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Fernando Torres could not seal three points for Spain // Fernando Torres could not seal three points for Spain
Fernando Torres could not seal three points for Spain
Fernando Torres fluffed two late chances as Spain's hopes of making a winning start to Euro 2012 foundered in a 1-1 draw against Italy in Gdansk.
Torres, who has endured a wretched period at Chelsea since joining from Liverpool in January 2011, was sent on by Vicente Del Bosque shortly after Cesc Fabregas cancelled out Antonio Di Natale's opener.
But he could not conjure up a winner as the opening match in Group C ended all square.
Andrea Pirlo saw a free-kick saved by Iker Casillas, who then denied Antonio Cassano and Claudio Marchisio, whose blistering volley would surely have gone in had it not been straight at the Real Madrid goalkeeper.
A typically incisive through-ball from Xavi presented a wonderful opportunity for Barcelona team-mate Andres Iniesta but his first touch was uncharacteristically poor, meaning his second only resulted in a tame volleyed lob over the bar.
And then, Cassano escaped down the right and whipped in a wonderful cross for Thiago Motta, whose header was superbly palmed to safety by Casillas.
The Spanish came out with greater verve after the break and Gianluigi Buffon twice had to make smart saves, the first from Fabregas and the second a stunner to deny Iniesta.
Substitute Di Natale made an immediate impact as he opened the scoring within four minutes of coming on, latching on to Pirlo's inch-perfect pass before coolly slotting past the onrushing Casillas.
A shock seemed on the cards but world and European champions Spain hit back almost immediately. A beautiful flicked pass with the outside of his left boot from David Silva picked out Fabregas and he made no mistake with a crisp finish under Buffon.
After 75 minutes Torres tried to round Buffon but the Juventus goalkeeper made a clean tackle and, then 10 minutes later, a clever one-two with Xavi saw Torres burst through but his attempted chip drifted narrowly over.
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