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World Cup: Morocco and Croatia face off within the one match no workforce desires to play



CNN
 — 

Your workforce has simply misplaced within the semifinal at a World Cup. You’re understandably heartbroken, endlessly replaying the chances of what may need been.

After a month-long keep ends in a devastating defeat, you’re wanting ahead to going again residence to see household and mates however, as an alternative, it’s a must to keep and play within the third-place playoff.

To many, it looks like a largely pointless train. Does it actually matter which workforce comes third or fourth? Nevertheless, there may be some glory available.

If coming third as an alternative of fourth isn’t sufficient incentive, the winner of the match will even get a bronze medal and a little more cash for his or her efforts – $27 million as an alternative of $25 million.

All however two World Cup tournaments in historical past – the primary version in 1930 after which once more in 1950 – have featured third-place playoffs and it could possibly be seen as a pleasant solution to finish your match on a excessive after a disappointing defeat.

The significance of the third-place playoff at every World Cup relies upon fully on the groups contesting them. 4 years in the past in Russia, England performed as if it couldn’t have cared much less for the match, whereas the likes of Uruguay in 2010, although dropping to Germany, and Croatia in 1998 have been actually significantly extra desirous to attempt to win.

This yr, in Morocco and Croatia, there are two groups which can be seemingly desirous to attempt to safe that bronze medal and $2 million further for his or her respective federations.

Morocco’s beautiful run to the semifinals, which noticed the Atlas Lions develop into the primary African nation and Arab nation in historical past to achieve the final 4 of a World Cup, was ended by a 2-0 defeat to France on Wednesday.

The workforce has been massively spectacular in Qatar, upsetting Belgium, Spain and Portugal due to its defensive group and attacking verve. Even within the second half of the loss to France, Morocco was largely the higher of the 2 groups and will have taken the match to further time have been it not for a scarcity of high quality within the field.

After already making historical past, Morocco and head coach Walid Regragui will wish to cement themselves additional into the file books by additionally changing into the primary African workforce to complete third.

Croatia, in the meantime, fell a recreation in need of reaching two successive World Cup finals after being outplayed and overpowered 3-0 by Argentina within the semifinals.

Saturday will be Luka Modric's last World Cup match.

After taking part in extra-time and penalties in its earlier two rounds, Croatia’s gamers seemed understandably exhausted towards the South Individuals and have been outplayed from begin to end.

Captain Luka Modric will little question wish to finish his worldwide profession on a excessive in what might be his final World Cup match and this group will wish to safe its place as the perfect workforce in Croatian historical past with second-place and third-place finishes consecutively, a exceptional achievement for a rustic with a inhabitants of lower than 4 million.

These two groups performed out a tense 0-0 draw of their opening recreation of the group levels three weeks in the past and Saturday’s conflict will seemingly be simply as tight.

Saturday 10 a.m. ET on the Khalifa Worldwide Stadium.

US: Fox Sports activities

UK: BBC or ITV

Australia: SBS

Brazil: SportTV

Germany: ARD, ZDF, Deutsche Telekom

Canada: Bell Media

South Africa: SABC

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