EURO 2012 GROUP A: Russia begin with four goal haul against Czech Republic

Russia made the best possible start to their Group A campaign with a comprehensive 4-1 defeat of the Czech Republic.

The Russian’s are now unbeaten in 15 games, a record stretching back to February 2011 and whilst the Czech Republic gave themselves a glimmer of hope by reducing the deficit to 2-1, the 13th ranked team in the World always looked the likely victors.

Two goals ahead at the break Russia looked to be coasting after strikes from Alan Dzagoev and Roman Shirokov.

But the Czech Republic, who lost more qualifying matches (three) than any other side that qualified for Euro 2012, scored shortly after the break as Vaclav Pilar sidestepped the advancing keeper to roll the ball into an unguarded net.

This goal gave the Czech’s hope and for a few moments looked capable of finding a leveller but the team who scored the fewest goals in qualifying failed to seize the initiative and Russia simply stepped up a gear with two goals in the closing minutes.

Substitute Roman Pavlyuchenko cleverly set up Dzagoev for his second of the game and then provider turned scorer as the former Tottenham player smashed the ball past Chelsea keeper Petr Cech.

For Arsenal fans there was a reminder of the quality of Andrey Arshavin who was sent out on loan from the Emirates Stadium and set up two of the goals and overall had a fine game.

Referee: Howard Webb (ENG)

Venue: Municipal Stadium, Wroclaw

Attendance: 37,348

Russia scorers: Dzagoev 15, 79, Shirokov 24, Pavlyuchenko 81
Czech Republic scorers: Pilar 52

Yellow cards:

 
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