Euro 2012: Spain vs Italy -- As it happened...
Vineet Ramakrishnan/Zeenews Sports Bureau
Gdansk: 90 + 3 min And that is the end of it, truly abosrbing 90 minutes of play with honours shared. The Spainards were relentless in pursuit of a goal as the italians held their fort with panache. Antonio di Natale provided the Azzurri with the lead at the hour mark (61') finishing off a stellar Pirlo pass into the right hand corner.
Spain retaliated immediately through Cesc Fabregas who tapped the ball past Buffon after an inventive flick from Silva had the Italian full backs flummexed.
90 + 2 min Xavi drives one wide of the goal as Iniesta and Xavi dazzle with precision passing inside the area.
90 min It is 3 min of added time. as frenzy breaks out. Free throw for Spain.
89 min Navas takes a low shot, Buffon blocks. Free kick for Spain as Maggio gets a YELLOW. SUBSTITUITON Nocerino (in) - Thiago Motta (out) (Italy).
SPAIN 1: 1 ITALY
88 min Maggio concedes a free-kick for a foul on Xabi Alonso.
86 min Torres misses the target as he strikes the ball over the bar.
84 min YELLOW for Arbeloa is booked so is Torres for a foul on de Rossi.
80 min Xavi Hernández has an attempt on goal (freekick), but blocked by Marchisio.
79 min YELLOW for Chiellini, penalised for a foul on Iniesta.
76 min Xavi Hernández penalised for a foul on Pirlo
75 min Giovinco concedes a free-kick for a foul on Torres. Xavi Hernández takes the free-kick, Busquets misses the header.
75 min Crucial save by Buffon, as Torres eclipses the off side trap.
74 min SUBSTITUITON Torres (in) - Fàbregas (out) (Spain).
70 min Corner for Spain, Xavi Hernández delivers the corner.
66 min YELLOW Jordi Alba (Spain) is cautioned by the referee.
66 min YELLOW for Bonucci for a nasty tackle on Iniesta.
65 min SUBSTITUITON Giovinco (in) - Cassano (out) (Italy).
SUBSTITUITON Jesús Navas (in) - Silva (out) (Spain).
64 min GOAL !!! by Fabregas, Spain pull back one, it is 1-1now. David Silva's flicks one inside the box as Fabregas runs ahead of the Italian full backs and taps the ball in past Buffon.
64 min Iniesta shots right from the edge, Buffon blocks.
61 min GOAL GOAL GOAL Di Natale scores. Italy 1-0 . Fantastic pass by Pirlo, Di Natale intercepts puts the ball into the right-hand corner.
58 min Arbeloa concedes a free-kick for a foul on Cassano.
56 min SUBSTITUITON Di Natale (in) - Balotelli (out).
55 min Cassano misses the target now.
53 min Baletolli ruins the best chance for Italy. He wins the ball from Sergio Ramos, but takes awful lot of time to take the strike with only Casllias to beat, Ramos comes back from behind with a clean tackle.
51 min Best chance for Spain all night as Iniesta shoots the bal agonisingly close to far post, with
Marchisio putting in the tackle.
50 min Well organsied play by Spain, as Fabregas shot is saved by Buffon. Xavi Alonso is fouled Marchisio, free kick taken by Xavi Hernandez misses it.
47 min Second half underway now, Chiellini is penalised for a foul on Xavi Hernández.
45+1 min Absording first half there, Italy have surely played more than what was expected but Spain would rue the chances they got in the first half.
45 min Cassano with powerful headed, but Casillias responds well. Diving save.
45 min Big chance for Spain! as Iniesta misses.
41min Chellini with the block on a Fabregas shot, corner conceded.
40 min Chiellini penalised for a foul on Silva.
39 min another good play up front, Fabregas goes for the head on a loopy cross by Xavi, is penalised by refree for a foul on Maggio.
38 min Iniesta in the box again, sliding tackle from the defender clears the ball.
37 min YELLOW for Baletolli for foul on Jordi Alba.
36 min Marchisio takes his shot on goal. Casllias saves.
35 min Fabregas fouls Chellini.
33 min Shot on goal by Cassano, Casllias makes the save, only just, warning for Baletolli as he concedes the free kick.
31 min Pirlo concedes a free-kick for a foul on Busquets, free kick taken by Xavi.
30 min Iniesta agian with the shot, Buffon saves it.
29 min Corner for Spain, Iniesta had an effort on goal, headed to safety by Chellini.
28 min Xabi Alonso penalised for a foul on Maggio. Marchisio takes the free-kick.
27 min Chellini trips Xavi, free kick for Spain long range blocked then the drive is easily picked up by Buffon.
26 min Arbeloa fouled by Baletolli.
24 min Attempt on goal by Spain, Iniesta, De Rossi blocks the strong dive.
22 min So Close !!! Cassano with the effort, beats Casllias, but just wide of far post.
20 min Nice play by Spain but Fabregas is adjudged offside. Iniesta darts past Chellini and De Rossi but finds Fabregas in an offside position.
15 min Claudio Marchisio darts into position well, but is well marshalled in the right corner by Jordi Alba and Sergio Ramos.
15 min Silva again with the shot, a curler from left flank, blocked by de Rossi.
13 min Sergio Ramos penalised for a foul on Cassano. Free Kick in an exellent position, Pirlo drives it low, Iker Casillas dives to his left, saves.
11 min Counter attack by the Spainards, Silva takes a shot, save by Buffon.
10 min Baletolli shots, and Corner, Pirlo takes it cleared.
7 min Nervous times for Itlay, Corner for Spain, Xavi Hernández (Spain) takes the corner. good loopy one, but cleared.
6 min Corner for Italy won by Emanuele Giaccherini , Pirlo takes a short one. Nothing out of it though.
5 min FOUL, by Jordi Alba (Spain) on Maggio, free kick for the Azzurri, in by Pirlo, nothing out of it as the ball is cleared.
2 min So we are underway, and a hefty challenge firs up by de Rossi. First corner for Spain.
Emanuele Giaccherini to make his debut for the Azzurri as del Bosque opts for Fàbregas as the forward.
Welcome to the live coverage of the Group C Euro 2012 match between defending champions Spain and the turmoil ridden Italy.
Italy: Buffon, Maggio, Chiellini, Bonucci, Motta, Marchisio, Giaccherini, De Rossi, Pirlo, Balotelli, Cassano SUBS: Sirigu, De Sanctis, Ogbonna, Balzaretti, Abate, Barzagli, Montolivo, Diamanti, Nocerino, Di Natale, Borini, Giovinco.
Spain: Casillas, Piqué, Ramos, Arbeloa, Alba, Iniesta, Xavi, Fàbregas, Alonso, Busquets, Silva SUBS: Valdés, Reina, Albiol, Martínez, Juanfran, Cazorla, Navas, Rodríguez, Torres, Negredo, Mata, Llorente.
Spain begin their mission to become the first nation to retain the European title when they take on Italy in Gdansk on Sunday.
The reigning world champions have played fabulously at the international level over the past four years. They can fancy themselves to beat an Italy side which arrived in Poland having lost three consecutive friendlies. The Italians have been affected by a match fixing scandal back home and poor results. In a situation like this, they may not venture too far from their defensive strategy.
Though, Italy emerged as winners in Bari in August, 2011 with a score of 2-1 when the two teams last met.
Italy`s centurion goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon said on the eve of the match that they were capable of causing an upset so Spain have been warned.
Catch all the action here on our EURO 2012 coverage». The match will start from 21:30 (IST).