Morocco Player Ratings: Dari & Ziyech impress, Sabiri flops as Atlas Lions fall to Croatia

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Achraf Dari leads Morocco's celebrations.
The defender and winger came up trumps while the midfielder struggled in the third-place playoff loss

Morocco failed to end the 2022 World Cup on a high as they missed out on a bronze medal following their 2-1 loss to Croatia on Saturday.

Coach Walid Regragui made a number of changes in defence and midfield in an attempt to freshen up the team and give minutes to some of his fringe players but it did not yield the desired results as Morocco were outrun by their opponents.

The Atlas Lions looked tired while also struggling with injuries with defender Achraf Dari among those not able to complete the game. Dari, who scored Morocco's lone goal, was, however, the team's outstanding player, alongside Hakim Ziyech, while midfielder Abdelhamid Sabiri had a game to forget before he was taken off at halftime.

GOAL rates how the North Africans performed against Croatia.

  1. Yassine Bounou 7/10

    Yassine Bounou 7/10

    Bounou has been one of Morocco's key players at the World Cup, pulling off great saves but did not produce much on Saturday.

    He could not do much to prevent Josko Gvardiol's header for Croatia's first goal but was surprised by Mislav Orsic's curler for the second, failing to get his hand on the ball. He made one key save, punching away Andrej Kramaric's header in the first half.

  2. Achraf Hakimi 8.5/10

    Achraf Hakimi 8.5/10

    Hakimi was among those who tried to make Morocco tick upfront with his surging forward runs yielding a number of crosses for his teammates.

    His combination with Hakim Ziyech caused the Croatia backline problems but poor finishing from Youssef En-Nesyri denied him a couple of assists.

    He was also solid defensively, making four tackles and one clearance, as his team chased the game.

  3. Achraf Dari 9/10

    Achraf Dari 9/10

    Dari was among the few Morocco players who had an impressive game against Croatia. While he lost his marker for Croatia's opening goal, he atoned for his mistake almost immediately, when he headed in to level the scores for Morocco.

    He was surprisingly involved in the game after the first half, having gone down injured just before the break, but he lasted 17 minutes in the second half and was replaced by Badr Benoun, leaving the pitch after making one big clearance when he denied Lovro Majer with his knee.

  4. Jawad El Yamiq 7/10

    Jawad El Yamiq 7/10

    The second Morocco centre-back who did not complete the game due to an injury, El Yamiq did not have an impressive game compared to his previous appearances.

    The defender struggled with the rhythm of the game with the Croatia forwards getting past him with ease although he made one key clearances when he deflected off Mislav Orsic's goal-bound shot with his back just after the break.

    He left the pitch with a hamstring injury to be replaced by Selim Amallah with 23 minutes to go.

  5. Yahia Attiyat-Allah 8/10

    Yahia Attiyat-Allah 8/10

    The left-back did not make as many forward runs as he did in his previous games but stood tall to prevent Croatia from making life difficult for his team out wide.

    It was, however, not his best game as he lost the ball 11 times and only contributed once to Morocco's attacking play when his cross in the final minute of time added on was headed just wide by En-Nesyri.

  6. Sofyan Amrabat 6.5/10

    Sofyan Amrabat 6.5/10

    The ever-present midfielder looked a bit tired on Saturday as he failed to run the show like he did previously. Amrabat only made one tackle as Morocco struggled in midfield and was required to drop in defence on a number of times given the Atlas Lions' centre-backs' struggles with injuries.

    He was later deployed in the back four after El Yamiq left the pitch injured with Selim Amallah taking his place in midfield.

  7. Bilal El Khannouss 6/10

    Bilal El Khannouss 6/10

    With Selim Amallah benched, El Khannouss got his first taste of the World Cup as Regragui sought to give his fringe players game time.

    The 18-year-old became Morocco's youngest ever player at the World Cup but he did not impress in midfield alongside the experienced Amrabat, managing just one ground duel for the 56 minutes he was on the pitch.

  8. Abdelhamid Sabiri 5/10

    Abdelhamid Sabiri 5/10

    Sabiri was preferred in the attacking midfield role with the impressive Azzedine Ounahi benched, starting his second game since feature from the off against Canada.

    He, however, failed to get Morocco going in the final third with his opposite number Luka Modric overshowing him.

    Sabiri delivered one long ball from the 19 touches he had in the first half before going off at halftime for World Cup debutant Ilias Chair.

  9. Hakim Ziyech 8.5/10

    Hakim Ziyech 8.5/10

    The Chelsea winger was unlucky to leave the game without more than one assist, having initiated a lot of great forward moves for Morocco.

    Ziyech curled in the free-kick that Dari headed home for his team's goal but he should have had more in the second half, especially when he was moved just behind the striker as Regragui went for a 4-2-3-1 formation after the break.

    He still looked to play wide, cutting in with his left foot, and managed five of his seven dribble attempts while he had two shots on goal. His best move came in the 74th minute when he beat his marker, got into the box and teed up Hakimi but the full-back fluffed his lines.

  10. Sofiane Boufal 7/10

    Sofiane Boufal 7/10

    Boufal provided plenty of energy going foward as well as in defence. The Angers man was among Morocco players who tried to get in the opposition box and nearly scored in the 32nd minute after beating his marker.

    He managed one shot and also helped out defensively by making one clearance while putting in a tackle.

  11. Youssef En-Nesyri 6.5/10

    Youssef En-Nesyri 6.5/10

    A much improved game from his three touches of the ball against France, the striker managed 23 on Saturday but was guilty of missing key chances that would have brought his team level.

    He should have headed in, in the 29th minute when Hakimi ran the length of the pitch and delivered a good cross in the box only for the striker to fail to connect with the ball before he headed just wide from a corner a few minutes later.

    He had a glorious opportunity 15 minutes from time when he found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper but hit directly at the Croatia custodian before heading wide Attiyat-Allah's cross in the dying minutes of the game.

  12.  Ilias Chair 7.5/10

    Ilias Chair 7.5/10

    The QPR midfielder replaced Sabiri at halftime in what was his first taste of the World Cup and managed 100 percent pass accuracy after all his 13 found its targets.

    He also offered Morocco more going forward, bringing two crosses and one long ball from his 18 touches of the ball.

  13. Azzedine Ounahi 6/10

    Azzedine Ounahi 6/10

    The midfielder has earned plenty of praise for his performances in Qatar but he was dropped to the bench in favour of youngster El Khannous.

    He came in for the 18-year-old in the 55th minute but did not push Morocco forward as he has managed previously with Croatia's midfield making it difficult to play past them.

  14. Badr Benoun 6/10

    Badr Benoun 6/10

    Benoun replaced the injured Dari for the final 27 minutes but did not offer much, making only one interception while he lost possession once.

  15. Anass Zaroury 5/10

    Anass Zaroury 5/10

    The 22-year-old Burnley forward replaced Boufal in the 63rd minute for what was his World Cup debut but did not get Morocco going in the final third, only winning one ground duel.

  16. Selim Amallah 7/10
    Getty Images.

    Selim Amallah 7/10

    Another of Morocco's ever present members of the squad, Amallah dropped to the bench for the third-place playoff but came in for the injured El Yemiq for the final 23 minutes.

    Amallah slotted into midfield in place of Amrabat who went in defence and put in a good shift, winning four of his six ground duels, while he made one key clearance when his team was pinned back.