World Cup: Daily update from day 2 in Qatar

Croatia face Morocco in their World Cup opener as they bid to repeat their superb journey to the final in 2018.

Luka Modric, who won the Golden Ball in Russia four years ago, will hope to deliver one last time for Croatia in a World Cup, with Zlatko Dalić’s side packed with talent.

Speaking of which, Walid Regragui’s Morocco side have the potential to cause an upset in the tournament, having fallen slightly short of expectations in their run to the quarter-finals at last year’s Africa Cup of Nations.

Belgium and Canada are also in Group F, with each of the four sides capable of qualifying for the last 16 of the competition.

Follow all the action from the Al Bayt Stadium with our live blog below:

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Morocco 0-0 Croatia

8 mins: First serious attack from Morocco is snuffed out at the last second by Lovren in the penalty area, after a lovely switch of play from Hakim Ziyech.

Good to see the Chelsea playmaker back playing for his country again…

Kieran Jackson23 November 2022 10:08

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Morocco 0-0 Croatia

5 mins: Croatia dominant with the ball early on – Andrej Kramarić looks to have an opportunity in the box but Romain Saïss, formerly of Wolves, quickly and crucially intercepts.

Luka Modric over Croatia’s first corner, but Morocco clear their lines.

Kieran Jackson23 November 2022 10:06

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Morocco vs Croatia: KICK-OFF!

We’re underway at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor for the first encounter from Group F!

Morocco in red shirts and green shorts, with Croatia in their traditional red-and-white checkered strip.

(Getty Images)

Kieran Jackson23 November 2022 10:02

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Morocco vs Croatia: Today’s teams!

Morocco: Bounou, Hakimi, Saiss, Aguerd, Mazraoui, Ounahi, Amrabat, Ziyech, Amallah, Boufal, En-Nesyri.

Subs: Hamdallah, Zaroury, Sabiri, Mohamedi, Chair, Aboukhlal, Ezzalzouli, El Yamiq, Dari, Cheddira, Tagnaouti, El Khannous, Benoun, Attiyat Allah, Jabrane.

Croatia: Livakovic, Juranovic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Sosa, Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic, Vlasic, Kramaric, Perisic

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

Kieran Jackson23 November 2022 09:58

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Morocco vs Croatia: The teams are out!

Both sets of players have entered the fray at the Al Bayt Stadium on a scorching hot day in Al Khor! Morocco very well supported in the stands, at the stadium which hosted the tournament opener on Sunday between Qatar and Ecuador.

Now time for the national anthems…

Kieran Jackson23 November 2022 09:55

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Morocco vs Croatia: Pundit quotes…

Nigel de Jong, speaking to ITV:

“He’s an amazing player, he’s such a force of nature for Real Madrid and his country. The technique, he’s the soul and heart of the team. Also he’s such a humble guy – he’s the silent captain, not the most vocal, but he lets his football do the talking.”

“Morocco are a good team. Croatia’s blend of olf and new, but I think they’re entering a transitional period. You’ve still got Lovren and Perisic, 33, 34. It may be a tournament too late – I have high hopes for Morocco.”

Kieran Jackson23 November 2022 09:53

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Morocco vs Croatia: A reminder of the team news!

Morocco: Bounou, Hakimi, Saiss, Aguerd, Mazraoui, Ounahi, Amrabat, Ziyech, Amallah, Boufal, En-Nesyri.

Subs: Hamdallah, Zaroury, Sabiri, Mohamedi, Chair, Aboukhlal, Ezzalzouli, El Yamiq, Dari, Cheddira, Tagnaouti, El Khannous, Benoun, Attiyat Allah, Jabrane.

Croatia: Livakovic, Juranovic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Sosa, Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic, Vlasic, Kramaric, Perisic

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

Kieran Jackson23 November 2022 09:46

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Morocco vs Croatia: Match odds!

(AFP via Getty Images)

(AFP via Getty Images)

Kieran Jackson23 November 2022 09:41

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Morocco vs Croatia: Both teams are out warming-up at the Al Bayt Stadium!

Luka Modric, who won the Golden Ball in Russia four years ago, will hope to deliver one last time for Croatia in a World Cup, with Zlatko Dalić’s side packed with talent.

Speaking of which, Walid Regragui’s Morocco side have the potential to cause an upset in the tournament, having fallen slightly short of expectations in their run to the quarter-finals at last year’s Africa Cup of Nations.

Belgium and Canada are also in Group F, with each of the four sides capable of qualifying for the last 16 of the competition.

(AFP via Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

(AFP via Getty Images)

Kieran Jackson23 November 2022 09:38

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Morocco vs Croatia: Mateo Kovacic profile

If surprise 2018 runners-up Croatia take the World Cup by storm again in Qatar, in the thick of it this time will probably be Mateo Kovacic, one of the beating hearts of their midfield.

The 28-year-old is going into his third finals having finally established himself as a key member of coach Zlatko Dalic’s team after proving his credentials as a top-level performer at Chelsea in the Premier League.

Success has not always been so easy for the Dinamo Zagreb teenage prodigy who joined Inter Milan aged 18 and moved to Real Madrid two years later where he failed to leave his mark.

Kovacic has had his ups and downs for Croatia too. After featuring early in their unexpectedly long run in Russia four years ago, Kovacic was an unused substitute when Croatia knocked England out in the semi-finals and did not come on in the final either when they lost 4-2 to France.

At club level, Kovacic has four Champions League winners’ medals, three of them from his time at Real. But he had not played a minute in a final of Europe’s most prestigious club competition until he came on as a substitute for Chelsea in their 1-0 win over Manchester City in Porto in 2021.

Kieran Jackson23 November 2022 09:24



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