Croatia defeated Morocco today in the FIFA World Cup to claim third place ©Getty Images

Croatia took the bronze medal following an entertaining 2-1 victory over Morocco in the third place playoff at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar today, with a first-half display being enough to give the nation another top-three finish.

Both teams came into the match with hearts broken following losses against Argentina and France respectively in the semi-finals, with Croatia being denied a second successive appearance in the final.

Morocco had already secured Africa's best-ever finish in a World Cup by reaching the final four, but would not make the dream final due to a 2-0 defeat against the reigning champions.

The teams had drawn against each other in the group stage, and were the two teams to progress to the knockout rounds at the expense of Belgium and Canada.

Playing for pride and third in the tournament, both sides got off to a fast start, but it was Croatia who broke through first from a perfect set-piece within seven minutes.

A free-kick from Lovro Majer met the head of the in-form Ivan Perišić who brought the ball back into the centre of the box and right into the path of defender Joško Gvardiol, who launched himself onto the ball with a diving header.

Joško Gvardiol's diving header put Croatia ahead within seven minutes ©Getty Images
Joško Gvardiol's diving header put Croatia ahead within seven minutes ©Getty Images

Celebrations did not last long, with Achraf Dari getting the equaliser 90 seconds later from a free-kick of their own, heading from an attempted Luka Modric clearance. 

Chances came for both sides, but another well-worked goal put Croatia back in front in the 42nd minute.

Mislav Oršić lobbed the ball from the edge of the area, floating over Moroccan goalkeeper Bono to cross the line, going in off the post.

A less eventful second-half saw no more goals, but an important save from Dominik Livaković stopped Youssef En-Nesyri scoring from close range to equalise for Morocco.

It gave Croatia its second third-place finish and its third finish in the top three from six tournament appearances.

Tomorrow, Argentina play 2018 champions France in the final of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.