• Match review

Croatia 0-0 (4-5 pens) Spain: Simon shines as La Roja claim Nations League trophy

© Ace Football

Spain claimed their fourth European title by beating Croatia in a tense final.

Spain defeated Croatia in the UEFA Nations League final on Sunday. Following a goalless draw after the extra time, La Roja edged out their opponents in the thrilling penalty shootouts.

Simon steals the show!

Spain started the first half as the better side but rarely managed to create serious chances. On the other hand, Croatia mainly stayed on the lookout for the counter-attacks, with Ivan Perisic making a few runs behind Spain’s backline to no avail.

Following an uneventful first period, both sides tried to clinch the opener after the break.

Unai Simon made his first impressive save of the night to deny Josip Juranović in the 51st minute. Spain, on the other hand, missed a golden chance through Marco Asensio just before the full-time whistle.

La Roja pushed to dominate the possession during the extra time, but their opponents looked more lively in their attacking efforts.

Croatia came close to snatching the match-winner a few minutes into the second half of the extra time. But an incredible tackle from Nacho kept them in the game.

Both sides seemed willing to face off in the penalties based on how they played throughout the extra time. The shootouts began with Croatia and Spain converting their initial three penalties.

Simon then stopped Lovro Majer’s strike with a brilliant foot save, providing a chance for Marco Asensio to put La Roja ahead.

The Real Madrid star converted his spot-kick, but a missed penalty from Aymeric Laporte brought Croatia into the game. Bruno Petkovic stood behind the ball to take the Checkered Ones’ sixth penalty of the night.

But Simon kept the ball out with an impressive save, putting Spain on the verge of victory again. This time, however, Dani Carvajal converted his penalty with a cool shot, winning the trophy for Spain.

La Roja become the third champions of the UEFA Nations League as Croatia’s wait to win their first major trophy continues.