England win Euro U21 after Spain see last-gasp penalty saved

England edged Spain 1-0 in the European Under-21 Championship final on Saturday to lift the trophy for the first time in 39 years thanks to a goal from Curtis Jones as their opponents missed a VAR-awarded penalty in the 99th minute.

Lee Carsley's side executed a flawless campaign that did not see them concede a single goal, with five-time winners Spain unable to find the back of the net in the final.

Jones broke the stalemate four minutes into first-half stoppage time when Cole Palmer's free kick was deflected off his back and into the net.

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Yet they had a reprieve five minutes into stoppage time, as Spain were awarded a penalty after Levi Colwill fouled Abel Ruiz inside the box. By the time the VAR review had been completed the game had moved into the ninth minute of added time, but keeper James Trafford brilliantly saved both Ruiz's shot and the follow-up.

"We've been talking about it a lot, and we felt it was our time to do it," England captain Taylor Harwood-Bellis told UEFA.com. "All the lads have pushed each other when they've not been playing. That's something we take pride in."

England assistant coach Ashley Cole, who was never sent off in 107 appearances for his country as a player, was shown the red card -- along with a member of Spain's coaching staff -- soon after the goal for his role in an altercation involving players from both teams.

England players celebrate their victory over Spain in the final.
Giorgi Ebanoidze/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Ruiz thought he had equalised six minutes after the break with a header from a free kick, but he was flagged offside.

As the clock ticked towards the end, both England and Spain had multiple opportunities, but failed to find the back of the net on a humid Georgian night at Batumi Arena.

Trafford was England's hero as he came to their rescue in stoppage time.

"I told everyone this morning I was going to save a penalty and it happened," Trafford told Channel 4. "We're a good team and believed nobody would score against us."

England's Morgan Gibbs-White and Spain's Antonio Blanco, who had both already been substituted, were sent off for second yellow cards before the final whistle was eventually blown.