World Cup 2022: Morocco tied goalless with Croatia, and Japan beat Germany

Morocco and Croatia

image copyright Environmental Protection Agency

The Moroccan national team got a valuable point in its first match in the World Cup, as it drew 0-0 with its Croatian counterpart, while Japan beat Germany in Group E.

The Morocco-Croatia match was held at Al-Bayt Stadium as part of the first round of Group F competitions, which also includes Belgium and Canada.

Belgium and Canada will meet at 7:00 pm GMT at Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium.

The Moroccan national team is participating for the sixth time in the World Cup. This is the sixth tie for the “Atlas Lions” in their participation in the finals, in exchange for two wins and nine defeats.

With this tie, the Arab teams continue their good results in the World Cup in Qatar, where Saudi Arabia beat Argentina with two goals to one, while Tunisia tied with Denmark.

The match between Morocco and Croatia began calmly and with caution from the two teams, especially the Moroccan national team, and the ball remained in the middle of the field for most of the match.

image copyright Reuters

Moroccan goalkeeper Yassine Bounou blocked a dangerous attack in the 45th minute of the match, after a shot from Kramaric from inside the penalty area.

Croatia began the second half with strong pressure, hoping to score a goal, and Croatia’s most dangerous attack came in the 51st minute when Diane Lovren hit a ball from inside the penalty area, which Sofiane Mrabet removed from the goal line.

In the 72nd minute, the Moroccan defense almost scored an own goal, but the ball went over the crossbar.

The match ended in a goalless draw, making it the third match that did not witness any goals, after the matches between Tunisia and Denmark, Mexico and Poland.

The Atlas Lions will play Belgium in the second round of this group’s matches on Sunday, before facing Canada in the third round on Thursday.

Morocco has a strong record against European teams in the World Cup finals, as it tied with Bulgaria in the 1970 World Cup, tied with Poland and England and beat Portugal in the 1986 World Cup, tied with Norway and beat Scotland in the 1998 World Cup, and tied against Spain in the 2018 World Cup.

Real Madrid star Luka Modric became the first Croatian player to participate in the World Cup finals four times, and the most Croatian player to play matches in the World Cup with 13 matches.

Japan disables German machines

In Group E, the Japanese national team achieved a heavy-caliber surprise by defeating Germany with two goals to one, in the match that was held at Khalifa International Stadium.

The German team dominated most of the meeting, while Japan relied on quick counter-attacks.

Germany advanced with a penalty kick shot by Ilkay Gundogan in the 33rd minute, and the German national team players missed a number of easy opportunities.

In the 75th minute, Japan equalized with a goal signed by Ritsu Down, before adding the second goal in the 83rd minute through Takuma Asano.

With this surprising result, Germany’s task of advancing to the second round was complicated by the presence of Spain’s strong team, along with Costa Rica.

This is Germany’s 20th participation in the World Cup, after qualifying for all tournaments except for the 1930 and 1950 tournaments, while the Japanese national team is participating in the World Cup for the seventh time.

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