Spain 1 Italy 1

Holders Spain are held to a draw by a dogged and determined Italy at the Arena Gdansk.

Italy’s shirts may once more be stained by match-fixing allegations in their domestic league, but they proved, as in the World Cup in 2006, there is no country better at finding redemption.

Spain’s confidence in their possession prompted coach Vicente Del Bosque to start the game with no recoganised striker on the field, istead chosing to play with Cesc Fabregas Andreas Iniesta and David Silva upfront.  initially discard the notion of a striker.

Both teams failed to score in the first period but Antonio Di Natale gave Italy a well-earned lead after about an hour.

Pirlo showed his genius, skipping past Busquets and sliding an ideal through ball to substitute Di Natale. Di Natale had Cassano unmarked to his right but he kicked into the top corner, beyond Casillas's desperate fingertips.

Just three minutes later Cesc Fabregas equalised benefiting from a momentary loss of concentration at the heart of the Italian defence. Fabregas's run wasn't tracked by Giaccherini as Silva slid the ball through to him, as the Barca midfielder moved the ball past Buffon from close range.

Substitute Fernando Torres should have helped the holders overturn an earlier deficit with what would have been an undeserved victory, but the Chelsea striker lacked the confidence and squandered two easy chances in the closing stages.


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