within the first 5 minutes of the second half when Morocco had raucous appeals for a penalty waved away after Sofiane Boufal’s shot appeared to hit Dejan Lovren’s arm, seconds earlier than Mazraoui’s header was saved by Dominik Livakovic.
Moments later, Lovren’s effort on the slide on the different finish was blocked by Sofyan Amrabat, however that was about nearly as good because it obtained for Croatia till centre again Josko Gvardiol’s header went extensive within the eightieth minute.
Morocco had been maybe the higher aspect within the second half, however for all their efforts their solely different probability of word was Achraf Hakimi’s swerving shot from distance that was punched away by Livakovic.
The 2 sides will doubtless be proud of a degree from a match through which there actually was nothing to separate them, with each having seven makes an attempt at purpose and simply two heading in the right direction.