Dzagoev double helps Russia beat Czech Republic

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Alan Dzagoev
Wroclaw, Jun 9: Russia showed their dominance as Alan Dzagoev's double helped them thrash Czech Republic 4-1 and seal their place at the top of Group A in Euro 2012 played at the Municipal Stadium in Wroclaw.

Dick Advocaat's side went on top of Group A in Euro 2012. A positive sign for Russia as they send a threatening message to opponents with their free-flowing attacking display. A brace from Dzagoev along with Roman Shirokov's clever chip and substitute Roman Pavlyuchenko's individual goal sealed an impressive victory.

The Czechs began to dominate possession in the first few minutes which did not allow Russia to settle down quickly. Led by captain Andrey Asharvin, Russia soon found their feet and got going with one-touch passes on the counter attack. The Czechs failed to cope up with Asharvin's pace down the left channel.

Just 15 minutes into the game, Dzagoev cruised towards the heart of the defence to find Konstantin Zyryanov deliver a cross which was headed against the post by Aleksandr Kerzhakov, Dzagoev was the first to smash the ball past Petr Cech to give Russia an early lead.

Momentum kicked in Russia's way as the Czech's looked to equalise quickly but lost possession trying to overdo each and every pass. Asharvin picked up a loose ball from Czech midfielder Jaroslav Plasil, the Gunners pass was meant to reach Kerzhakov but found Shirokov who chipped in a neat shot over Cech.

The Czechs attacking tactics left gaps in their defence making it easier for Asharvin's red army to push forward with immense pace. Kerzakov had numerous chances during the first half but failed to even hit the target.

Leading by two goals at the first half, Russia came close yet again with Kerzakov but Russia's momentum was halted in the 52nd minute when the Czechs equalised through pacey playmaker Vaclav Pilar. Midfielder Plasil gave a superb through pass to cut the Russian back line, allowing winger Plasil to trick Vyacheslav Malafeev and find the back of the net.

Michal Bilek's side got right back into the game and pushed forward with confidence. But their forward attacking run left gaps in the middle which allowed Russia to counter attack with ease. Asharvin's pace and trickery proved costly for the Czechs but striker Kerzakov hit wide of the mark. The Zenit St. Petersburg striker's frustration continued as he shot wide after cutting inside Michal Kadlec.

The striker's hopeless night ended when he was substituted for Pavlyuchenko during the 73rd minute. Kershakov had seven attempts on goal.

The Czechs hopes were dashed when Dzagoev sealed victory through Pavlyuchenko's pass to slam the ball past Cech. Three minutes later, the former Tottenham Hotspur striker tricked his way past a few defenders before smashing past Cech to seal a comfortable win.

Russia's brilliant attacking display makes them favourites to top Group A while Czech Republic need to solve their defensive errors and avoid sloppy passing. Both teams chose to go forward with pace, but the Red Army played much better moving forward, keeping their defence tight.

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