Morocco, Croatia battle to tense draw

Morocco and Croatia played a tight, tense scoreless draw as Group F continues to look wide open.

WATCH FULL MATCH REPLAY

The Atlas Lions had the better chances throughout but it was a game largely played in midfield and Croatia’s experience side failed to get going as Luka Modric and Co. couldn’t control the tempo of the game.

In truth, this was a game where Morocco promised more going forward than Croatia but both teams seemed pretty happy with a draw.

Next up for Morocco is Belgium, while Croatia take on Canada.

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Ageing Croatia might not be a dark horse

Every single tournament they seem to exceed expectations but the runners up from the 2018 tournament finally seem to be over the hill. Modric (37), Perisic (33) and Lovren (33) are the heartbeat of this team but Croatia looked their age against Morocco and they couldn’t handle the high-pressing of their opponents. Croatia can still out of the group and then who knows? Their experience in tournaments will hold them in good stead but just like at EURO 2020 they don’t seem to be able to match the intensity of most of their opponents. Their quality remains but can they get their best players in the right positions to make the most of it?

Stars of the show

Achraf Hakimi: Showed his class surging forward from right back and was a threat whenever Morocco countered.

Josko Gvardiol: So calm on the ball and dominant defensively. Hard to believe the center back is just 20 years old.

How to watch Morocco vs Croatia live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 5am ET, Wednesday Nov. 23
Stadium: Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)

Key storylines, players to watch closely

Morocco has the capability to surprise, having lost just once since March (a misleading 3-0 defeat to the USMNT in Cincinnati). Wins over Chile and Ghana this year preceded a Thursday 3-0 defeat of Georgia. The Atlas Lions can prove tough to break down with Romain Saiss, Noussair Mazraoui, and Achraf Hakimi in their ranks.

Croatia is the definition of a tournament team with several national legends at the end of their massive careers, including captain Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic, and Domagoj Vida. Only six players on the roster are under 25 and the time is now for Croatia. Will the pressure weigh on the team?

Morocco quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 22
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 6
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CAF
Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic
Key players: Achraf Hakimi, Yassine Bounou, Youssef En-Nesyri, Romain Saiss

Croatia quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 12
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 6
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (1st place)
Coach: Zlatko Dalic
Key players: Luka Modric, Andrej Kramaric, Mateo Kovacic

Morocco, Croatia battle to tense draw originally appeared on NBCSports.com