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Jun 1, 2012

Italy, Czechs, Ukraine all beaten

Russia handed under-pressure Italy a 3-0 beating in their Euro 2012 warm-up match in Zurich thanks to a brace from striker Roman Shirokov.

• Albertini: Italy will be at Euro 2012

With Italy distracted by a match-fixing investigation which saw the removal of one their players from their final squad, both sides had good chances to open the scoring, but fluffed their lines and it was goalless at half-time. However, Russia took the lead when hesistant defending from Italy allowed Shirokov to find the unmarked Alexander Kerzhakov to fire home from 15 yards.

Substitute goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis tipped over Andrey Arshavin's deflected shot and Italy coach Cesare Prandelli brought on Antonio Di Natale and Sebastian Giovinco to spark his team but Russia struck again.

A misunderstanding between Leonardo Bonucci and De Sanctis allowed Arshavin to intercept a back-pass from Christian Maggio and the ball ended up falling to Shirokov, who made no mistake when faced with an unguarded goal.

Italy's night got worse when Maggio failed to clear substitute Alexander Kokorin's cross-shot, leaving an unmarked Shirokov to head the ball past De Sanctis.

The tournament's co-hosts Ukraine were also beaten in an upset - 3-2 by Austria - as there was a late goal in Innsbruck.

Marko Arnautovic was the hero for the home side, firing home from the edge of the box in the 90th minute to leave Ukraine trailing with just moments to go of the match, having pulled level twice already.

Zlatko Junuzovic had given the Austrians an early lead, before Oleg Gusev pulled Ukraine level early in the second half. Arnautovic quickly restored the hosts' advantage, before Gusev added his second just three minutes later.

The game appeared to be heading for a draw, before Arnautovic popped up at the last to grab the spoils for Austria and disrupt Ukraine's Euro 2012 preparations.

Elsewhere, Michal Bilek's Czech Republic completed preparations for Euro 2012 in disappointing fashion with a 2-1 defeat against Hungary in Prague.

The result brought the Czechs' six-match unbeaten run to an end in their final warm-up game before they open their finals account against Russia in Wroclaw next Friday.

Balazs Dzsudzsak shocked the hosts by giving the visitors a seventh minute lead when he fired home a 20-yard free-kick after Tomas Sivok was penalised for a foul on Jozsef Varga.

But the Czech Republic were level in the 24th minute when Michal Kadlec powered home from the penalty spot following Roland Juhasz's foul on Milan Baros.

With the game drifting towards a draw, late substitute Adam Gyurcso came off the bench to score an 88th minute winner for Hungary, drilling home a low shot after a Peter Halmosi cross from the left.

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