But order was restored in the decider as Italy pulled away to a 21-12 23-25 15-10 victory in 58 minutes.
The win means Italy finish as winners of Pool F after three straight wins.
Brazilian duo Talita Rocha and Maria Antonelli also secured top spot in Pool E and their place in the last 16 with a comfortable victory over Australia.
The Netherlands' Marleen van Iersel and Sanne Keizer were too strong for Argentina, winning in straight sets.
Germany's Sara Goller and Laura Ludwig booked their place in the last 16 with a straightforward victory over the Netherlands' Madelein Meppelink and Sophie van Gestel, who later made it through the Lucky Loser play-offs.
Great Britain duo Shauna Mullin and Zara Dampney snatched a Lucky Loser place after slipping to defeat against Russia - but that is as far as they could go in the tournament after coming unstuck against Austria.
USA duo Jennifer Kessy and April Ross ensured top spot in Pool D with victory over Spain but both sides progressed to the round of 16.
In the men's competition, Brazilian duo Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerutti wrapped up top spot in Pool A with a straight-sets win over Italy.
Italy's second loss in three games meant they had to play a Lucky Loser play-off against Canada, and they prevailed in that contest to make it through to the last 16.
Reigning Olympic champions Todd Rogers and Philip Dalhausser of the USA made it three straight wins against the Czech Republic to top Pool B and ease through to the last 16.
Premysl Kubala and Petr Benes were given another chance to progess in the Lucky Loser game, but Germany edged them out to take their place in the next stage of the competition.
Latvia and the Netherlands both progressed after the latter won their contest, with Spain edging out Japan.
Switzerland overcame Austria in straight sets to book their place in the last 16.