Morocco vs Croatia, World Cup 2022: live score and latest updates




Morocco vs Croatia, World Cup 2022: live score and latest updates - Odd Andersen/AFP
Morocco vs Croatia, World Cup 2022: live score and latest updates - Odd Andersen/AFP  

10:01 AM

1 min: Morocco 0 Croatia 0

Croatia, in white and red checks, hold the early possession at the back, looking for an initial route through the red and green-shorted Morocco.

10:00 AM

Kick-off!

We're underway at the Al Bayt stadium.

09:58 AM

An update from Jim White

An accidental omission, or pointed commentary on either team's prospects?

09:57 AM

Here come the players

Streaming onto the pitch amidst a sea of red. Morocco are first to belt their anthem, hands near-universally on hearts. In the crowd, Morocco fans respond in full voice, and we even see some fezes wobbling to the beat.

Croatia's is a slightly more muted affair, but roundly applauded.

Moments to go until kick-off!

09:55 AM

A rare occasion

Morocco and Croatia have only met once before, at the Hassan II Trophy - a friendlies tournament organised by the Royal Moroccan Football Federation, in 1996. They've never met in a Fifa competition.

09:51 AM

Headwear watch

morocco - Carl Recine/Reuters
morocco - Carl Recine/Reuters  
croatia - Goran Stanzl/Getty Images
croatia - Goran Stanzl/Getty Images  
morocco - James Williamson/Getty Images
morocco - James Williamson/Getty Images  
croatia - Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters
croatia - Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters  
morocco fez - Goran Stanzl/Getty Images
morocco fez - Goran Stanzl/Getty Images  

09:43 AM

Worrisome news from the England set-up

As Telegraph Sport reported yesterday, Harry Kane is due to undergo a scan on his ankle, after suffering an injury in England's opening 6-2 clash with Iran.

England are unable to call up a replacement should Kane be ruled out permanently, leaving Callum Wilson and Marcus Rashford to rise to the occasion.

Joe Cole, speaking on ITV, said:

harry kane - Martin Rickett/PA
harry kane - Martin Rickett/PA  

09:34 AM

Jim White is at the Al Bayt stadium

A quick peruse of Fifa's ticketing website this morning did see me clock that there were still tickets available. For those in the greater Doha area, why not head down to Al Khor?

09:30 AM

Croatia and Morocco begin preparations

croatia warm up - Marko Djurica/Reuters
croatia warm up - Marko Djurica/Reuters  
modric warm up - Ozan Kose/AFP
modric warm up - Ozan Kose/AFP  
morocco warm up - Marjo Djurica/Reuters
morocco warm up - Marjo Djurica/Reuters  

09:27 AM

I went to four World Cup games in one day - and ended up missing the greatest upset

Thom Gibbs had the ultimate World Cup experience in Doha - read about his Odyssey here.

09:23 AM

A long-awaited return

One of the most keenly-watched appearances on the pitch today: the return to the international competition stage of Hakim Ziyech.

Ziyech missed out on Morocco's run at AFCON 2021 after a torrid history with the Atlas Lions' previous manager, Vahid Halilhodzic, that saw his retirement from international football altogether.

But following the appointment of Walid Regragui, Ziyech rescinded the move, and returned to the Moroccan side, first appearing in a friendly against Chile in September of this year.

Ziyech has struggled to get minutes for Chelsea, through the end of Thomas Tuchel's reign and into Graham Potter's. Combine that with his prolonged absence from Morocco, and Ziyech will be playing with a serious point to prove.

ziyech training - Fadel Senna/AFP
ziyech training - Fadel Senna/AFP  

09:15 AM

Share your match predictions

09:14 AM

Reds, greens, whites, reds again

The atmosphere is building at the Al Bayt stadium!

croatia morocco - Hannah McKay/Reuters
croatia morocco - Hannah McKay/Reuters  
morocco croatia - Carl Recine/Reuters
morocco croatia - Carl Recine/Reuters  
Morocco Croatia - Thanassis Stavrakis/AP
Morocco Croatia - Thanassis Stavrakis/AP  
croatia morocco - Lars Baron/Getty Images
croatia morocco - Lars Baron/Getty Images  

09:10 AM

How far can last tournament's finalists go?

Five of the Croatia starting XI made an appearance in the last World Cup final, crowning their magnificent run through the competition. But can the magic of four years ago be replicated? Like Belgium, there is a sense that Croatia's golden generation is ageing out of tournament upsets, but the continuing quality of Croatia's star players, most of all standout captain Modric, cannot be denied.

Keep an eye on young talents in the team too, like RB Leipzig's Josko Gvardiol, who has latterly caught the roving eye of Chelsea's talent scouts, as well as attracting interest from Barcelona and Manchester United.

modric - Lars Baron/Getty Images
modric - Lars Baron/Getty Images  

09:04 AM

Team news

Morocco: Bono (GK), Achraf Hakimi, Romain Saiss (c), Nayef Aguerd, Noussair Mazraoui, Azzedine Ounahi, Sofyan Amrabat, Hakin Ziyech, Selim Amallah, Sofiane Boufal, Youssef En-Nesyri

Substitutes: El Kajoui, Reda Tagnaouti, Benoun, Dari, Attiyat Allah, El Yamiq, El Khannouss, Jabrane, Sabiri, Ezzalzouli, Cheddira, Zaroury, Hamdallah, Aboukhlal, Chair

Croatia: Dominik Livakovic (GK), Borna Sosa, Josko Gvardiol, Dejann Lovren, Josip Juranovic, Mateo Kovacic, Marcelo Brozovic, Luka Modric (c), Ivan Perisic, Andrej Kramaric, Nikola Vlasic

Substitutes: Grbic, Ivusic, Vida, Stanisic, Sutalo, Erlic, Barisic, Orsic, Jakic, Sucic, Majer, Petkovic, Pasalic, Livaja, Budimir

07:51 AM

Good morning!

The defeated finalists of 2018 get their World Cup campaign under way against Morocco at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor today. Croatia and Belgium are favourites to get out of this group that also contains Canada.

Morocco failed to win a game at the 2018 World Cup  - this was the first they were part of since the 1998 edition in France.

Saudi Arabia's shock 2-1 win over Argentina evidences the old adage that no team can be written off in the World Cup finals. The north Africans count the likes of Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech, PSG's Achraf Hakimi, and former Wolves defender Romain Saiss amongst their numbers.

Preparations for Morocco will have been disrupted, for better or worse, by the sacking of their head coach, Vahid Halilhodzic, in August, only three months before the start of the tournament.

Halilhodzic had long been a controversial figure at the helm, and player relations, as well as a disappointing AFCON run in 2021 which saw Morocco eliminated in the quarter-finals against Egypt, were cited as reason's for the coach's exit.

Croatia left England in their wake on their astonishing run through to the final in 2018, an extra time winner from Mario Mandzukic sending Zlatko Dalić's team into a final with France which they went on to lose 4-2.

Their 37-year-old captain Luka Modric was player of the tournament four years ago, but has played down early talk of a repeat of his country's extraordinary run.

"Definitely, what we've been through in 2018 in Russia is unforgettable and indelible in my mind. Others can continue speaking about it but we need to put it aside and focus on what's ahead," Modric said.

"Many players at the 2018 World Cup in Russia are not here, we have new players, new quality young players with fresh blood and energy.

"This is a new tournament and we have to look at it that way."

Full team news on the way shortly.

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