Italy and reigning champions Spain opened their Group C account with a 1-1 draw after an intriguing encounter in Gdansk.
Cesc Fabregas equalised just four minutes after Antonio Di Natale had put the Italians ahead on the hour mark with a neat finish. The Barcelona star latched onto David Silva’s throughball and fired past Gianluigi Buffon to ensure the spoils were shared.
In the first half Andres Iniesta went close to breaking the deadlock only to see his low shot well saved by Buffon at his near post before Thiago Motta’s header was kept out by Iker Casillas.
After the restart, Fabregas and Iniesta each tested Buffon with decent strikes while Xavi drilled a shot wide of the target from just outside the box.
Mario Balotelli should have scored for the Azzurri after 53 minutes when he dispossessed Sergio Ramos in the final third. He went one-on-one with the keeper but delayed his shot far too long, allowing Real Madrid defender Ramos to recover and dispossess the striker who was substituted moments later.
Balotelli’s replacement, Di Natale, then beat the offside trap before bending a shot around Casillas into the far corner of the net.
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However, in the 64th minute, Spain were level when Silva’s pass found Fabregas who struck a shot under the keeper from deep inside the box.
Fabregas was replaced by Fernando Torres who squandered two glorious opportunities, first losing out to Buffon as he tried to round the keeper before then clipping a shot onto the roof of the net.
For Italy, Di Natale was unable to steer Sebastian Giovinco’s cross towards goal as the match ended all-square.