Watch: Italy draws Spain in World Cup qualifying on De Rossi's PK

Thursday October 6th, 2016

Just when it looked like Italy might lose its first home World Cup qualifying match, the Azzurri found a way to keep the streak alive.

Daniele De Rossi's late penalty kick canceled out Vitolo's opener, and Italy came back for a 1-1 draw against Spain in their qualifier in Turin. 

Both won their opening matches of Group G play, with Spain destroying Liechtenstein 8-0 and Italy getting by Israel 3-1 last month. With only the group winners guaranteed a place at Russia 2018 and the runner-up sent to a playoff, the head-to-head meetings between the two European powers will likely determine the automatic berth, making this early matchup all the more important. 

It appeared it would go Spain's way. After a scoreless first half that was dominated, at least in possession, by Spain, the 2010 World Cup champs opened the deadlock. It took a blunder by Gianluigi Buffon, who whiffed on a clearance while racing off his line, gifting Vitolo a wide-open net. He didn't miss, scoring in the 55th minute off the pass supplied by Sergio Busquets.

Italy was given a lifeline through Sergio Ramos, though. The veteran Spanish defender tripped Eder in the Spain box, and after the referees conferred, a penalty was awarded. De Rossi calmly converted to make it 1-1 in the 82nd minute. 

Spain and Italy are looking up at Albania, winner of both of its qualifying matches thus far, in the Group G standings. Spain is in second by virtue of a better goal differential.

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