Mateo Kovacic played a key role as Croatia joined Morocco in qualifying for the knockout stage from Group F, with Romelu Lukaku and Belgium heading home.

The game between Croatian and Belgium at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium ended goalless, with the point enough to see Kovacic and Co through.

Belgium threw everything to get the three points they so desperately needed but in the end Roberto Martinez’s side – which includes Chelsea coach Anthony Barry on the staff – head out at the group stage.

The game was an entertaining one despite the lack of goals and the drama started as quickly as 15 minutes into the tie.

Croatia thought they had an early chance to take the lead, when they were awarded a penalty after a quarter of an hour. However, referee Anthony Taylor consulted the VAR screen and an offside in the build-up was spotted, so the spot-kick decision was reversed.

Lukaku missed a big chance for Belgium after entering the fray as a half-time substitute, smashing the post with the goal gaping after a lovely run from Yannick Carrasco had set him up.

The Chelsea striker, currently on loan at Inter Milan, then headed over from close range as Belgium desperately searched for a winner.

In the end, Croatia stood firm to claim the point that sees them progress alongside Morocco from Group F.

They went so close in 2018, could 2022 be Kova and Croatia’s year?