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  • Date:08 Jun 2012
  • Kick-off:19:45
  • Venue:Wroclaw Municipal Stadium - Wroclaw
  • Alan Dzagoev (15)
    Roman Shirokov (24)
    Alan Dzagoev (79)
    Roman Pavlyuchenko (82)
  • Vaclav Pilar (52)

Live Commentary


That's full-time and there's a sense of quiet satisfaction from the Russian players rather than ecstatic celebrations as they leave the pitch. It's a job well done but sterner tests lie ahead.


It's almost over. Next up for Russia is a clash with co-hosts Poland on Tuesday, where a win should be enough to clinch their place in the quarter-finals. The Czechs face Greece knowing defeat would effectively end their hopes.


We are into two minutes of stoppage-time and it can't go quick enough for the Czechs, who look utterly dejected.


This is a real statement of intent from Russia. They may not have the household names of Spain, Germany, France or Holland, but, with Arshavin in this mood, they look a vibrant outfit capable of troubling more famous opposition as the tournament unfolds.


It's been a frustrating match for Baros, who has been working off scraps up front, and he is put out of his misery as David Lafata is sent on.


With the points safely secured, Dzagoev departs to a well-earned ovation after a match-winning display. Alexander Kokorin comes on.


Advocaat's substitution proves an inspired move. After setting up Dzagoev's second, Pavlyuchenko gets on the scoresheet himself with a blistering shot that gives Cech no chance. The Czech goalkeeper wasn't helped by his defenders, who stood off as the Russian worked room for a shot that flashed into the top corner.


Goal for Russia!


Dzagoev has really announced his arrival on the international stage here. He's only 21 and looks full of promise. It might not be long before the big clubs are sniffing around the CSKA Moscow player.


That should be game over as Dzagoev rifles an emphatic strike past Cech after Pavlyuchenko's pass sets up the Russian midfielder just inside the penalty area.


Goal for Russia!


Milan Petrzela comes on for Petr Jiracek as Bilek tries to inject fresh energy into the Czech midfield in the closing stages.


Rosicky threatens an equaliser with a low shot that forces Malafeev to make a solid one-handed save before pouncing on the rebound. Don't count the Czechs out yet.


Advocaat has seen enough of Kerzhakov's travails and sends on Roman Pavlyuchenko, formerly of Tottenham and now at Lokomotiv Moscow.


Gebre Selassie clearly doesn't lack confidence. From an almost impossible angle, the defender tries a Marco van Basten-style volley that isn't that far off the mark.


Remarkably the misfiring Kerzhakov is at it again. This time he does well to create the chance for himself by turning inside Michal Kadlec, only to slice his shot woefully wide.


If Kerzhakov had been more clinical, Russia would have been out of sight by now. Instead the Zenit striker is off-target again, dragging his shot wide of the near post after running at Hubnik.


What must Arsene Wenger be thinking? After flopping at Arsenal, Arshavin is on top form here. He creates another great chance for Kerzhakov, who should hit the target but drags his effort wide.


Zyryanov takes aim from 20 yards and drives in a powerful shot. He can't hit the target though and it sails over.


Just like Greece in the tournament opener, the Czech Republic have shown impressive courage under fire, but they need another goal to complete their comeback. The stage is set for a great final 30 minutes.


Shirokov can't keep his long range shot down as Russia look to get back on top.


Theodor Gebre Selassie heads over from Plasil's corner, but there's more belief and urgency about the Czechs now. Russia need to regroup.


It's a cool finish from the 23-year-old Wolfsburg midfielder to collect just his second international goal in his 10th appearance. That's exactly what the Czechs needed.


Russia's offside trap is completely exposed as Pilar runs onto Plasil's perfectly-timed pass, rounds Malafeev and slots home. Suddenly it's game on.


Goal for the Czech Republic!


Rosicky, so often a peripheral figure in Arsenal's midfield, really needs to get on the ball more often for the Czechs. He's got the experience and technique to damage the Russians, but we've seen precious little of him so far.


That's half-time and Russia are dominant. Impressive stuff from Advocaat's men.


Russia goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev makes a routine stop from Vaclav Pilar's far post header.


Baros is grumbling at referee Webb for not giving him enough free-kicks as he tries to battle on his own against the obdurate Russia defence. He needs more support if the Czechs are going to snatch a draw.


The life has ebbed out of the Czechs at the moment. They are posing little danger to a Russian team quite content to let the game drift towards half-time.


A Mexican wave, sparked by joyous Russian fans, wends its way around the stadium. Meanwhile, Czech coach Bilek sits with his arms folded and a scowl etched on his face. That sums up the mood of the match right now.


Russia completely dominating possession and probing for more openings. It will need a massive effort from the Czechs to come back from this deficit.


Kerzhakov wastes a good chance to kill off the Czechs as he shoots over from no more than 10 yards as Advocaat's team burst through down the left flank.


Arshavin is tormenting the Czech defence now and he has a penalty appeal turned down after a push in the back from Plasil before drilling in a cross that no Russian forward can convert.


Plasil will be hanging his head there as well. The Czech gave the ball away far too easily in midfield before Arshavin made his decisive pass.


Arshavin, displaying the kind of astute passing that he struggled to produce at Arsenal, laid on that goal with a slide-rule delivery towards Kerzhakov that eventually eludes everyone and runs through to Shirokov. The Russians are rampant now.


Zenit midfielder Roman Shirokov doubles Russia's lead with a delightful dink over Cech from close-range. Russia's playmakers have punished the lack of communication between the Czechs' defence and midfield. There was a gaping hole in front of the back four for three Russians to surge into in the build-up to that goal.


Goal for Russia!


That's a hammer blow for the Czechs after such a lively opening, but Russia deserve credit for getting back on track so impressively and they threaten again when Dzagoev shoots wide from Andrey Arshavin's pass.


Dzagoev takes the plaudtis for the finish, but Konstantin Zyryanov caused havoc with a run and cross to Kerzhakov, who headed against a post. With the Czech defenders statuesque after the rebound, Dzagoev takes advantage to drill home.


CSKA Moscow midfielder Alan Dzagoev provides the finishing touch with a cool low strike after Russia produce the kind of flowing move that so often caught the eye at Euro 2008.


Goal for Russia!


Just as Russia appear to have been hit by some early nerves, they cast off the shackles and carve out the best move of the match so far, going close as Kerzhakov shoots wide from Zhirkov's cross.


Rosicky lets fly with a 25-yard effort that whistles way over the bar. It's not a great strike but there's no doubt the Czechs have seized the early momentum.


Bordeaux midfielder Plasil is pulling the strings in the early stages and he cleverly plays in Baros, but the Czech forward is penalised for a foul on former Chelsea defender Yuri Zhirkov.


A bright start from the Czechs produces their first chance as Roman Hubnik heads over from Plasil's free-kick. It wasn't an easy opportunity but coach Michal Bilek will be encouraged with the way Hubnik was left unmarked there.


There's an appeal for a penalty from the Czechs as Jaroslav Plasil's corner strikes Aleksandr Anyukov on the arm as he tries to control, but Webb waves play on.


It takes just a few seconds for the first foul as Aleksandr Kerzhakov is tripped immediately after the kick-off. Possibly an early marker laid down by the Czechs there.

1 - English referee Howard Webb blows his whistle and Russia get the first-half underway.

Russia: Malafeev, Anyukov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Berezutski, Shirokov, Denisov, Zyryanov, Dzagoev, Arshavin, Kerzhakov. Subs: Akinfeev, Shunin, Sharonov, Granat, Nababkin, Izmailov, Kombarov, Kokorin, Glushakov, Semshov, Pavlyuchenko, Pogrebnyak.

Czech Republic: Cech, Gebre Selassie, Kadlec, Hubnik, Sivok, Rezek, Rosicky, Plasil, Pilar, Jiracek, Baros. Subs: Lastuvka, Drobny, Suchy, Limbersky, Rajtoral, Petrzela, Hubschman, Kolar, Darida, Necid, Pekhart, Lafata.

Both teams are on the pitch and the national anthems have been belted out by a good-size crowd at Wroclaw's 44,416-capacity Municipal Stadium.

Before arriving at their base in Wroclaw, the Czechs had a scare when traces of the potentially-deadly Legionella bacteria were found in their hotel. Thankfully a disinfection company was called to sort the problems before Polish health inspectors gave it the all clear.

The Czechs are a battle-hardened bunch however, with Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech arriving full of confidence after his penalty heroics helped his club win the Champions League final against Bayern Munich. They can also call on Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky and frontman Baros.

The Russians were one of the revelations of Euro 2008 as they swept through to the last four under the guidance of another Dutchman, Guus Hiddink, destroying Holland in the quarter-finals. Several of that squad are still involved and they should pose quite a threat to an aging Czech side.

Advocaat's entertaining Russia outfit are regarded as dark horses at the Euros after winning a qualifying group featuring the Republic of Ireland and then thumping Italy 3-0 in a recent friendly.

But Russia coach Dick Advocaat isn't so fortunate as goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev has been ruled out of the opener after a flare-up of the knee injury which plagued the CSKA Moscow star for much of the season. Zenit Saint Petersburg's Vyacheslav Malafeev deputises for Akinfeev.

Here's good news on the fitness front for the Czech Republic as former Liverpool striker Milan Baros, now playing for Galatasaray, is fit to start after a thigh injury. Baros, who has scored 41 goals in 89 games for the national team, was top scorer at Euro 2004 when the Czechs reached the semi-finals.

Hello and welcome to our live updates from the second game of Euro 2012. After the incident-packed drama of Poland's 1-1 draw against Greece a little earlier, we turn our attention to the other Group A tie. It's Russia, semi-finalists in Euro 2008, against the Czech Republic, who were winners in 1976 and runners-up in 1996.

Bilek has made a change, sending on Shakhtar Donetsk's Tomas Hubschman in midfield to replace Jan Rezek, who struggled to get to grips with Russia's smooth-passing style.

We're back underway in the second half in Wroclaw.

So that's the end of the first day of Euro 2012 and if most of the remaining 29 matches are this entertaining we are in for quite a tournament. Tomorrow it's Holland v Denmark and Germany v Portugal.

**Provisional teams until kick-off


  • Dick Advocaat Coach
  • Vyacheslav Malafeev Goal
  • Alexander Anyukov Defender
  • Alexei Berezutski Defender
  • Sergey Ignashevich Defender
  • Yuri Zhirkov Defender
  • Roman Shirokov Midfielder
  • Igor Denisov Midfielder
  • Konstantin Zyryanov Midfielder
  • Alan Dzagoev Forward
  • Alexander Kerzhakov Forward
  • Andrey Arshavin Forward
  • Igor Akinfeev Substitute
  • Anton Shunin Substitute
  • Roman Sharonov Substitute
  • Vladimir Granat Substitute
  • Kirill Nababkin Substitute
  • Marat Izmailov Substitute
  • Dmitri Kombarov Substitute
  • Denis Glushakov Substitute
  • Igor Semshov Substitute
  • Pavel Pogrebnyak Substitute
  • Roman Pavlyuchenko
  • Alexander Kokorin

Czech Republic

  • Michal Bilek Coach
  • Petr Cech Goal
  • Theodor Gebre Selassie Defender
  • Roman Hubník Defender
  • Tomas Sivok Defender
  • Michal Kadlec Defender
  • Jan Rezek Midfielder
  • Jaroslav Plasil Midfielder
  • Tomas Rosicky Midfielder
  • Petr Jiracek Midfielder
  • Vaclav Pilar Midfielder
  • Milan Baros Forward
  • Jan Lastuvka Substitute
  • Jaroslav Drobny Substitute
  • Marek Suchy Substitute
  • David Limbersky Substitute
  • Frantisek Rajtoral Substitute
  • Daniel Kolar Substitute
  • Vladimír Darida Substitute
  • Tomas Necid Substitute
  • Tomas Pekhart Substitute
  • Tomas Hubschman Substitute who played
  • Milan Petrzela Substitute who played
  • David Lafata Substitute who played

Match Report

Classy Russians in driving seat after Czech win
A vibrant Russia took command of Group A on the opening day of the European Championships with a 4-1 win over the Czech Republic in Warsaw on Friday.
Alan Dzagoev notched a brace with Roman Shirokov and Roman Pavlyuchenko grabbing one each as Russia went two points clear at the top of the group following the earlier 1-1 draw between co-hosts Poland and Greece.
For the Czechs though, Vaclav Pilar's strike was scant consolation from a poor showing.
Russia looked disjointed at the beginning and it was the Czechs who bossed the opening exchanges as Dick Advocaat's team struggled to find their rhythm.
But once they did, they carved Michal Bilek's team open in ruthless fashion.
A clever backheel from Arshavin set Yuri Zhirkov free at the byline and his cross found Aleksandr Kerzhakov, but he couldn't direct his side-footed finish on target.
Yet within 60 seconds Russia were in front.
Dzagoev capitilised on two Czechs bumping into each other in midfield to surge forwards and release Konstantin Zyryanov down the right.
He picked out Kerzhakov at the back post and when his header came back off the upright it was Dzagoev who arrived on the scene in the right place and at the right time to drill home.
On 23 minutes it was two as Arshavin played an incisive ball into the box and although it was an inch too far in front of Kerzhakov, Shirokov sneaked in around the back to dink the ball over Petr Cech.
The second period began with a strangely muted atmosphere but seven minutes in it was livened up as Jaroslav Plasil sliced open the Russian defence and Pilar skipped around Malafeev before sliding the ball home.
Arshavin, enjoying one of his more productive games, cleverly clipped in Kerzhakov but the Zenit St Petersburg striker had not brought his shooting boots to Poland and screwed his effort wide of the far post.
Czech full-back Theodor Gebre Selassie produced a showreel moment with a spectacular volley into the side-netting and Malafeev got down well to clutch a thumped Tomas Rosicky effort at the second attempt.
But 11 minutes from time Dzagoev effectively sealed the points with a rising finish from Pavlyuchenko's pass.
And then Pavlyuchenko added an individual effort from the edge of the box following dogged persistence.





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