Sunday 25 February 2018

Euro 2012: Pavlyuchenko ices Russian cake

Russia 4 Czech Republic 1

Russia went top of the group as Alan Dzagoev's double helped them to a commanding victory in Wroclaw.

Dick Advocaat's side made a slow start but soon found their stride to take a 2-0 interval lead through midfielders Dzagoev and Roman Shirokov.

Vaclav Pilar gave the Czechs hope by pulling one back shortly after the break but Dzagoev and substitute Roman Pavlyuchenko, on for the profligate Aleksandr Kerzhakov, sealed the win.

The Czechs started the better but on 15 minutes Dzagoev drove at the heart of their defence to tee Konstantin Zyryanov up for a cross that was headed against the post by Kerzhakov, and Dzagoev followed up to slam home the loose ball.

Rezek saw a glancing header saved by Vyacheslav Malafeev at the other end but Russia made it 2-0 in the 24th minute, as Andrey Arshavin's raking pass reached Shirokov, who chipped over the advancing Petr Cech.

Russia's momentum was halted in the 52nd minute as they were pegged back by Pilar, when he latched on to Jarolslav Plasil's superb ball.

Kerzhakov missed a host of chances to end the contest before he was replaced by Pavlyuchenko, but Dzagoev effectively killed the game off when Pavlyuchenko seized on a loose ball 12 minutes from time to set up the midfielder to plant a firm shot beyond Cech.

Pavlyuchenko then put a gloss on the win as he tricked his way into the box before firing into the roof of the net.

Irish Independent

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