For Steven Cooper's England side, it was a very cruel way to settle his evening's UEFA European Under-17 Championship but not an entirely unfair way to doing so. Santi Denia's team bounced back after going behind twice - including Nacho Díaz's best 'Sergio Ramos' impersonation - a headed equaliser five minutes into stoppage time to send the contest into a dramatic shoot-out from the penalty spot. Spain lift the trophy for the third time, and the first since Juan Santiesteban's charges - including a teenage Thiago Alcántara, won the tournament for the second year running in 2008.
Hudson-Odoi rifles England ahead
On the eve of tonight's final in Croatia, Santi Denia had decribed opponents England as "the most complete side in the competition" and Cooper's team looked the most in control during the first 70 minutes of the game. Chelsea's Callum Hudson-Odoi put England in front with a wonderful strike inside the top corner on 18 minutes which had the 2014 winners cruising for most of the remaining minutes in the first half. England should have gone in at the interval leading but a lapse at the back allowed Spain to level on 38 minutes. To be fair it was it was a well-worked and well taken goal - with just two threaded passes, La Rojita sliced open the England defence and Barcelona defender Mateu Morey was free to blast into the roof of the net to make it 1-1 on the half-time whistle.
Phil Foden restores England's lead
A super-charged England returned after the break and were back in front on the board when Manchester City player Phil Foden cut inside to drill a fierce, low strike inside Alberto Fernández's left-hand post just before the hour. Cooper's troops then made the fatal mistake of taking their intial intensity down a peg or two, and Spain suddenly started to look threatening. In contrast, England, began to seem anxious and with their backs against the ropes.
Those nerves were almost tangible when Spain were awarded a penalty on 85 minutes - five minutes into stoppage time and with practically the last kick of the match. The corner was swung in and met by Nacho Díaz - a player who had hardly figured during the tournament. His header evaded two England players stationed on the line and keeper Josef Bursik. England had just enough time to resume play from the centre-kick circle before ref Jens Maae signalled that time was up and the match would be settled not with extra-time but from the penalty spot.
Spain looking confident and secure in the penalty shoot-out
Spain's takers all expertly converted their spot-kicks but Rhian Brewster watch in horror as his effort rebounded back off the post then Joel Latibeaudiere lashed his over the bar. It left Spain needing to score just two out of their remaining three kicks - which they did - Sergio Gómez tucked his away, leaving Real Madrid Víctor Chust the honour of firing in the decisive kick.
It's the third time Spain have lifted the trophy since the format changed, precisely the year they won it, in 2001.