Report from the match as Spain won the Nations League title for the first time in Rotterdam. Dani Carvajal scored the game-winning penalty to deny Luka Modric and Croatia their first championship.
Spain, who had not won a trophy since the 2012 Euros, triumphed over Croatia 5-4 on penalties to win the Nations League.
Substitute After extra time had passed without a goal, Dani Carvajal made the game-winning penalty kick with a Panenka to give head coach Luis de la Fuente, who had only been named Luis Enrique’s replacement in December, a trophy-winning start to his reign.
Despite Luka Modric’s best efforts, Croatia, who finished third in Qatar last year and as World Cup finalists in 2018, was unable to score during the 120 minutes of play. In the shootout, substitutes Lovro Majer and Bruno Petkovic also saw their penalties saved by Unai Simon.
It was a terrible result for serial overachievers Croatia, who, four days after their extra-time victory over the Netherlands in the semifinals, once again cruelly fell short of a historic victory.
How Spain won the grand final
Alvaro Morata nearly pounced on Dominik Livakovic’s slip, and Gavi’s shot narrowly missed the post as Spain got off to a promising start despite the loud whistles of the Croatia fans who dominated the stadium.
When Andrej Kramaric broke through on goal for Croatia, Aymeric Laporte of Manchester City blocked his effort after an impressive comeback run. However, Croatia quickly gained control of the game and began taking advantage of Spain’s high defensive line.
Their greatest plays frequently came from the dependable Modric, who twice crossed for the roving Ivan Perisic to head at goal, requiring Simon to make saves on both occasions.