Spain beat Croatia on penalties to win UEFA Nations League title

Spain won the Nations League in Rotterdam on Sunday, beating Croatia 5-4 in a penalty shootout thanks to serial winner Dani Carvajal’s winning spot kick.

The 31-year-old, who has 5 Champions League titles with Real Madrid, expertly chipped in Spain’s 6th  kick of the shootout to give the country its first trophy since the European Championship in 2012.

The final at the Feyenoord Stadium ended goalless after extra time and the defeat on penalties was heartbreaking for Croatia, who finished second in the 2018 World Cup and third in Qatar last year.

In the shootout, Spain goalkeeper Unai Simon first saved from Lovro Majer, allowing Aymeric Laporte a chance to secure the victory, but the defender sent his shot against the crossbar, leaving the score at 4-4 after five kicks each. Simon came out trumps again, this time from Bruno Petkovic, before Carvajal sealed the triumph.

“It was a very tight match, we knew we weren’t going to win easily,” said Simon.

Spain finished 2nd in the Nations League to France 2 years ago and victory will be a significant boost following a poor World Cup in Qatar, when they were beaten by Morocco in the last-16.

 

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