Euro 2012 - Russia 4 Czech Rep 1

09 June 2012 11:48
They may have been outsiders for the competition at 7.45pm on Friday, but Russia thrilled the nation with flowing attacking football that encouraged a sudden flood of bets today. Russia 4 Czech Republic 1

Russia: Malafeev, Aniukov, Berezutsky, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Shirokov, Denisov, Zyryanov, Dzagoev (Kokorin 84), Kerzhakov (Pavlyuchenko 73), Arshavin.Goals: Dzagoev 15, Shirokov 24, Dzagoev 79, Pavlyuchenko 82.

Czech Republic: Cech, Gebre Selassie, Hubnik, Sivok, Kadlec, Plasil, Jiracek (Petrzela 75), Pilar, Rosicky, Rezek (Hubschman 46), Baros (Lafata 85).Goal: Pilar 52.

Group A favourites Russia got their Euro 2012 campaign off to a great start with a 4-1 thrashing of the Czech Republic in Wroclaw.

Alan Dzagoev bagged a brace for the Russians and Roman Shirokov and Roman Pavlyuchenko also notched in an entertaining encounter at the Municipal Stadium.

Russia took the lead with a fine goal, Dzagoev (15) smashing home the rebound after Aleksandr Kerzhakov had arrived at the back post to head Konstantin Zyryanov's great cross against the post.

Dzagoev then sliced another good chance wide of the post but the Russians were soon two-up in any case, Shirokov (24) cleverly flicking the ball over Petr Cech after Andrey Arshavin's pass found its way to the back post.

Kerzhakov then blazed a good chance to make it three over the bar and the Czechs were back in it after the break, Vaclav Pilar (52) latching onto Jaroslav Plasil's slide-rule pass and rounding the keeper before slotting home.

Russia pressed forward but Zyryanov's shot went just over the bar and Kerzhakov pulled two great chances wastefully wide, while Vyatcheslav Malafeev did well to keep out Tomas Rosicky's effort at the other end.

And the Russians then wrapped it up when a neat first-time pass from sub Pavlyuchenko played in Dzagoev (79), who lashed a right-footed shot past Cech.

Pavlyuchenko got in on the act himself three minutes later, cutting in from the left and bewildering defender Roman Hubnik before finding the top corner with a great strike.