Alan Dzagoev netted a double as Russia kicked off their Euro 2012 campaign with a comfortable win.
Russia went top of Group A after two goals by Alan Dzagoev condemned Czech Republic to defeat in their opening Euro 2012 game. Dzagoev gave Dick Advocaat’s side the lead with a shot after Aleksandr Kerzhakov headed against the post. Roman Shirokov made it 2-0 with a chip following good work by Andrey Arshavin. Vaclav Pilar reduced the deficit before two thunderous finishes by Dzagoev and substitute Roman Pavlyuchenko completed the rout
Alan Dzagoev is the second youngest player to score a brace at the Euros after Wayne Rooney – two at 18 years old.
That is a big old statement of intent from the Russians and another excellent game in what some critics are already calling “the best Euros since the last one”. Advocaat’s side showed admirable resolve to weather the Czech storm and, Kherzakov aside, were clinical where it counted. Dzagoev looks an excellent player, Arshavin seems to have succeeded in his attempt to return himself to 2008 and his team were largely composed and strong in defence. Will be interesting to see them against sterner opposition, but on this evidence they will storm this group.
The Czechs started brightly but ended the game inferior in every department. Still reckon they’ll have enough about them to get through the group, but their next game (against Greece) now becomes capital-G Gigantic.
RUSSIA 4 CZECH REPUBLIC 1
At the City Stadium, Wroclaw, Poland
Russia: Alan Dzagoyev 15, 79, Roman Shirokov 24, Roman Pavlyuchenko 82
Czech Republic: Vaclav Pilar 52
Halftime: 2-0; Attendance: 40,803
Referee: Howard Webb (England)
Russia: 16-Vyacheslav Malafeyev; 2-Alexander Anyukov, 12-Alexei Berezutsky, 4-Sergei Ignashevich, 5-Yuri Zhirkov; 6-Roman Shirokov, 7-Igor Denisov, 8-Konstantin Zyryanov; 17-Alan Dzagoyev (18-Alexander Kokorin 85), 11-Alexander Kerzhakov (14-Roman Pavlyuchenko 73), 10-Andrei Arshavin
Czech Republic: 1-Petr Cech; 2-Theodor Gebre Selassie, 5-Roman Hubnik, 6-Tomas Sivok, 3-Michal Kadlec; 13-Jaroslav Plasil, 19-Petr Jiracek (11-Milan Petrzela 76); 14-Vaclav Pilar, 10-Tomas Rosicky, 9-Jan Rezek (17-Tomas Hubschman 46); 15-Milan Baros (21-David Lafata 85) (Edited by Tom Pilcher)