Spain, Italy draw in Euro 2012 Group C opener

Posted at Jun 11 2012 12:56 PM | Updated as of Jun 11 2012 08:56 PM

MANILA, Philippines – European and World champion Spain can only manage a draw with Italy in their first match of Euro 2012.

Italy came close to an opening goal moments before halftime, when Thiago Motta rose unmarked and his powerful header from Cassano’s cross drew a fine reflex save from Iker Casillas.

But in the second half, Antonio di Natale put Italy in front, after an excellent set-up from Andrea Pirlo in the 61st minute.

Cech Fabregas however tied it for the defending champions three minutes later, by finishing off a dazzling display of Spain’s trademark passing game.

Spain, which followed up its Euro 2008 victory with the 2010 World Cup title, dominated the Group C match for long stretches but struggled with its finishing, while Italy relied on dangerous counterattacks. Mornings @ ANC, June 11, 2012.