Turin, Italy – Italy trailed at halftime but stormed back to earn a 2-1 victory over the Czech Republic in World Cup qualifying action at Juventus Stadium on Tuesday.
Libor Kozak struck for the Czech Republic in the 19th minute, giving the visitors a lead that they held through the halftime interval.
But the Italians emerged from the break rejuvenated, needing just six minutes to level the score as Giorgio Chiellini equalized by nodding home Antonio Candreva's corner kick in the 51st minute.
Italy wasted little time in finding the go-ahead goal as Mario Balotelli drew a penalty under a challenge from Theodor Gebre Selassie and converted the ensuing attempt in the 54th minute.
The win sees Italy maintain its comfortable position atop Group B as it improves to 20 points through eight matches, seven points better than second- place Bulgaria after its 2-1 defeat of Malta on Tuesday. Denmark earned a 1-0 victory over 10-man Armenia on Tuesday to improve to 12 points, helping the nation climb to third place in the table.
In Group A, Serbia cruised to a 3-0 victory over Wales while Shaun Maloney scored two minutes from time to hand Scotland a dramatic 2-1 win at Macedonia.
In Group C, Germany maintained its unbeaten record by picking up a 3-0 victory against the Faroe Islands, David Alaba scored the lone goal in Austria's 1-0 defeat of Ireland, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic's first-minute strike was enough to see Sweden down Kazakhstan, 1-0.
In Group D, Robin van Persie bagged a brace in Holland's 2-0 victory at Andorra, Burak Yilmaz and Melvut Erding scored in Turkey's 2-0 defeat of Romania, and Hungary stuck five past Estonia in a 5-1 home drubbing.
In Group E, Fabian Schar scored twice in Switzerland's 2-0 defeat of Norway, Iceland climbed to second place thanks to a 2-1 victory over Albania, and Slovenia kept pace with 2-0 win at Cyprus.
In Group F, Mathias Janisch scored in the 87th minute to give Luxembourg a 3-2 home win over Northern Ireland while Russia scored three goals in the span of 25 second-half minutes to get a 3-1 victory over Israel.
In Group G, Bosnia-Herzegovina remained atop the table thanks to a 2-1 defeat of Slovakia, Dimitris Salpingidis scored the lone goal in Greece's 1-0 victory over Latvia, and Lithuania produced two first-half goals in a 2-0 win over Liechtenstein.
In Group H, Poland cruised to a 5-1 defeat of San Marino while England was held scoreless in 0-0 draw at Ukraine, leaving a gap of only three points separating first place from fourth in the table.
And in Group I, France secured a top-two finish thanks to a come-from-behind victory over Belarus while Finland earned a 1-0 win over Georgia thanks to Roman Eremenko's penalty.