Spain defeated a resilient Croatia via penalty shoot-out to win its first UEFA Nations League title after the match ended in a 0-0 draw.
Croatia proved their strong defense and fluidness, resisting all attacks from Spain from all angles. They were also able to crack into Spain’s defense many times but failed to crown their efforts with a goal.
However, Dani Carvajal came through for Luis de la Fuente’s men after he scored the winning penalty, ending an 11-year trophy drought. Goalkeeper Unai Simon also saved shots by Lovro Majer and Bruno Petkovic in the shootout
The Spanish victory left many in the De Kuip Stadium utterly surprised and silenced. The stadium was filled with a majority of Croatian fans who hoped to see their team finally win their first trophy after coming close on several occasions.
Croatia finished in third place at the 1998 and 2022 FIFA World Cups, and they were runners-up behind France at the 2018 World Cup.
For Spain, manager Luis de la Fuente has won a trophy in just his fourth game in charge of the senior team, earning his nation its first men’s title since the 2012 Euros, where they defeated Italy 4-0 in the final.
Croatia Vs Spain Final Score
|Final (pens)||Goal scorers|
Croatia (4-3-3, right to left): 1-Livakovic (GK) — 22-Juranovic (2-Stanisic, 112′), 6-Sutalo, 5-Erlic, 14-Perisic — 10-Modric, 11-Brozovic, 8-Kovacic — 15-Pasalic (17-Petkovic, 61′), 9-Kramaric (7-Majer, 91’+), 16-Ivanusec (13-Vlasic, 79′)
Spain (4-2-3-1, right to left): 23-Simon (GK) — 22-Navas (2-Carvajal, 97′), 3-Le Normand (4-Nacho, 79′), 14-Laporte, 18-Alba — 16-Rodri, 8-Ruiz (6-Merino, 79′) — 10-Asensio, 9-Gavi (21-Olmo, 87′), 15-Pino (12-Fati, 66′) — 7-Morata (20-Joselu, 66′)
UEFA Nations League Winners
- 2019: Portugal (1-0 vs. Netherlands)
- 2021: France (2-1 vs. Spain)
- 2023: Spain (5-4 on pens vs. Croatia)