World Cup 2022: Morocco vs Croatia second half delayed, as referee "can't find" a Moroccan player

Sofyan Amrabat of Morocco pours water during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group F match between Morocco and Croatia at Al Bayt Stadium on November 23, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar.
(Image credit: Adam Pretty - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Morocco vs Croatia isn't World Cup 2022's most exciting match-up – so much so that one player didn't come out for the second half to begin with.

We've had so much added time at the World Cup so far that a whole 90 minutes has been played now, just from the referee giving injury time. But the two minutes required at the end of the goalless first half between Morocco and Croatia currently stands at the lowest amount awarded by any official so far at the tournament.

Perhaps midfielder Sofyan Amrabat, currently of Fiorentina, decided to remedy that himself and provide the stadium full of Moroccan fans with a dramatic delay before the second half began.

Hakim Ziyech and Achraf Hakimi during the friendly match between Morocco and Chile, played at the RCDE Stadium on 23th September 2022, in Barcelona, Spain.

Hakim Ziyech and Achraf Hakimi have found breaking down Croatia difficult in Morocco's opening fixture against the 2018 World Cup runners-up (Image credit: Urbanandsport/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The second 45 minutes was about to kick off with 21 players all stood on the field and waiting to go. The referee, however, glanced around and according to ITV commentator Jon Champion "couldn't find" the 11th Morrocan star. 

The game was held up by a minute before an embarrassed-looking Amrabat raced onto the grass to join his team-mates. 

Croatia were the runners-up of the last World Cup and widely expected to head through in a group that also contains Belgium and Canada – though Morocco dominated the first half and couldn't take their chances. Youssef En-Nesyri of Sevilla came closest when he rose to meet a Hakim Ziyech cross and couldn't head it goalwards. 

Belgium take on Canada in the day's final game at 7pm, while Germany vs. Japan follows the conclusion of the Morroco vs. Croatia game at 1pm. 

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