By Money Mike
The Czech Republic's first match of EURO 2012 didn't go the way they would've wanted. On Friday the Czechs ended up on the bottom end of their match against Russia, losing 4-1. After finding themselves 2-0, it looked like the momentum shifted their way when they pulled a goal back in the 52nd minute, but late in the match, the Russians answered with two late goals to put this match out of reach.
Not much action early on in the first 10 minutes of the match, but in the 15th minute, it's Russia who strike first. Alen Dzagoev found Konstantin Zyryanov streaking down the right side. Zyryanov chipped the ball to the far post for a wide open Alexandr Kerzhakov who looked to direct his header across and the ball bounced off the post, but Dzagoev was there to slam home the rebound and Russia took a 1-0 lead a quarter of an hour into the match.
Four minutes later, Dzagoev had a chance to double Russia's lead. Dzagoev was found by Kerzhakov streaking down the right with loads of space, however he tried to take the shot first time and the ball drifted away from goal.
In the 24th minute, Russia would double their lead. Andrei Arshavin threaded the ball through and just out of the reach of Alexandr Kerzhakav, but Roman Shirokov was right there to chip the ball over Petr Cech and into the back of the net to give the Russian's a 2-0 lead and so far, all the momentum was in their favor.
In the 51st minute, Czech Republic would pull one back and cut the lead to 2-1. Jaroslav Plasil played the ball through to Vaclav Pilar who dribbled around Vyacheslav Malafeev and slotted the ball into and empty net. It looked like at that moment the tide began to turn and the Czechs were playing a little more aggressive for the next few minutes.
In the 79th however, the Russians added a third goal. Six minutes after coming on, Roman Pavyuchenko played the ball through to Alan Dzagoev who powered his shot past Petr Cech for his second goal of the match to extend Russia's lead to 3-1. Three minutes later, Pavyuchenko would add to their lead as he cut to his right foot, dribbled around Theodor Gebre Selassie and smashed it past Petr Cech to put the icing on the cake as Russia walked away with a 4-1 win to kick of their European tournament campaign.
Russia - Alan Dzagoev 1 (unassisted) 15'
Russia - Roman Shirokov 1 (Andrei Arshavin 1) 24'
Czech Republic - Vaclav Pilar 1 (Jaroslav Plasil 1) 52'
Russia - Alan Dzagoev 2 (Roman Pavlyuchenko 1) 79'
Russie - Roman Pavlyuchenko 1 (Andrei Arshavin 2) 82'
Czech Republic - Petr Cech; Theodor Gebre Selassie, Roman Hubnik, Tomas Sivok, Michal Kadlec; Jaroslav Plasil, Tomas Rosicky, Petr Jiracek (Milan Petrzela 76'); Jan Rezek (Tomas Hubschman 46'), Milan Baros (David Lafata 85'), Vaclav Pilar
Russia - Vyacheslav Malafeev; Alexander Anyukov, Alexei Berezutsky, Sergei Ignashevich, Yuri Zhirkov; Roman Shirokov, Igor Denisov, Konstantin Zyryanov; Alan Dzagoev (Aleksandr Kokorin 84'), Aleksandr Kerzhakov (Roman Pavlyuchenko 73'), Andrei Arshavin