WROCLAW, POLAND - JUNE 08: Alan Dzagoev of Russia (C) celebrates scoring their opening goal with team mates during the UEFA EURO 2012 group A match between Russia and Czech Republic at The Municipal Stadium on June 8, 2012 in Wroclaw, Poland. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Russia Vs. Czech Republic: Take A Bow, Alan Dzagoev

Russia, who were supposedly not as good as they were at Euro 2008, are actually as good as they were at Euro 2008. They beat the Czech Republic 4-1, with Dzagoev scoring twice.

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12 Total Updates since June 8, 2012
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UEFA Opening Disciplinary Proceedings Against Russian Football Union

UEFA are opening disciplinary proceedings against the RFS over the behaviour of Russia fans during their 4-1 win against the Czech Republic.

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Russia Vs. Czech Republic, Euro 2012: Final Score 4-1 Russia, Dzagoev Grabs Brace

Group favourites Russia made things a little bit more difficult for themselves than they really should have, but still ended up demolishing the Czech Republic in their opening match. It became abundantly clear who the more dangerous team was when Alan Dzagoev opened the scoring fifteen minutes in, mopping up after Alexander Kerzhakov hit the post with a header, and Roman Shirokov made it 2-0 with a deft finish past Petr Cech to make it 2-0 before a half hour had even passed.

It wasn't that the Czechs were bad, per se, but all of their goodness was concentrated in the midfield, with very little going forward and not much in defence either. Russia had the bulk of the chances in the first half despite a fairly even possession split - they were superb on the counterattack and the Czechs had no answer in the first half.

It looked as though that had changed after the break, with Vaclav Pilar hauling his side back into the match with a superb goal. The midfielder was played clean through by a through ball from Jaroslav Plasil, who took advantage Alexander Anyukov blowing an offside trap, and Pilar coolly rounded Vyacheslav Malafeev before slotting home from a tight angle.

The Czechs still had to attack, however, and that opened them up for the counter. Russia had several clear chances only to do ... well, not much of anything with them. Although his header early in the first half led directly to the opener, Kerzhakov was having a shocker. Andrei Arshavin* kept feeding him the ball behind the defence, and Kerzhakov kept missing by what looked like several miles each time.

*Who was absolutely sublime all match - the man can still play some football, despite his form with Arsenal early last season.

Eventually Russia got bored of the farce and replaced him with former Tottenham Hotspur man Roman Pavlyuchenko, and the goals started flowing once again. Pavlyuchenko was vital in the first, feeding Dzagoev with an incisive pass which the 21-year-old buried for his second goal of the game. Minutes later, it was Pavlyuchenko himself on the scoresheet after he jinked back and forth through the Czech penalty box before slotting a low shot past Cech.

The final kick of the match looked like a consolation goal for the Czechs, but Milan Petrzela's tidy finish ended up ruled out by the offside flag, which was a bit of a shame because the strike was so pretty. Anyway, the game never should have been in doubt, but thanks to some poor finishing in the second half the Czech Republic were in it for much of the second half. 4-1 was probably a fair score on balance of play, but if Russia had been sharper they could have been looking at a five or six-goal win.

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Russia Vs. Czech Republic, Euro 2012: Dzagoev, Pavlyuchenko Make It 4-1

Remember when the Czech Republic scored an unexpected goal to get back into their game against Russia? That didn't last very long! They would probably be down by six or seven goals if it wasn't for Aleksandr Kerzhakov, but all losses count the same. Alan Dzagoev scored his second goal of the game to make it 3-1, and Roman Pavlyuchenko -- who replaced Kerzhakov -- added another to put Russia up by three goals.

Pavlyuchenko was a subject of ridicule for his poor finishing in his time at Tottenham Hotspur, but he made an instant impact when he entered this game. He set up Dzagoev for his goal with a fantastic pass in the 79th minute, then blasted a shot of his own past Petr Cech in the 82nd minute. Seeing as Kerzhakov appears to have contracted the yips, Pavlyuchenko could take over as Russia's starting striker going forward.

We have live coverage of the game in our Russia vs. Czech Republic, Euro 2012 StoryStream. For more on Euro 2012 and the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on Twitter.

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Russia Vs. Czech Republic, Euro 2012: Vaclav Pilar Scores For Czechs

For 52 minutes, the Czech Republic didn't look like they were going to be able to offer much resistance to Russia. Their midfield was overrun, their wide players didn't look up for the game and their defense looked out of sorts. The Czechs haven't exactly fixed all of those problems, but they've still been able to pull themselves back into the game with a nice goal. A 2-0 Russian lead that appeared to be leading to a rout is now just a 2-1 Russian lead.

Russia's defense got burned in the 52nd minute as they attempted to catch Vaclav Pilar offside on a run from deep, but they didn't step quickly enough. He was kept easily onside on a great through ball by Jaroslav Plasil, and he made the most of it, rounding Vyacheslav Malafeev before he placed an excellent finish into the goal.

It would still be stunning if Russia failed to win the match, but at the very least, Pilar has made things interesting.

We have live coverage of the game in our Russia vs. Czech Republic, Euro 2012 StoryStream. For more on Euro 2012 and the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on Twitter.

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Russia Vs. Czech Republic, Euro 2012: Halftime Score 2-0 Russia - Is A Rout On?

Update: Russia 4-1 Czech Republic, Final Score

Well this isn't very fair. Russia are steamrollering the Czech Republic at the Stadion Miejski, where both Alan Dzagoev and Roman Shirokov have scored. It looks like there could be more to come as well - the Czech defence is something approximating 'abject' at the moment and despite things being fairly evenly matched in the midfield, Russia are getting plenty of good chances, and they've put enough of them away to take a commanding lead.

The Czechs dominated the early stages of the game but were undone by a simple cross. Konstantin Zyryanov lofted the ball to the unmarked Aleksandr Kerzhakov, whose header beat Petr Cech and crashed off the far post. Unfortunately for the defenders, the ricochet bounced straight to Dzagoev, who finished calmly with the goalkeeper stranded.

It got worse shortly thereafter. A wonderful through ball by Andrei Arshavin confused the Czech back line and allowed Shirokov to nick in late, and the Zenit St. Petersburg midfielder beat Cech with a cool chip to make it 2-0. Russia had more chances to score, so they haven't been hugely clinical, but they're creating enough chances that putting only half of them away is perfectly fine.

At the other end of the pitch, not much is happening. When the Czech Republic have the ball (especially Petr Jiracek), they look dangerous, but there's been nothing in the way of an end product and Vyacheslav Malafeev's hardly been tested. A big comeback is required - but we've already seen that happen once today. Can lightning strike twice?

We have live coverage of the game in our Russia vs. Czech Republic, Euro 2012 StoryStream. For more on Euro 2012 and the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on Twitter.

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Russia Vs. Czech Republic, Euro 2012: Alan Dzagoev Goal Has Russia Ahead

Russia are ahead on the Czech Republic after just 15 minutes of fantastic play, and the Czechs aren't showing any indication that they're going to be able to hang in this match. Games can turn quickly, as the opening match of Euro 2012 showed, but Michel Bilak's side currently looks outclassed.

Alan Dzagoev scored the goal that has Russia up 1-0, finishing off a great team move with a tidy finish from 12 yards out. Konstantin Zyryanov set up the chance with a cross from the right flank, which found Aleksandr Kerzhakov. His shot hit the far post, but ricochet right to Dzagoev, who was unmarked. He found a shooting lane between two defenders and finished calmly.

This match couldn't have started much better for Russia. They were well in control before the goal and the Czech defense doesn't look like they can deal with what's being thrown at them. Unless the Czech Republic double pivot and Tomas Rosicky can grab a hold of the game quickly, this could get ugly.

We have live coverage of the game in our Russia vs. Czech Republic, Euro 2012 StoryStream. For more on Euro 2012 and the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on Twitter.

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Russia Vs. Czech Republic, Euro 2012: Underway From Rainy Wroclaw

Unlike the first match of the day, which was played under a roof, Russia and the Czech Republic are playing in the rain in Wroclaw. Both teams can play on the ground, but have some physical players as well, and the weather doesn't necessarily benefit one team or another.

The biggest selection that either team has made is Russia's lineup move in goal. Igor Akinfeev, the Russia No. 1, was recently out for seven months with a knee injury and got fit just in time to make the squad. He's been in full training, but Dick Advocaat isn't taking any chances with his fitness and has gone with Vyacheslav Malafeev.

The Czech Republic have had a similar choice to make with Tomas Rosicky, who was questionable coming into the match, but Michel Bilak has opted to take his chances and play his hobbled captain in his familiar No. 10 role, behind Milan Baros.

We have live coverage of the game in our Russia vs. Czech Republic, Euro 2012 StoryStream. For more on Euro 2012 and the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on Twitter.

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Russia Vs. Czech Republic, Euro 2012: Lineups

Euro 2012 has gotten underway with Poland and Greece and it was a cracker. There were red cards on both good calls and bad, some fantastic goals, a goal called back, a saved penalty by a substitute goalkeeper and all of it in front of a deafening home crowd. Next up is Russia and the Czech Republic and they have A LOT to live up to.

With the Poland and Greece playing to a draw, the Russians or Czechs have a chance to take first place in Group A. Russia will lean upon Igor Denisov, Konstantin Zyryanov and Roman Shirokov to control the midfield, while the Czech's will be hoping that Tomas Rosicky can get free from the Russian trio. Of note is the absence of Igor Akinfeev, who recently recovered from injury but is not playing for reasons only Dick Advocaat knows.

Russia (4-3-3): Vyacheslav Malafeev; Aleksandr Anyukov, Aleksei Berezutski, Sergei Ignashevich, Yuri Zhirkov; Roman Shirokov, Igor Denisov, Konstantin Zyryanov; Alan Dzagoev, Aleksandr Kerzhakov, Andrei Arshavin.

Czech Republic (4-2-3-1): Petr Cech; Theodor Gebre Selassie, Tomas Sivok, Roman Hubnik, Michal Kadlec; Jaroslav Plasil, Petr Jiracek; Jan Rezek, Tomas Rosicky, Vaclav Pilar; Milan Baros.

We'll have live coverage of the game in our Russia vs. Czech Republic, Euro 2012 StoryStream. For more on Euro 2012 and the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on Twitter.

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