Italy draws against Spain after last minute penalty

Italy salvaged a point from their World Cup qualifier match against Spain after Daniele de Rossi scored a last minute penalty to end the match at 1-1.

La Roja had complete control of the game in the first half, dominating possession by 72.4% but failed to score.

The deadlock was finally broken after 55 minutes when Italian keeper Gianluigi Buffon rushed out of his area as Vitolo broke clear but completely mistimed his tackle, allowing the forward to go round him and put the ball into an empty net in the 55th minute.

The Spaniards also came close to adding to their tally when Andres Iniesta played a one-two with David Silva only to see a weakly struck left-footed shot saved before Gerard Pique sent a close-range header straight at Buffon.

As for Italy, the 2006 World Champions rarely threatened the Spanish half. However, substitute Ciro Immobile brought some much-needed energy and threat to the home attack. Then, at 82 minutes, Sergio Ramos tripped Eder in the box with a rash tackle, and De Rossi equalized with the ensuing penalty.

The draw also extends his country’s unbeaten run in qualifiers to 52 games – the last time the Azzurri lost a World Cup or European qualifier was in September 2006 when they were beaten 3-1 by France on their road to Euro 2008.

The result left both teams s with four points from two games behind Albania in Group G. The Albanians now sit on top of the group with six points after their 2-0 away win against Liechtenstein thanks to a Peter Jehle own goal and a Bekim Balaj goal.

Israel won 2-1 in Macedonia in the same group, although Macedonia had a penalty saved in injury time after Eitan Tibi was sent off for a foul. Tomer Hemed and Tal Ben-Haim scored for Israel before Ilja Nestorovski pulled a goal back.

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