GDANSK, Poland: Holders Spain were held to a 1-1 draw by a dogged and determined Italy at the Arena Gdansk here on Sunday in the opening Group C match at the European Championship.Italy took the lead on 61 minutes through substitute Antonio Di Natale only minutes before the world champions equalised through Cesc Fabregas.
But Chelsea striker Fernando Torres missed two glorious late chances after coming off the bench to replace the goalscorer.A draw was a fair result as Italy were the better side in the first half and were fearless in taking the game to the world champions. Italy coach Cesare Prandelli admitted he regretted the fact his team didn’t hold onto their lead for longer.
“It was with difficulty that we got in front against the world champions, but we were there, we wanted to play,” he said.“We’ve given Spain the opportunity to equalise so we have to improve and that’s the mentality we need.”
Both coaches sprung a surprise with their team selections as Vicente Del Bosque opted to go without a striker, playing Fabregas between Andres Iniesta and David Silva.And the coach denied he had made a mistake playing Fabregas up front.