Russia impress in opening game

by admin

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

A brace from 21 year-old starlet Alan Dzagoev helped Russia to an emphatic 4 – 1 win over the Czech Republic in their opening Group A match Wroclaw.

In an intriguingly open game, the Russians continued their excellent brand of free-flowing football that had caught the eye at EURO 2008 when they made the semi-finals, to sweep into a two-goal lead inside the first half-hour.

Dzagoev scored the game’s opener when he ended a move he had incisively begun, drilling in the rebound when Alexander Kerzhakov’s header came back off the post.

The lethargic Czechs were poor in the first half and found themselves two behind when lacklustre defending allowed Roman Shirikov to dink Andriy Arshavin’s pin-point through-ball over Petr Cech.

Indeed, Arsenal exile and Russian captain Arshavin was impressive throughout, producing an energetic performance that was reminiscent of his early career at the Emirates Stadium, as his team dominated Michal Bilek’s side, who were struggling to serve lone striker Milan Baros.

However, after emerging stronger in the opening exchanges of the second half, the Czechs exposed a momentary lapse of concentration in their opponents’ defence. Vaclav Pilar took Jaroslav Plasil’s excellent defence-splitting ball round goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev to ignite the contest.

But this was their only genuine effort to halt Russia’s progress as further defensive lapses proved to be their undoing.

Those looking to Bet on Spain this summer note how the introduction of former Tottenham striker Roman Pavlyuchenko would prove to be the game’s killer. Replacing the misfiring Kerzhakov, Pavlyuchenko almost immediately set up the exciting Dzagoev to lash home past Cech before the 30 year-old himself blasted a shot that was again too venomous for the Chelsea keeper to save, to add gloss to an already secure scoreline

Whether you want to Bet on England or any other team this summer, it is worth noting that the result sees Dick Advocaat’s side take an early group lead going into their second group game against co-hosts Poland, whilst Bilek’s deflated Czechs must rouse themselves to play Greece on Tuesday.

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