Russia gave a resounding display of their Group A winning potential by thumping the team expected to be their closest competitors for that spot, the Czech Republic, 4-1 in Wroclaw on Friday night. A goal in either half from 21-year old CSKA Moscow midfielder Alan Dzagoev showcased the youngster's tremendous natural ability, while a couple of other cool finishes from the two Romans - Shirokov and Pavlyuchenko - put the icing on a rather large Russian cake. The Czechs were second best for all but the first 15 minutes of the game, but did get a goal through Vaclav Pilar early in the second half to give themselves a lifeline in this contest. Russia though were far superior at both ends of the pitch, and their quality stood out over the 90 minutes.
After an entertaining draw in the Euro 2012 opener between Poland and Greece, there was an added incentive for Russia and the Czech Republic as they took to the field for game 2, knowing that a win would put them in pole position to qualify for the knock-out rounds.