This is the second meeting between Croatia and Morocco at this World Cup, having played an 0-0 draw on MD1. Croatia was restricted to five shots, their fewest ever in a World Cup match.
Croatia have kept a clean sheet in all three of their previous World Cup matches against African sides, beating Cameroon 4-0 in 2014, Nigeria 2-0 in 2018, and drawing 0-0 with Morocco this year.
None of the 19 previous third place play-off matches at the World Cup have gone to penalties, with only one being settled in extra time (France v Belgium in 1986). A European nation has won this match in each of the last 10 editions of the tournament, since Brazil’s 2-1 win over Italy in 1978.
This is Croatia’s second third place play-off match in the World Cup, previously beating Netherlands 2-1 in the 1998 edition.
Regardless of the result, Morocco participating in this match is the furthest an African nation has ever reached in World Cup history.
Croatia conceded as many goals in their 3-0 semifinal defeat against Argentina as they had in their previous five games at the 2022 World Cup combined. They’ve also faced more shots than any other side at this tournament (75).
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Morocco conceded more goals in their 2-0 semifinal defeat to France than they had in their previous five matches at this World Cup combined (1). They could still become the eighth team to keep as many as five clean sheets in a single tournament, after Netherlands (1974), Italy (1990), Brazil (1994), France (1998), Germany (2002), Italy (2006) and Spain (2010).
37-year-old Luka Modric has played in all six of Croatia’s games at this World Cup. Only goalkeepers Peter Shilton (1990) and Dino Zoff (1982) have played more games at a single edition while aged 37+ (both 7).
Ivan Perisic has scored six World Cup goals for Croatia – one more would make him their outright top scorer in the competition, surpassing Davor Suker.
Morocco’s Azzedine Ounahi has completed 77 per cent of his attempted take-ons at the 2022 World Cup (10/13), the highest rate of any player to attempt at least 10.