Italy played without suspended star Francesco Totti and tied Sweden, 1-1, yesterday at the European Championship in Porto, Portugal.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored in the 85th minute to rally Sweden. He leaped on a bouncing ball in the penalty area and flicked it with his right heel behind goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.
Antonio Cassano, who started in place of Totti, gave Italy the lead in the 37th minute with a glancing header.
"Hats off to Cassano for his beautiful goal and his good performance," Italy Coach Giovanni Trapattoni said.
Totti watched the game from the stands, sitting with his girlfriend. He was suspended for three games for spitting in the face of Danish midfielder Christian Poulsen in Monday's 0-0 tie.
In yesterday's other Group C game, Denmark beat Bulgaria, 2-0, in Braga. Jesper Gronkjaer scored Denmark's second goal in the second minute of second-half injury time. He missed Monday's game because of the death of his mother.
"It's tough to be joyful after what I went through in recent days," Gronkjaer said. "Scoring goals is a great feeling, but the sense of losing someone so close is much stronger."
Italy has one game remaining in Group C and could have trouble advancing. Denmark and Sweden lead with four points and Italy has two. Winless Bulgaria was eliminated.
Italy will play Bulgaria on Tuesday and Sweden faces Denmark. Italy must win to have any chance of reaching the quarterfinals.
Christian Panucci set up Italy's goal, sending a left-footed cross into the box that Cassano headed into the net from six yards out. Cassano, who is 21 and considered one of Italy's best young talents, blew a kiss to Totti after the goal.
Italy carried play in the first half. Christian Vieri headed two shots over the crossbar and Alessandro Del Piero had at least two good chances.
Sweden's best early chance came in the 13th minute. Fredrik Ljungberg back-heeled the ball to Ibrahimovic, who shot over the crossbar from eight yards.
In the 77th minute, Sweden missed a good chance on a blistering shot by Mattias Jonsson and great save by Buffon.
In the earlier game, Denmark's Jon Dahl Tomasson scored into an empty net from close range a minute before halftime for the opening goal.
Gronkjaer, who missed several practices because of his mother, entered the game midway through the first half.
Bulgaria hardly threatened but was furious when it was denied a free kick near the end. Stilian Petrov's outburst led to a red card eight minutes from the finish.
-- From News Services