Before the game, Buffon had joked his ‘sell-by date’ was drawing ever closer and it looked closer still just before the hour when his fresh air kick outside his area allowed Seville forward Vitola put Spain in front.
Spain could easily have been reduced to 10 men in the second half when Chelsea’s Diego Costa committed a series of offences before and after he was booked for putting his hands in the face of Leonardo Bonucci.
Spain had 72.4% of possession in the first half but failed to score.
Italy rarely threatened after Vitola’s goal but after Sergio Ramos tripped Eder, De Rossi equalised to extend his country’s unbeaten run in qualifiers to 52 games.
Turkey came from two goals down to draw 2-2 at home to Ukraine in Group I. The result at the Konya Buyuksehir Stadium is a second draw for both teams after all the first round of Group I matches ended 1-1 a month ago.
Turkey had the best early chance but Ukraine went ahead through Andriy Yarmolenko’s 24th-minute penalty after Caner Erkin fouled Artem Kravets. Yarmolenko finished left-footed into the bottom-left corner.
The visitors doubled the lead three minutes later, Yarmolenko turning provider for Kravets to find the same bottom corner as his team-mate from the centre of the box.
Turkey pulled one back on the stroke of half-time, Ozan Tufan heading home from a central position after Hakan Calhanoglu’s cross.
Both sides had efforts on goal in the second half before Turkey levelled through Calhanoglu’s spot-kick with nine minutes of normal time left. Calhanoglu put a right-footed shot down the middle after Taras Stepanenko fouled Cenk Tosun.
In the same group, the Iceland miracle continued as they pulled off a remarkable injury-time turnaround against Finland, Alfred FInnbogason and Ragnar Sigurdsson striking to turn a 2-1 deficit into a famous 3-2 victory.