11th June, 2012, Gdansk: Defending champs Spain and Italy played a captivating match in Gdansk. The game ended in a 1 – 1 draw in front of 40000 odd spectators. Everyone expected Spain to dominate the game, but Italy was quite far from defensive. They posed a real threat with Mario Balotelli and Antonio Cassano.
The first half of the match went goalless as both teams missed few chances to hit the net. Balotelli had a one-on-one scope but Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos robbed him of the chance. After that Di Natale was introduced instead of Balotelli. It was at the 60th minute of the game when Italy’s Antonio Di Natale hit the net, but their joy did not last too long as Cesc Fabregas equalized in 63rd minute after a brilliant pass from David Silva. Fernando Torres came in the second half and he missed two superb chances to score. The match was closely fought and it seems that both teams were quite happy with the results.
In the second match of the day, Croatia defeated Republic of Ireland 3 – 1 at Poznan Municipal Stadium. Croatia’s Mandzukic scored at the 3rd minute. Ireland equalized at the 19th minute. Jelavic and Given made took the scoreline to 3 for Croatia.