Croatia have beaten Morocco in the World Cup third-place play-off after defeating the African surprise package 2-1 with goals from Josko Gvardiol and Mislav Orsic but it could have been more.
Croatia were denied a blatant penalty after VAR did not even look at an incident during their match against Morocco on Saturday afternoon.
On BBC commentary, Steve Wilson was dumbfounded by the decision – but even more so by the fact that VAR failed to go back and correct the error made by the referee. He said: “If VAR are not giving that then I do not know why they are there. That is one of the worst penalties you could hope to see.”
Co-commentator Danny Mills chimed in: “Or hope not to see. It was a foul, it was enough of a foul. It was a penalty 100 per cent. It was a clear and obvious mistake and you can see why Gvardiol was so frustrated.
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“Thankfully there haven’t been too many in this World Cup when we thought they have got that wrong. That one was obvious. I don’t know what they think they’ve seen to not give it.”
Croatia, who were 2-1 up at the time, were fortunate that the decision did not impact the result as they clung on to victory. It means that the European nation have finished third in the World Cup.
That is a remarkable achievement considering that they finished runners-up in the last tournament in Russia four years ago, where they were defeated by France.
Nevertheless, for a country with a population less than 4 million, these are years that will be looked back on with great fondness by their fans.
It was Gvardiol that had put Croatia a goal up with a brilliantly worked set-piece and diving header before Achraf Dari equalised just two minutes later. Mislav Orsic settled the match, though, three minutes before half-time with a sumptuous strike that hit the post before going in.
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