AFC Wimbledon's Joe Bursik missed out on glory in agonising fashion tonight with England U-17s denied victory with just seconds remaining by Spain.
A header from Nacho Diaz in the sixth minute of injury-time – Joe just unable to keep it out – levelled the score at 2-2, before Spain triumphed on penalties.
At 2-1 ahead, Bursik made a string of fine saves, the best of them coming when he denied Juan Miranda just three minutes from time. It appeared that Spain's late rally had been denied, but England failed to defend a corner and the header from Diaz signalled penalties as there was no extra-time.
The Young Lions had been on the cusp of becoming the first team to lift the trophy three times.
Goals from Callum Hudson-Odoi and Phil Foden either side of Mateu Morey's goal on the stroke of half-time for Spain put one English hand on the trophy. That was snatched away as the dream turned to a nightmare when, in the sixth minute of added time, Diaz headed home a corner from the left.
Victor Chust slotted home the decisive penalty after Abel Ruiz, Morey and Sergio Gomez had converted before him to capitalise on missed spot-kicks from Rhian Brewster and Joel Latibeaudiere.
It was incredibly harsh on Steve Cooper's talented squad who had lit up the tournament in Croatia with 13 goals and just two conceded on their way to the final.
Despite the late agony, Joe represented AFC Wimbledon with great credit and everyone at the club is very proud of the goalkeeper who joined us when he was just eight.
England: 1 Josef Bursik (AFC Wimbledon), 3 Lewis Gibson (Newcastle United), 4 George McEachran (Chelsea), 5 Marc Guehi (capt; Chelsea), 6 Jonathan Panzo (Chelsea), 7 Phil Foden (Manchester City), 9 Rhian Brewster (Liverpool), 10 Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea), 11 Jadon Sancho (Manchester City), 15 Alex Denny (Everton), 19 Joel Latibeaudiere (Manchester City).
Substitutes used: 17 Aidan Barlow (Manchester United) for Hudson-Odoi 77, 16 Daniel Loader (Reading) for Foden 80, 14 Jake Vokins (Southampton) for Sancho 80+3.