The Azzurri lost 3-1 in Belgium on Friday in their first match after their unbeaten Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, and after a poor start at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara they found themselves behind after only eight minutes.
Gabriel Torje had already tested Gianluigi Buffon from distance in an open start to the match before Bogdan Stancu seized on hesitation between Matteo Darmian and Andrea Barzagli in the Italian defence to calmly slot past the veteran goalkeeper for the opener.
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The shock early setback seemed to spark the hosts into life and Antonio Conte's side played with greater urgency after falling behind, but it took them until midway through the first half to create their first chance, when Graziano Pelle headed wide from Alessandro Florenzi's corner.
Florenzi was the creator again as the Azzurri came within inches of an opener minutes later, when the Roma man flashed an inviting ball across the penalty box and Eder could not make contact as he slid in from close range.
The recalled Stephan El Shaarawy should have capped a lively first-half performance with a goal when he was found unmarked by Eder's cross, but Ciprian Tatarusanu was alert to smother the chance as the Monaco man could not react quickly enough with his back to goal.
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The hosts continued to have all of the pressure as the half drew to a close but after Claudio Marchisio fired narrowly over the bar from long range and they were denied a penalty when Eder tumbled under the challenge of Vlad Chiriches, they were still trailing as the whistle sounded.
After a flat start to the second half Italy equalised 10 minutes after the restart when Marchisio smashed home off the underside of the crossbar from the penalty spot after a second Italian appeal for a foul on Eder was given.
Substitute Stefano Okaka headed narrowly wide seconds after coming on as Conte's side pushed for a winner, and they completed the turnaround moments later when a rapid counter-attack ended in fellow replacement Manolo Gabbiadini nodding in Marchisio's ball for his first international goal.
El Shaarawy should have sealed the win when he could not keep his header down from Florenzi's fine cross, and the hosts were made to pay for that miss when Salvatore Sirigu could only parry Chiriches' header into the path of Florin Andone for the striker to smash home and snatch a draw.