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Morocco saves valuable point from first group match against Croatia


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Morocco has gained a valuable point from the first group match of the World Cup. The Lions of the Atlas took on Croatia, the losing 2018 World Cup finalist, and drew 0-0.

Morocco started the match with some well-known names who once played football in the Netherlands, namely Sofyan Amrabat, Noussair Mazraoui and star player Hakim Ziyech. AZ player Zakaria Aboukhal was on the reserve bench for the entire match. The biggest threat on Morocco’s side came in the first half from Hakim Ziyech, who tried to force the most. That was, unfortunately for the Moroccans, without success.

In general, Croatia had the better of the game in the first company and Morocco put itself in danger a number of times by handing the ball to the Croatians in a childish manner. The Lions of the Atlas , for example, got away well in the seventeenth minute after a long shot by Ivan Perisic, who got the ball pushed into his feet after an error by Selim Amallah. The ball only just went over, to the relief of Morocco.

The biggest chances came just before the break. Croatia striker Nikola Vlasic had a golden opportunity from close range after a cross from teammate Borna Sosa, but the shot was well stopped by Morocco keeper Yassine Bounou. Moments later, Luka Modric was completely free to shoot at the edge of the sixteen-meter area, but that shot eventually went high.

The entire game was nothing to write home about, but the second half was at least a bit livelier than the first. Morocco also showed a lot more combative. After five minutes the first save came from Croatia keeper Dominik Livakovic after a good header from Mazraoui. In addition, Mazraoui was injured because he ended up wrong. The severity of the injury is not yet known.

A minute after Mazraoui’s chance, Morocco got away well after a corner from Croatia, with Amrabat clearing a shot from the Croat Lovren off the line. Amrabat was one of the better players on the side of Morocco as a vacuum cleaner in midfield. Morocco’s next big chance came in the 65th minute. Achraf Hakimi, for example, made it quite difficult for the keeper of Croatia after a very hard indirect free kick.

Morocco’s last major highlight came in the 81st minute, when Abderrazak Hamdallah came on the line. The attacker returned after he said goodbye to the Moroccan national team in 2019 after a disagreement. Bringing in Hamdallah caused a lot of cheering and hope, but he too couldn’t make a difference. The match ended in a 0-0 draw.


The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is very controversial. First of all, an investigation by the American FBI showed that Qatar was awarded the World Cup in 2010 through bribery. Moreover, in recent years, during the preparations for the tournament, such as the construction of stadiums and other facilities, human rights have been violated and at least 6,500 migrant workers have died. They came mainly from Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and had to work in unsafe working conditions and extreme heat, Amnesty International said in a report. The government in Qatar has almost never conducted a proper investigation into the deaths and FIFA would have looked away, according to the human rights organization.


According to human rights organizations, Qatar is guilty of sportwashing: using a major tournament to put a country in a good light, while concealing misconduct and human rights violations. In addition to the death of migrant workers, the ban on homosexuality is also something that many believe makes Qatar an unsuitable host country. A few weeks before the World Cup, for example, Human Rights Watch released a report showing that LGBT people have been arbitrarily arrested and abused in the country over the past three years without charge.

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