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Rediff.com  » Sports » Rampant Russia beat dazed Czechs 4-1

Rampant Russia beat dazed Czechs 4-1

June 09, 2012 02:48 IST

Russia swept to a 4-1 win over the Czech Republic with a slick counter-attacking display and deadly finishing on Friday to take control of what was tipped to be a tight Euro 2012 Group A.

Alan Dzagoyev scored either side of a dinked effort from Roman Shirokov before substitute Roman Pavlyuchenko struck a brilliant fourth to sink their dazed opponents.

The Czechs tried their best to fight back in the second half, with Vaclav Pilar making it 2-1 just after the break, but Russia could have won by even more goals as they stamped their credentials on the tournament as possible title contenders.

With captain Tomas Rosicky and forward Milan Baros returning for the Czechs after injury, they controlled the game early on in chilly, damp conditions but were undone by sloppy defending.

DzagoevRussia forward Dzagoyev netted the first goal in the 15th minute against the run of play when he coolly slotted home after Alexander Kerzhakov's header had rebounded off the post.

A defence-splitting pass by Russia captain Andrei Arshavin then allowed an unmarked Shirokov to cleverly clip the ball over goalkeeper Petr Cech in the 24th minute.

The Czechs looked exposed on the left side of defence where attack-minded Michal Kadlec had switched to his preferred role from a central position in recent warm-up matches.

The Czechs looked lively in the second half and cut Russia's lead in the 52nd minute when Pilar latched on to a through ball from Jaroslav Plasil and slotted home after rounding the keeper.

But Russia's coach Dick Advocaat vowed to play an attacking style and the team executed his instructions to perfection.

Dzagoyev notched his second in the 79th with a powerful shot that flew past Cech before Pavlyuchenko held off a defender at the edge of the penalty area and rifled a shot into the net.

Earlier, Greece fought back to draw 1-1 with co-hosts Poland in the opening match of Euro 2012 but also missed a penalty as both teams ended their action-packed Group A clash with 10 men.

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