PLAYER RATINGS: Modric shows class but Ziyech must offer more

PLAYER RATINGS: Man of the Match Luka Modric shows flashes of brilliance despite Croatia’s frustrations… and Morocco need MORE from Hakim Ziyech despite bright start in Group F

  • MATCH REPORT: Croatia found themselves frustrated in opener with Morocco
  • Luka Modric showed flashes of his brilliance but Croatia looked out of rhythm
  • Morocco will feel emboldened they have something to build on in this group
  • They will need more from star man Hakim Ziyech with a need for a goal threat 

It wasn’t a classic but both Morocco and Croatia will likely find themselves pleased to make an unbeaten start to Group F.

In a group that also includes Belgium and Canada, these two sides will retain plenty of belief of reaching the knockout stages, despite creating little by way of clear-cut opportunities at the Al-Bayt stadium on Wednesday morning. 

Lots of eyes were locked on Hakim Ziyech and Luka Modric, but both will feel they have better performances in their arsenal to come.  

Sportsmail has rated both teams’ players after the game.

MOROCCO (4-1-2-3)

Yassine Bounou – Made a really smart stop in the first half to prevent a sliding Nikola Vlasic from poking in at the near post. Looked assured throughout. 8

Achraf Hakimi – The Paris Saint-Germain full-back can make a strong argument to be the best in the world in his position and he had the best chance for Morocco with a rifled shot off a Hakim Ziyech free-kick. 7

PSG’s Achraf Hakimi (left) looked lively and Croatia struggled to contain him down the right

Romain Saiss – The former Wolves defender wears the armband and looked composed, if not caught out on occasion when Vlasic in particular should have scored. 6.5

Nayef Aguerd – A few hairy moments alongside Saiss and the reactions of his goalkeeper bailed him out but nothing to be too concerned about with an opening clean sheet. 6

Noussair Mazraoui – Looked a threat down the left side but Bayern Munich will have been concerned to have seen their man taken off on a stretcher. 7

Sofyan Amrabat – At the heart of everything Morocco did well in terms of midfield disruption. Key to throwing Croatia off their rhythm. Booked. 7

Sofyan Amrabat (right) dominated the midfield battle in an encouraging 90-minute display

Azzedine Ounahi – Did well to carry Morocco up the pitch in one of the two advanced roles in front of Amrabat. Will need to provide more of a goal or assist threat going forward in this tournament, though. 7

Selim Amallah – A very quiet display. Game passed him by for large spells but was neat and tidy when he was called upon. Croatia’s disharmony means he needs credit. 6.5

Hakim Ziyech – Electric in the first half but looked jaded in the second. Had a couple of early sighters but never really troubled Dominik Livakovic in the Croatia goal. Needs to go up a gear or two come the Belgium game. 7.5

Youssef En-Nesyri – The Sevilla striker had very little service and was culpable of not making more of a free header in the first half. 7

Sofiane Boufal – Southampton fans won’t have been ruing letting Boufal go on the back of this. Was crying out for a penalty off a Dejan Lovren handball but got short shrift from the referee. 6

Ex-Southampton winger Sofiane Boufal offered little aside from a half-hearted penalty appeal


Yahia Attiat-Allah (60mins) – Thrust on to replace the injured Mazraoui but he simply didn’t carry the same threat and the left side suffered as a result. 6

Abde Ezzalzouli (65mins) – Was given short shrift from the referee when trying to win a cheap penalty late on. Marginalised for much of the second half. 6

Abdelhamid Sabiri (81mins) – Morocco went for it with their substitutions but they almost ran out of steam towards the end when both sides seemed content for a point. Lively. 6.5

Abderrazak Hamdallah (81mins) – Nicknamed The Executioner, Hamdallah looked far from ruthless in the 15 minutes he received off the bench. 5

CROATIA (4-3-3) 

Dominik Livakovic – Didn’t have lots to do but the Dinamo Zagreb goalkeeper stood tall when he was required. 7

Josip Juranovic – Put in one cross in particular to the back post that was crying out to be headed in. His service couldn’t often be criticised. 7

Dejan Lovren – Lots of concern in the Croatian media about Lovren before the game but he did just fine. Didn’t get exposed like many feared.

Concerns over Dejan Lovren look exaggerated as he put in a solid display for a clean sheet

Josko Gvardiol – There’s lots of chatter of Premier League interest in Gvardiol but this wasn’t a display that particularly stood out. Plenty of room to improve. 6

Borna Sosa – Unlucky not to have left the pitch with the decisive assist after Vlasic connected with his cross from the left. Had a tough assignment shackling Hakimi. 6

Luka Modric – Frustrated and regularly had his head in his hands but he remains the Croatian metronome and had flashes of brilliance. Knows he can play much better, though. 8

Marcelo Brozovic – Didn’t stamp his authority on the midfield like Croatia will have anticipated. Out-played by Amrabat in the same position. 7

Mateo Kovacic – The weakest of the midfield three. Looked to the sky for answers when he was hooked after 79 minutes. 7

Mateo Kovacic (right) looked the weak link in Croatia’s midfield and he needs to improve

Nikola Vlasic – Offered little to no threat outside of the chance from Sosa’s cross. Looked hurt just before the break, forcing a half-time substitution. 6.5

Andrej Kramaric – He’s not going to do much if he’s isolated like he was here. Needs more help. 6

Ivan Perisic – The Tottenham star swapped wing-back duties for winger ones in a front three. Had a sighter from 30 yards early on but, like Vlasic, found it difficult to get involved. 7


Mario Pasalic – A very forgettable 45 minutes from the Atalanta attacker. System just gave the attacker little hope of feeling involved. 6

Mario Pasalic came on at the break but offered next to nothing with such little service to him

Marko Livaja – Came on for Kramavic but hardly made a compelling argument to be thrust into the starting XI when they face Canada in the second round of group stage games. 6

Lovro Majer – On in place of a disappointing Kovacic, Majer lacked the time he needed to get a feel for the game. 6.5

Mislav Orsic – On for the final few minutes in stoppage time. 5

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