Italy bounced back from the quickest goal ever scored in the competition to kick off their European Championship title defense with a 2-1 victory over Albania on Saturday, amidst a crowd heavily favoring the underdogs. Nedim Bajrami shocked the Italians and thrilled the large Albanian contingent in Dortmund by scoring after just 23 seconds, breaking the previous record of 67 seconds set by Russia's Dmitri Kirichenko in 2004. However, Italy quickly responded with Alessandro Bastoni equalizing at 11 minutes and Nicolo Barella putting them ahead by the 16th minute. Despite a nervy ending, Luciano Spalletti's side held on, though they could have secured a larger margin. Spalletti expressed satisfaction with the performance but urged for more aggression and hunger in future matches. Italy now looks forward to a clash with Spain in Gelsenkirchen, having positioned themselves well in Group B after Spain's 3-0 win over Croatia. Italy, despite being reigning champions, enters the tournament with a somewhat unproven squad, having missed the last two World Cups and not entirely convincing in qualifications. Albania, meanwhile, is experiencing their second major tournament, with their fans creating a vibrant atmosphere in Dortmund. The match began with Federico Dimarco's loose throw-in leading to Bajrami's quick strike. Italy's recovery started with a well-executed corner leading to Bastoni's header, followed by Barella's decisive shot after a defensive clearance. Despite chances to extend their lead, Italy settled for a narrow win, with Albania unable to capitalize on their late efforts.