By Denzel Jed Gaddi

Silver and bronze in back-to-back tourneys.

After a second-place finish in the 2018 World Cup, Croatia grabs yet another podium finish by ending Morocco’s Cinderella run with a 2-1 victory at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Saturday.

Photo Courtesy of Sporting News

Tied 1-1 in the first half, Mislav Orsic struck a goal from the far left of the penalty area via curling kick, helping them establish a commanding lead toward the second half.

"It was a difficult, great match. I want to extend my congratulations to Morocco, they put up a great fight until the last minute despite the fatigue," Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic said.

Morocco shocked the world with an impressive World Cup run by beating the European powerhouse Spain and Portugal on their way to being the first African team able to reach the semifinals. However, Kylian Mbappe and France have other plans by sending the Atlas Lions to the bronze medal match as they aim to defend their 2018 title.

"I think we showed our strength, we showed that African football is prepared to face the top teams in the world with efficiency and playing at the highest level," Morocco coach Walid Regragui said.

It was an all-out brawl in the opening salvo but Josko Gvardiol's straight-on header in the seventh minute shifted the game's momentum towards Croatia.

The African team, however, would not be denied as Achraf Dari blasted in a header two minutes after.

All eyes were on Real Madrid star Luka Modric to seal the victory for Vatreni, who played what is possibly his final World Cup match. He came close to chipping in a goal by getting off a reasonable shot but Moroccan goalkeeper Yassine Bounou blocked the attempt.

They then turned to Forward Orsic in the 42nd minute as he rocketed in what would turn out to be the deciding goal of the clash.

On Sunday, Lionel Messi and Argentina will face the defending champions France in the gold medal match. 

Edited by Quian Vencel Galut