Euro 2012: Spain held to draw
Fernando Torres, who looked to have found some form as the Premier League season concluded, wasted two golden opportunities to snatch all three points for Spain.
Cesc Fabregas equalised for Spain shortly after Italy had taken a surprise lead, which left defending champions Spain to draw with Italy, although Ireland had no such luck against Croatia...
Defending European champions Spain remain the (4.2) Betfair favourites- on the same mark as Germany - to retain their crown despite being held to a 1-1 draw with Italy in tonight's Group C curtain raiser.
Spanish boss Vincente del Bosque surprisingly started the game with no recognised strikers in his line-up, instead opting to play six midfielders with Cesc Fabregas and David Silva advancing forward at every opportunity.
As expected, Spain had much of the possession but the best chance during a dull first half fell to Italy on the stroke of half time; Thiago Motta's close range header brilliantly saved by Iker Casillas.
The Half Time 0-0 scored was matched at just (2.96) suggesting Betfairians knew exactly how this game would go.
The second half commenced in much the same fashion though the game burst into life on the hour mark when Andrea Pirlo's superb pass put Antonio Di Natale - brought on as a substitute for Mario Balotelli just minutes earlier -through on goal, and the Udinese striker made no mistake, slotting home into the far corner.
Di Natale was matched at a high of (23.0) in the First Goalscorer market.
Spain weren't behind for long however, Fabregas equalising on 64 minutes, side-footing home after being played in by David Silva.
Fernando Torres, who looked to have found some form as the Premier League season concluded, wasted two golden opportunities to snatch all three points for Spain as the final whistle approached, and Italy themselves squandered a half chance near the death. The 1-1 Correct Score was backed at (14.0) with The Draw being matched at no higher than (3.85).
In the later game the Republic of Ireland were soundly beaten by Croatia on a wet night in Poznan, the result leaving Giovanni Trapattoni's men a mountain to climb if they are to reach the knock-out stages of the tournament.
Slaven Bilic's men couldn't have wished for a better start than the one they got on three minutes, Mario Mandzukic guiding home a long range header past the unsighted Shay Given. The Croatian striker was matched at (12.0) in the 'First Goalscorer' market.
Sean St Ledger had been matched at (36.0) 'To Score at anytime', and it was he that headed the Irish level midway through the first half. But that's as good as it got for the Green Army with Croatia scoring two quick-fire goals, one each either side of the interval, first through Everton striker Nikica Jelavic, and then through Mandzukic who was scoring his second goal of the game.
The 2-1 Half Time Score was matched at a massive (120.0) In-Play and the 3-1 Correct Score at (34.0), and it all means that the Irish are out to 16.5 to qualify from the group, whilst Croatia can be backed at 1.94.