Croatian DMU international student endures World Cup semi-final misery

By Rian Fearnehough

It was Croatia’s second World Cup semi-final in a row and Orsat Moretić was nervous.

In action: Orsat Moretić on the pitch for the DMU Lions

Croatia were taking on Argentina in the semi-finals of the World Cup and were looking to reach their second consecutive final.

Orsat is a DMU student from Croatia and recalled his previous World Cup experience as “heartbreaking”. 

The one thing he knew was: “I don’t want to play France in the final again.” 

But to reach that final, his side had to beat Argentina in their semi-final. Orsat was nervous but confident in Croatia’s ability.

“I think the game will be 0-0 with Croatia winning on penalties,” he predicted during the build-up to the game. 

Orsat plays for the DMU Lions American football side and watched the semi-final during a squad film session, glued to his phone but unable to react. 

His confidence changed when Argentina got a penalty in the 34th minute after Julian Alvarez collided with Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic. 

The decision was contentious and Orsat was not happy with it, saying: “How is that a penalty.” 

Orsat with his DMU Lions team-mates

The penalty was emphatically scored by Lionel Messi causing Orsat to shake his head in frustration. 

The game didn’t get any better for Croatia, who conceded a second when Alvarez ran through the defence after some shocking defending. 

At that point, Orsat accepted it wouldn’t be Croatia’s day, saying Argentina had scored “two lucky goals.”

The second half involved more of the same, with the game being killed off in the 69th minute when Alvarez scored again, to end Croatia’s incredible journey with a disappointing semi-final defeat. 

After the game, Orsat said: “Why did I watch that, what was the point.”

Despite the defeat, Orsat added: “I’m proud of the team as they showed fight throughout the tournament.” 

Orsat is now heading home to Croatia for Christmas, disappointed after dreaming for a while that he might watch Croatia in Sunday’s final, surrounded by his family just like he had in 2018. 

Orsat back home in Croatia

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