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Spain wins Nations League final as Unai Simon saves two Croatia penalties in shootout

Goalkeeper Unai Simon saved two shots in a penalty shootout to help Spain break an 11-year trophy drought by beating Croatia after a tense Nations League final had finished 0-0 Sunday.

The Bilbao goalkeeper used his feet to save a penalty by Lovro Majer when the shootout was level at 3-3 and then dived full-length to tip Bruno Petković's spot kick around the post.

Dani Carvajal converted his penalty to seal the victory.

Spain’s last tournament win came at the 2012 European Championship.

Spain did not manage a shot on target until the 84th minute of the tense match and when substitute Ansu Fati finally looked like breaking the stalemate, Ivan Perišić was on the goal line to block his effort. It was Spain's only goal-bound attempt, compared to five by Croatia.

In the first period of extra time, Majer broke through and fell in the penalty area under a challenge by Nacho, but German referee Felix Zwayer ruled that the Spain defender had played the ball and waved off Croatia’s appeals for a penalty.

Croatia’s fans – many wearing shirts with talismanic captain Luka Modric’s name and No. 10 on the back -- far outnumbered their Spanish counterparts at De Kuip stadium in Rotterdam.

But they were forced to leave disappointed as their nation and the 37-year-old Modric continued their wait for a first international title.

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