Croatia, Morocco Trade Goals in Opening Minutes of Third-Place Game


Center backs, now’s your time to shine.

Two center backs got their respective nations on the board — both through headers — in the Croatia-Morocco third-place game of the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Saturday.

Croatia got the scoring started in the seventh minute via Josko Gvardiol, the 20-year-old breakout star who has made headlines for his stellar play in the backline.

This time, though, he made headlines for a flying header on a well-worked set piece free kick that saw Gvardiol turn the headed pass from Ivan Perisic past Yassine Bounou into the left side of the net.

But the celebrations quickly flipped to the Moroccans, as the Atlas Lions responded with a free kick of their own.

Hakim Ziyech sent in the cross, but Croatian midfielder Lovro Majer failed to head it away properly, putting the ball into a dangerous area that saw Achraf Dari get on the end of a free header in the ninth minute.

It marked the 23-year-old Dari’s first ever international goal, as he’s had to play a bigger role than usual in Qatar after injuries to starting center backs Nayef Aguerd and Romain Saiss.

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