• FT

    Poland

    1

    Greece

    1

  • FT

    Russia

    4

    Czech Rep

    1

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP

Wroclaw Municipal Stadium, Poland

Attendance: 37348

* Local time based on your geographic location.

Russia

  • Alan Dzagoev 15'
  • Roman Shirokov 24'
  • Alan Dzagoev 79'
  • Roman Pavlyuchenko 82'

4 - 1

FT

Czech Republic

  • Vaclav Pilar 52'
Watch Live on: ESPN, ESPNDeportes, ESPN3.com
  •  

    James Tyler: No live chat for the US tonight -- just a post-game grades/recap. Enjoy that one on ESPN at 7pm ET, and we'll see you back here tomorrow at 11.30am for Group B!

  •  

    James Tyler: Must run to help with the postgame coverage. Many thanks again for joining the entire team today -- Jeff Carlisle in Warsaw, Ravi Ubha in Kharkiv, Roger Bennett in NYC and me on my rather well-worn couch.

  •  

    James Tyler: This weekend's live chat schedule:
    SATURDAY
    Netherlands v. Denmark, 11.30am ET
    Germany v. Portugal, 2.15pm ET
    SUNDAY
    Spain v. Italy, 11.30am ET
    MONDAY
    France v. England, 11.30am ET

  •  

    James Tyler: Thanks to all for following today, A thrilling opening day of Euro 2012 and plenty more to come.

  •  

    James Tyler: Howard Webb no slouch! I'm as stunned about that as anything.

  •  

    [Comment from Mike]
    Can we say Howard Webb was not a factor today? Good officiating in both matches.

  •  

    James Tyler: USA - a lot, Antigua & Barbuda - none

  •  

    [Comment from Robert]
    Hey JT, any predictions for the scoreline in the US match tonight?

  •  

    James Tyler: My man of the match: Dzagoev. Though Arshavin pulled the strings, it was Dzagoev getting all the tasty guitar solos.

  •  

    [Comment from Pavel Nedveds Hair]
    The score line would have been much different had I been involved.

  •  

    [Comment from Eric]
    Russia looks like an early dark horse. Good attacking soccer!

  •  

    James Tyler: Well folks, what an offensive explosion. Russia not weak. Czechs bereft. Pavlyuchenko not useless.

  •  

    [Comment from ESPNSoccernet via Twitter]
    John Brewin (@JohnBrewinESPN) was in Warsaw to watch Poland's defences crumble under Greek attack: http://espnfc.com/en/news/1091402/john-brewinpolish-defences-crumble-greek-attack.html

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: Might have been nice to have a -2 in the GD column instead of -3, but not to be.

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL FOR THE CZECHS BUT IT'S OFFSIDE!

  •  

    James Tyler: Plasil has a shot blocked and Arshavin scuttles free but Gebre Selassie wades in and nicks the ball.

  •  

    James Tyler: All about the Gunners, isn't it canyonhawk?

  •  

    [Comment from canyonhawk]
    Great game by Arshavin, poor game by Szczesny. Welcome to bizarro Arsenal world.

  •  

    [Comment from Mike]
    Dzagoev, Arshavin, and Pavlyuchenko had great games

  •  

    James Tyler: We're in garbage time, exemplified by half-pace passing and no real speed. After all, why bother? 4-1 is as decisive as scorelines get at the Euros. So much for Group A being dull/cagey/difficult/boring/etc

  •  

    [Comment from Fat lady]
    Can i start singing?

  •  

    [Comment from JohnBrewinESPN via Twitter]
    @dalejohnsonESPN I think a scouse perm would suit him, actually.

  •  

    James Tyler: It's 4-1 with four to play, and Arshavin scampers goalward again, finding Kokorin. The sub does well to win a throw-in under pressure.

  •  

    James Tyler: Neat move by Aleks Kokorin to skip infield and on goal but he can't finish.

  •  

    James Tyler: Yes. Has to be. But Arshavin gets a decent shout. Definitely not Kerzhakov.

  •  

    [Comment from Anfield_Rap]
    Dzagoev man of the match?

  •  

    James Tyler: Plasil skies a free-kick. Not good. Poor Petr Cech. Poor Czechs in general. Outhustled and then undone by a Spurs reject.

  •  

    James Tyler: Yes, that's the one Travis. Hubnik:Pavyluchenko :: Russell:Jordan. #math

  •  

    [Comment from Travis]
    Bryon Russell, JT

  •  

    [Comment from The Likely Lad]
    I think I can now have the Super Pav tattoo removed from my stomach. Things have, in a way, come full circle for this Spurs supporter.

  •  

    [Comment from Alex]
    Pav = Russia's Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR RUSSIA: hero Alan Dzagoev off, Aleksandr Kokorin on.

  •  

    James Tyler: Tomas Hubnik embarrassed the way that Utah Jazz defender broke his ankles in the face of a Michael Jordan fake/fadeaway jumpshot.

  •  

    James Tyler: Malafeev makes a simple save. What a humdinger of a spell since "Super Pavs" entered the fray.

  •  

    [Comment from Greg]
    Dang, Cech, why couldn't you have played like this against Bayern???

  •  

    [Comment from Bethany]
    Dammit, why didn't I listen to Rog when he said the Czech team were going to be trouble! *sighs* *tears up brackets*

  •  

    [Comment from JamesHMartin via Twitter]
    See, 'Arry, Pavy can still do it. #Euro2012

  •  

    [Comment from LOLed]
    TALSIMANIC!!!!

  •  

    [Comment from Alex]
    A goal and an assist right after coming on? Incredible

  •  

    [Comment from Eric]
    That'll teach ya, JT!

  •  

    James Tyler: Twisting this way and that, hither and thither, inside and out, he rebuffs the defender time and again before smacking it near-post past Cech. Goodnight, CZE REP. You were not long for this Group, it seems.

  •  

    James Tyler: Better adjust his talisman rating.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL! ROMAN PAVLYUCHENKO! OH MY!

  •  

    James Tyler: -14, TLL

  •  

    [Comment from The Likely Lad]
    On a scale of 1 to Talismanic, where do you guys put Super Roman Pavlyuchenko?

  •  

    [Comment from Eric]
    DAGOEV: More chocloate bars for everyone!

  •  

    [Comment from JohnBrewinESPN via Twitter]
    Dzagoev and Kerzhakov: it's like having Leonard Cohen or Robbie Williams vying for lyricist.

  •  

    James Tyler: Seriously, Alan D: woof.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Dzagoev's finish makes his agent's phone ring off the hook. Chelsea get through. Manchester United placed on hold

  •  

    [Comment from Mike R]
    every DZAGOEV goal = another 3 million to his transfer price

  •  

    James Tyler: Finally, the dam breaks as the tiny CSKA winger steals infield, finds some room beyond Hubnik -- great pass by Pavlyuchenko to set him free -- and absolutely mashes it high beyond Cech into the roof of the net. Lovely finish.

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL RUSSIA! ALAN DZAGOEV!

  •  

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: Corner's cleared but Russia keep pressing. Pavlyuchenko lashes a shot from well outside the box but it's comfortably blocked.

  •  

    James Tyler: Good run by Zhirkov earns a corner as his shot is blocked.

  •  

    James Tyler: Pace has ebbed from this game a fair bit, but still evenly poised. Will the Russians rue allowing Kerzhakov to embarrass himself seven times around goal?

  •  

    [Comment from JohnBrewinESPN via Twitter]
    "Kerzhakov is the first ever player to have seven shots off target in a single game at the Euros." #euro2012

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Rog, the commentator is drowning out the fans. He should know better.

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR CZECH REPUBLIC: the lively Jiracek is withdrawn, replaced by Milan Petrzela.

  •  

    James Tyler: CHANCE! Low shot by Rosicky forces a fine save by Malafeev (it was going in) and as Baros swoops in to expand his legend, the Russian goalie plucks the rebound out of the air.

  •  

    James Tyler: Poor Kerzha. He'll need brain-erase pills after this one, especially if the Czechs pull an equalizer out of nowhere.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Rav, do you know what the Russian supporters are chanting? Sounds eerily like "Dalglish. Dalglish. Dalgish."

  •  

    [Comment from Jawatoss]
    always stirring up controversy Ravi

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR RUSSIA: Kerzhakov off, Pavlyuchenko on. About time.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: If the Czechs do level, let's not forget Mr. Webb missing a clear pen when it was 2-0.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for the Czechs as Gebre Selassie tries a volley from wide on the right, an almost impossible shot, but hits the side netting.

  •  

    James Tyler: I almost feel bad for the Russian No. 11, so committed is he to looking terrible on the field of battle.

  •  

    [Comment from PK]
    That one almost went for a throw-in!

  •  

    [Comment from juan doe]
    I WOULDN'T EVEN TRUST KERZHAKOV TO KICK THE BALL STRAIGHT RIGHT NOW

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Kerzhakov's shooting is "Samaras-esque"

  •  

    James Tyler: Kerzhakov! Again! An equal opportunity squanderer with both feet!

  •  

    James Tyler: Nice work by Dzagoev to skate free in midfield but his angled pass for Arshavin is cut out and cleared. Telling that he tried the extravagant through-ball as opposed to the simple wide pass for Kerzhakov.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesHMartin via Twitter]
    RT @JamesTylerESPN: The crowd is learning to sigh even before Kerzhakov shoots. That's bad.

  •  

    James Tyler: Again, Kerzhakov needlessly hoofs a shot wide. He's having an awful game.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Who to come on for Kerzhakov, Pavs? One wasteful striker for another?

  •  

    James Tyler: Rosicky tries to play Gebre Selassie free down the right but ex-CFC man Yuri Zhirkov slides in to extinguish the danger.

  •  

    James Tyler: I believe FJ is sitting out tonight's game. From what I've heard. But if you've heard different, then we're at loggerheads.

  •  

    [Comment from juan doe]
    James do you know the status of Fabian Johnson's calf for tonight?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: None of this cagey stuff for a first game, which is great. Always love early goals.

  •  

    James Tyler: Kerzhakov has been dreadful tonight. At least 5 missed chances thus far.

  •  

    James Tyler: More great work by Arshavin down the left side but Zhirkov's floated cross is nodded clear.

  •  

    James Tyler: CHANCE FOR RUSSIA! It's Kerzhakov again, stealing in behind the defense but hoofing wide when it was easier to shoot on target.

  •  

    James Tyler: Good break for the Czechs but Pilar's run infield culminates in a blocked shot. Shame, really. Game is getting far more open.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chris, a life in front of a laptop is only half lived. We must pace ourselves. Hydrate properly. Stretch.

  •  

    [Comment from Chris]
    breaks? I don't approve

  •  

    James Tyler: Shot for Zyryanov as the Czech defenders stand off, but he blasts it over the bar from 25 yards.

  •  

    James Tyler: We're taking a couple of breaks along the way. It's a long tournament. Must pace ourselves.

  •  

    [Comment from JohnBrewinESPN via Twitter]
    Who remembers when Milan Baros was hailed as the brightest striking talent in European football. That time did exist.

  •  

    [Comment from Dan]
    What about the other Group C/Group D matches...?!

  •  

    James Tyler: We've mused a bit on Baros. He is quite deceptive in that he runs a lot but does little. I'd liken him to Emile Heskey in this regard.

  •  

    [Comment from Pt]
    Baros cannot keep the ball at all. How can he be a lone striker/

  •  

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    Can we replace "Goal" with "HORDOR!" ?

  •  

    James Tyler: So, to tee up your weekend, we'll have live chats for both Group B fixtures tomorrow -- Netherlands v. Denmark at 11.30am ET, Germany v. Portugal at 2.15pm ET -- and then Spain v. Italy on Sunday and England v. France on Monday.

  •  

    James Tyler: Arshavin's first touch lets him down with the goal begging but Cech pounces.

  •  

    James Tyler: 'Twas #13, Jaroslav Plasil.

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    Who supplied the through ball on the Czech goal I could not see a number?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Am I t alone in thinking "the combative Petr Jirácek" looks like sellsword Bronn?

  •  

    James Tyler: Overall, game feels much like the Group A opener: one side buoyant and dominant in the first, punch-drunk and caught-out in the second. Though mercifully, no red cards yet.

  •  

    James Tyler: Good work by Gabre Selassie to hold off Arshavin as the Russian captain looked to meet Shirokov's long, crossfield pass. After a shaky first half, the Czechs are looking more coherent.

  •  

    James Tyler: Pilar indeed looks "the business." -- A little Ryan Giggs on the flank.

  •  

    James Tyler: Now, 35 minutes to go and a nice balance to this one. Please, Howard Webb; don't botch this refereeing business.

  •  

    James Tyler: It was Jaroslav Plasil with the assist on Pilar's goal. Lovely vision.

  •  

    James Tyler: Corner for the Czechs, who are now aware that goals are good things to get in soccer. Amounts to nothing, sadly.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: This is typical Russia. They needed to get the third goal. Always make things interesting.

  •  

    James Tyler: Indeed, Ravi. Poor marking. Neither he nor Berezutski had any clue where Pilar was. The beauty and menace of the angled run!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Was that Ignashevich caught napping?

  •  

    James Tyler: An absolutely gorgeous through-ball.

  •  

    James Tyler: Lovely run by Pilar between the defenders, superb pass and the Czech striker glides past Malafeev and slots it home with ease.

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    Out of the blue...

  •  

    [Comment from Mike R]
    what a great pass!

  •  

    [Comment from Mista]
    Beautiful goal.

  •  

    James Tyler: Wow. It's Vaclav Pilar!

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL FOR THE CZECHS!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: I think football managers should copy their baseball cousins and impose fines when players try to score at the near post from that distance. No chance. Shoot across goal!

  •  

    [Comment from Never mind the Ballacks]
    Didi Rosicky accidentally pass to Webb thinking he was Jan Koller?

  •  

    James Tyler: CHANCE FOR RUSSIA! And it's Kerzhakov squandering. He gets unmarked past Kadlec and thwacks one wide from 15 yards. Could have done better there.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Nice, perfectly weighted ball by Arshavin.

  •  

    James Tyler: The Russians doing manfully to break up anything the Czechs can do in the attacking third. Russia breaks quickly via Denisov's outlet pass to Arshavin, but Kerzhakov can't get a shot off.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    I need a 17-Hour Energy. So do the Czechs.

  •  

    James Tyler: And the Russians start brightly, weaving some passes together down the left side, but Arshavin's cross is overhit.

  •  

    James Tyler: Tomas Hubschmann is on.

  •  

    James Tyler: Right, then. The teams are back out and the Czechs are making changes...

  •  

    James Tyler: And Denmark's Niki Zimling picked up a knock in training today, so there's that too.

  •  

    James Tyler: THIS JUST IN: Dutch CB Jorijs Mathijsen is OUT for tomorrow's Group B game v. Denmark. Adjust your fantasy squads accordingly!

  •  

    [Comment from Never mind the Ballacks]
    Nice work by Michael...dry german humor.

  •  

    James Tyler: Bilak's got to do something. It's Jiracek plus ten headless chickens out there.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: How long before Bilak makes changes? Does he do so now? Unfortunately his bench looks paper thin.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: Been following our Euro 2012 blog? Some good off-the-beaten-path stuff from our team in Poland & Ukraine.

  •  

    James Tyler: TLL, it was an exquisite toe-to-ball alley-oop. I'd place it at #64 in the list.

  •  

    [Comment from The Likely Lad]
    James, as a custodian of the game's most liquid moments, would you place Shirokov's toe poke dinkaroo on All Time Top 100 Toe Poke Dinkaroo list??

  •  

    [Comment from Vuvuzela]
    BWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

  •  

    [Comment from Alex]
    Czech midfield / defense looking slow in transition. Very shaky back line for the Czechs.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Tomas Rosicky and Milan Baros are putting me to sleep. I summon Tame Impala to execute HT giddy-up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBSropdYqtY

  •  

    James Tyler: Ahh, cheers Freddie. How's my jab looking?

  •  

    [Comment from Freddie Roach]
    You're doing great James! Keep doing what you're doing! You're wearing him down!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: No need for adrenalin shot. This should do the trick http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A71wdsTqkfM

  •  

    James Tyler: If they win Group A, they get a tough draw but have bested the Dutch in the past (assuming the Netherlands makes it out).

  •  

    [Comment from Max]
    Russia looks good so far. Do they have a chance of reaching the semi-finals again?

  •  

    James Tyler: Bet you don't miss being in goal for England either, Rob.

  •  

    [Comment from Robert Green]
    I don't miss those things one bit!

  •  

    James Tyler: I need a visit from Freddie Roach. Need a wet sponge, quick rubdown and some words of wisdom from the legendary boxing cornerman.

  •  

    [Comment from Tanto]
    I miss the vuvu's too

  •  

    James Tyler: We can only work with the source material we're given, Roger. But I'll take my adrenaline shot and see if I can't wake things up.

  •  

    James Tyler: I'm with you, Bethany. The sound of human beings cheering just isn't enough.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: This is tepid James. No truth to rumor ESPN mulling idea of piping in artificial vuvuzela sounds to liven up second half

  •  

    [Comment from Bethany]
    I have to be honest. I kind of miss the vuvuzelas.

  •  

    [Comment from Danimal]
    Halftime haikus? Winter is coming / Russian hearts are cold and cruel / The Cech of Czechs weeps.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: And that's that. A rather tepid encounter following Russia's goals as the Czechs struggle to find any semblance of rhythm.

  •  

    James Tyler: #WhatWillBilekDo

  •  

    James Tyler: Jirackek is trying his best to giddy up the Czechs. His long-range shot is over the bar, sadly.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for the Czechs! Plasil's cross is nodded on goal but Malafeev is there to grab it. Easy, really.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Game cries out for a Czech goal

  •  

    James Tyler: Plasil does a John Terry slip as he takes the corner, and nothing comes of it.

  •  

    James Tyler: Czech corner with 60 seconds left in the first half.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Mark. I had heard about Baros' stint in Skokie. I think he also moonlights at Ed Debevics

  •  

    James Tyler: Clever play by Shirokov down the left flank but his cross is cleared. The Czechs break with some intent via Jiracek, but the Russians swarm back in numbers and the attack loses momentum.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: It would just be in Russia's character to concede the next goal.

  •  

    [Comment from Mark]
    Baros has been playing in a quartet in Skokie, Illinois.

  •  

    James Tyler: Malafeev sighting! Had an easy half following the barrage of action in the first four minutes.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Baros is way past his prime but I have a bit of sympathy for him. No service at all. He's probably looking for his buddy Jan K. in the stands.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Game hit a bit of a deadspot. A quick burst of the Russian National Anthem before the second half should thicken the blood sufficiently to liven things up

  •  

    James Tyler: Rosicky bounds forward but loses possession. The Czech response is very piecemeal in attack.

  •  

    James Tyler: Good point, Nick. One bad result spells certain doom.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Watching Baros timidly trot around reminds me of the old Keyser Soze chestnut: The greatest trick Milan Baros ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist

  •  

    [Comment from Nick]
    Czech need to be careful they don't get blown out in case the group comes down to goal differential

  •  

    James Tyler: Game in a bit of a lull with 7 mins to half-time. Czechs getting more time on the ball but Russia content to let them knock it around in midfield without much threat.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: From the first five minutes, it looked like Malafeev would be a busy man. He's barely touched the ball since.

  •  

    James Tyler: Offside call on the Czechs as Baros looked to be clear between Ignashevich and Berezutski.

  •  

    [Comment from Bubbles]
    Plasil is storing Pilsner Urquell in his cheeks for the coming winter.

  •  

    James Tyler: Ten minutes to half-time.

  •  

    James Tyler: Good observation, JHB. But it's compounded by a lack of assertiveness from the Czech full-backs. Vets like Arshavin will make merry in this much space around goal.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesHardensBeard]
    Both those Russian goals are on the head of Jaromir Plasil. He is not checking his man through the middle and its making it easy for the Russians to put an extra man in the box or an overlapping runner. This Plasil gets taken off next half?

  •  

    James Tyler: Another break down the left for Russia but Kerzhakov can't corral the long pass. Cleverly, he taps it out for a throw-in instead of conceding the goal kick, and the gambit nearly works as the Czechs give away possession.

  •  

    James Tyler: It's as deadly as they come.

  •  

    [Comment from Lou]
    James....quick side question. Group B. Where would you rate it among the recent history of (overused term) Groups of Death. That's a killer. Poor Denmark....and, Portugal for that matter.

  •  

    James Tyler: CHANCE FOR RUSSIA! Another strong move down the flank (where is Gebre Selassie at RB? Absent) culminates in a cutback for Kerzhakov but the striker skies one over the bar.

  •  

    James Tyler: Good point, Roger. The EPL is an unforgiven landscape.

  •  

    James Tyler: 15 minutes to go until half-time and Russia looking settled.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Arshavin has so much space to operate in. Space he never had in the English Premier League

  •  

    James Tyler: A hopeful cross is plucked from the sky by Malafeev.

  •  

    James Tyler: Agree, Alex. Looks a different player.

  •  

    [Comment from Alex]
    Arshavin looking comfortable and commanding in this Russian squad. Looks almost as if he could play with Arsenal again.

  •  

    James Tyler: 13: I'm also updating my Instagram, LinkedIn and Xanga accounts. Myspace page goes horribly neglected.

  •  

    [Comment from Luke]
    How many forms of media are you on at once James?

  •  

    James Tyler: A Czech corner causes a modicum of panic for the Russian defense and they still haven't cleared it. Jiracek's cross is blocked.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Clearly, Andrei wants to sign for Arsenal again. #ItsTooEasy

  •  

    James Tyler: Yes, yes. It all falls apart if your full-backs are always upfield.

  •  

    [Comment from Charles]
    so about that 4-2-3-1 JT...?

  •  

    James Tyler: Stand down, commenters!

  •  

    James Tyler: Oh Oh, sorry. I thought Nick meant the Russian squad*

  •  

    James Tyler: Nick: 6 from Zenit, 5 from CSKA.

  •  

    [Comment from Nick]
    James, how much of the Russia starting 11 is CSKA/Zenit based

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Who is wearing Arshavin's shirt? Surely not Andrei.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Important tactical point: I really warm to jersey's with the diagonal stripe. Russia looking very Peru 1978

  •  

    James Tyler: Roman Shirokov is a guy who could make waves in Western Europe next season. Very strong, very motivated, full of character. The English media would love him.

  •  

    [Comment from Mike R]
    CHEEKY TOUCH

  •  

    [Comment from Josh]
    I think the Czechs are white walkers. And Russia have Dragonglass.

  •  

    [Comment from Terry]
    That was a dirty dink.

  •  

    [Comment from Jack]
    Cheeky little chip over Petr Cech Republic

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: In truth, I think Arshavin got a tad lucky. The pass wasn't intended for Shirokov.

  •  

    James Tyler: Too many cooks, Jayanth.

  •  

    [Comment from Jayanth]
    Dzagoev looks like Chelsea material, no? Dzagoev+ Mata+Hazard+Marin = OWNAGE!

  •  

    [Comment from HK]
    too.much.space.

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan]
    GGGGGOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  •  

    James Tyler: Arshavin slots it through, it misses his intended target Kerzhakov but Shirokov nips behind LB Sivok to gently nudge it over Cech. Superb counter.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: terrific finish. Great pass by Arshavin. It is as if he never played for Arsenal

  •  

    James Tyler: It's Roman Shirokov, the Joey Barton of the former Soviet Union!

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL! RUSSIA! CZECHS TORN ASUNDER ON THE BREAK AGAIN!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: And don't look like it'll happen now...

  •  

    James Tyler: Great header by Jaroslav Plasil following the corner, but right at Malafeev.

  •  

    James Tyler: Tough to say, Dan. He's been linked many times before to bigger clubs. Maybe this is his opportunity...

  •  

    [Comment from Dan]
    Gentlemen, is Dzagoev going anywhere this summer? Surely, he is plotting a move away from CSKA...

  •  

    [Comment from Bobby T.]
    Is Ravi applying for Statsie's job? Good Info.

  •  

    James Tyler: Corner to CZE.

  •  

    James Tyler: Good defending by Zhirkov to nod a back-post cross out for a corner as Rezek was lurking

  •  

    James Tyler: 20 mins gone, and what a difference a goal makes. The confident Czechs rattled, Russia finding its sea legs.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Czechs have never won a game at the Euros when conceding first.

  •  

    [Comment from Devin]
    Dzagoev looking like a good addition to my euro fantasy squad! Getting forward very well

  •  

    [Comment from Terry]
    I love counter-attacking opportunities. So exciting.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Dzagoev HAD to do better!

  •  

    James Tyler: SHOULD HAVE BEEN 2-0! Dzagoev wide open on the right side following a whip-smart Russian counter, but he slices wide with plenty of goal to aim at.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Thanks Charles. Czech Republic look like they will be needing a little Milk of the Poppy at half-time

  •  

    [Comment from Lpool philly]
    What does that make the Czechs..House Stannis Baratheon?

  •  

    James Tyler: Gebre Selassie at fault; lost Kerzhakov at the back post.

  •  

    [Comment from Charles]
    RB, beautiful reference...cheers to the north.

  •  

    [Comment from Jason]
    I am LOVING all the Game of Thrones references. Keep 'em coming.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Howard Webb would make a great construction foreman with all his pointing.

  •  

    James Tyler: Stunning stuff, really. First real bout of Russian pressure and they crack. Not promising.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: With Premier League rejects Arshavin and Zhirkov, and Roman Pavlyuchenko on the bench, Russia are less an international team and more like the NIght's Watch

  •  

    James Tyler: And play stops as a flare/firecracker/IED makes it onto the field. Webb goes over to inspect. Careful, Howard!

  •  

    [Comment from stretch]
    keystone cops at the back for the czechs

  •  

    [Comment from Mike]
    Break out the chocolate bars!

  •  

    [Comment from Nick]
    Goal for Mr. Chocolate Bar

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Love that bloke Dzagoev. He is only 21 but has had so much Champions League experience, it feels like he has been around for ever.

  •  

    [Comment from Kingsley]
    ROOSKIE GOAL

  •  

    James Tyler: Czechs in disarray: first, Kerzhakov is unmarked at the far post and heads off the post, Cech can't recover and Dzagoev buries the rebound.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: CHANCE FOR RUSSIA! AND A GOAL! ALAN DZAGOEV!

  •  

    James Tyler: CHANCE FOR RUSSIA! Half-chance as Arshavin wiggles free on the left side of the box but Kerzhakov can't direct a shot on target.

  •  

    James Tyler: Denisov flicks the set-piece on but the Czechs handle their business.

  •  

    James Tyler: Arshavin gets some room against Gebre Selassie on the left but the Czech RB blocks the cross out for a corner.

  •  

    James Tyler: Brooding. Know they're underestimated and eager to impress.

  •  

    [Comment from Jay]
    James, you are a gentleman, a scholar and a tremendous speller. That being said, I think we understand the personality of every other team in this group but what do we make of the Czechs?

  •  

    James Tyler: Opening 11 minutes: all Czech.

  •  

    James Tyler: Acrobatics from Rezek to keep a long Kadlec cross in play, and this is all Czech Republic thus far. Rosicky howitzers a shot from long range but it doesn't threaten goal at all.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Milan Baros is the poor man's Giorgio Samaras who is the poor man's Jozy Altidore. But he is just 30

  •  

    James Tyler: He's getting settled.

  •  

    [Comment from Stu]
    Is Rog alive?

  •  

    James Tyler: Can't say I'd be surprised, Mike. And an instant rapport I now have with the Russian winger.

  •  

    [Comment from Mike]
    From Wikipedia: Alan Dzagoev enjoys chocolate bars. Who knew?

  •  

    James Tyler: Nice work down the right by Jiracek and Rezek, there. Can't muster a shot on goal but neat link-up play exposes the Russian defense a bit.

  •  

    James Tyler: Anyukov gets handsy on Baros but the Czech striker holds firm under a high ball. Nine minutes gone in this one...

  •  

    James Tyler: (if you want an actual answer, he's 30.)

  •  

    James Tyler: Milan Baros does not age, Tripp. He is frozen in time.

  •  

    [Comment from Tripp]
    How old is Milan Baros? This has to be his last tourney...

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Is it just me, or does Michal Bilek look like Ed Harris?

  •  

    James Tyler: And our first Arshavin Sighting! He chases a long ball into the left corner without much luck.

  •  

    [Comment from Clay]
    I say Russia and Poland make it out of this group.

  •  

    James Tyler: Really, if you love discussing formations, the difference in set-up favors the Czechs. Their 4-2-3-1 gives them dominance over Russia's 4-3-3 in midfield. Simple numbers game. #analysis

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Good signs early for the Czechs. On the front foot, not Russia.

  •  

    James Tyler: Plasil's delivery is good but big Tommy Hubnik nods it wide of goal.

  •  

    [Comment from Anthony]
    James, do you look for either of these teams to advance to the knockout round

  •  

    [Comment from Mike]
    this is going to be a chippy, chippy match.

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan]
    In mother Russia, ball kick you!

  •  

    James Tyler: Another foul on Rezek, and another free-kick for the Czechs. Safe to say they have dominated the opening four minutes and 38 seconds.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: Early corner for the Czechs...Plasil booms it in but Anyukov steers it out for a corner (looked like he used his arm). Another set-piece for CZE

  •  

    James Tyler: Flattery gets you everywhere, GOB.

  •  

    [Comment from GOB]
    Who decides which comments get through? I need to know who I should suck up to.

  •  

    James Tyler: And another foul as Zhirkov hauls Rezek down. The Czech No. 9 looking lively early on.

  •  

    James Tyler: Good ball in looking for Rezek but he's flagged offside.

  •  

    [Comment from Bobby T.]
    is that 2 fouls in 20 seconds? Good start.

  •  

    James Tyler: Alan Dzagoev is one to watch also. Nifty winger for CSKA.

  •  

    James Tyler: And a foul after four seconds as Kerzhakov is upended by Rezek. #LoveThisSport

  •  

    James Tyler: We're off!

  •  

    [Comment from Mark]
    Looks like Howard Webb has been some time in the sun since the end of the EPL season.

  •  

    James Tyler: 4-2-3-1 for the Czechs, 4-3-3 for Russia.

  •  

    James Tyler: Howard Webb!!!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: He's dealing with a slight knee injury.

  •  

    [Comment from Nick]
    Where's Akinfeev for Russia

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: @Chris -- good article about Selassie in the Guardian last week. Find it!

  •  

    [Comment from Chris Valle (California)]
    I was going to ask about Selassie. I'm assuming he's Ethiopian or Eritrean?

  •  

    [Comment from Steve]
    Keep an eye on Vaclav Pilar - moving from Viktoria Plzen to Wolfsburg this summer. He's got a lot of potential.

  •  

    [Comment from Luke]
    russian national anthem makes me think of the cold war, vodka and the KGB

  •  

    Roger Bennett: 9 out of ten oligarch's favorite anthem according to pew center

  •  

    James Tyler: Really stirring. And frightening.

  •  

    James Tyler: Love this anthem.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: With all the talk of racism in the build-up to the tournament, we should keep an eye out when Czech fullback Theodor Gebre Selassie touches the ball. Hope he gets no grief.

  •  

    James Tyler: No, Josh. He was cut loose in prelim squad.

  •  

    [Comment from Josh]
    Is Diniyar Bilyatdinov (sp?) on Russia's squad?

  •  

    [Comment from Nick]
    Hey we have a Milan Baros sighting too bad this isn't 2004

  •  

    James Tyler: My tired hands welcome the slightly less tricky names on offer for this one. But don't discount the importance here; a win for either side means one foot in the quarterfinals. Question is: will both sides make a push for it?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Ha. Ukrainian nightlife. I live a simple life :)

  •  

    James Tyler: Teams!
    Russia: Malafeev; Anyukov, Ignashevich, Berezutski, Zhirkov; Denisov, Shirokov, Zyryanov; Arshavin, Kerzhakov, Dzagoev

    Czech Republic: Cech; Gebre Selassie, Kadlec, Hubnik, Sivok; Rezek, Plasil, Rosicky, Jiracek, Pilar; Baros

    Ref: Howard Webb

  •  

    James Tyler: Evening from Kharkiv, Ravi! Ravi Ubha, ladies and gents. Fresh off extensive French open coverage and right into the thick of Ukrainian nightlife.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Hi, everyone.
    Now this should be fun. Watching the game on Russian TV in the Ukraine.

  •  

    James Tyler: Ballack does dead-pan like ?uestlove does a drum set. With commitment, panache and quality. Like a rock!

  •  

    [Comment from Nick Christie (GFOP)]
    We miss you, Rog. I want Michael Ballack to narrate my life... mostly because people will be so confounded by his good looks he they won't listen to him talking about all my failures.

  •  

    [Comment from Chris]
    About time, Rog! GFOP

  •  

    James Tyler: Like that lady on TV stunned by her boyfriend's on-camera kiss, we are stunned by your dashing arrival! Welcome, sir.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: England? Downing. Three. All own goals

  •  

    James Tyler: Afternoon, Roger!

  •  

    James Tyler: No-one. I say that jokingly.

  •  

    [Comment from Mike]
    who does the goal scoring for england?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Sorry to be late. This is Roger. The poor man's Michael Ballack to James Tyler's poor man's Alexi Lalas

  •  

    James Tyler: I prefer Chipotle but appreciate the hustle.

  •  

    [Comment from Hans Gruber]
    Will Chik-Fila work??

  •  

    James Tyler: Sidenote: can someone bring me lunch?

  •  

    James Tyler: Think he's already over that hump, Mike. Top scorer in the Bundesliga this year; I believe he's the first Dutchman to do that in Germany.

  •  

    [Comment from Mike]
    huntellar could breakout but he's on the bench

  •  

    James Tyler: Hans: Gotze's already broken out, I think. If the rumors of a 40m price tag are to be believed.

  •  

    [Comment from Hans Gruber]
    Mario Gotze will have his breakout party this Euro

  •  

    [Comment from Brian]
    I think it will be Klose (sorry james, had to throw it in there)

  •  

    James Tyler: Think I picked Lewandowski in a friend's pool. But anyone from RvP to Benzema wouldn't surprise me. Given the Group of Death, maybe Benzema's a decent pick.

  •  

    [Comment from Suneer]
    James who do you think will be the highes goal scorer of the tournament?

  •  

    James Tyler: Disagree, Chris. If you play your cards right at the Euros, glory and filthy lucre awaits.

  •  

    [Comment from Chris Valle (California)]
    I think these big summer tournaments are more significant for breaking players physically into pieces than breaking them onto the world stage. July's transfer rumour Darling becomes September's tragic hero.

  •  

    James Tyler: I like Afellay. Thought his transfer to Barcelona was an odd one as he's stalled ever since. Been unlucky with injuries, granted, but still a promising player.

  •  

    [Comment from Mike]
    james, how do you feel about affelay starting on the wing? watching him get back to form in the friendlies only showed me that he likes to take ridiculous 25 yard shots.

  •  

    James Tyler: Charles: I am English. A Scouser. I am full of self-loathing.

  •  

    [Comment from Charles]
    So your the german rigging the poll..

  •  

    [Comment from Bobby T.]
    "There is no way Nicky Bendtner doesn't shine." -Nicky Bendtner

  •  

    James Tyler: Josh, big tournaments tend to make stars -- though they don't always shine. See: El-Hadji Diouf, who stunned the world at the 2002 World Cup but hasn't quite lived up to it since. Or Arshavin, another classic mark when it comes to transfers post-tourney.

  •  

    [Comment from Josh]
    Is their a correlation between European big money transfer and the Euro tournament? More American transfers (North and South) after the World Cup?

  •  

    James Tyler: Yes, another one. Big time. Will shine for them even if Nicky Bendtner does not.

  •  

    [Comment from Nick]
    Christian Eriksen will be the breakout star, and land a big money move

  •  

    James Tyler: Germany! No, France! No, Spain! Sticking with Die Mannschaft for now.

  •  

    [Comment from Jerry]
    And who's your pick for winning the whole tournament James?

  •  

    James Tyler: Relax, Jerry. This is all in good fun.

  •  

    [Comment from Jerry]
    Netherlands was the World Cup semifinalist two years ago... It's absurd that it's not in the poll.

  •  

    James Tyler: Our resident keyboard expert, TLL, there.

  •  

    [Comment from The Likely Lad]
    Do the moderators have their CUT AND PASTE handy? Poland and Greece are tough, but this one wins for consecutive consonants and accent marks.

  •  

    James Tyler: I mean, these are all known names, but the hype machine will gobble them up and spit them into the upper echelons this summer. I think. Think of their poor agents, having to maneuver big-money transfers.

  •  

    James Tyler: Ivan Rakitic for Croatia.

  •  

    James Tyler: Other players: Jordi Alba, the new Spanish LB. Yann M'Vila, Marvin Martin for France.

  •  

    James Tyler: I thought Lukasz Piszczek was good at RB for Poland. He's a player on the rise. Same for Lewandowski, who will prove that he belongs in the top tier of world strikers.

  •  

    [Comment from Bill]
    What players do you see making a name for themselves in this tournament a la Alinthop of 2008?

  •  

    James Tyler: Now now, Bobby. I've fallen for that before. Behave!

  •  

    [Comment from Bobby T.]
    Pics or it didn't happen.

  •  

    James Tyler: No, Jerry, we cannot.

  •  

    [Comment from Jerry]
    Can we include the Netherlands and Portugal in the poll instead of France and Italy?

  •  

    James Tyler: George, I type every name. You must trust me on that.

  •  

    [Comment from George]
    Did you really type all those names or do you have a handy document up to copy/paste ?

  •  

    James Tyler: You think, Hans? Never dismiss the Italians when match-fixing allegations linger. In 2006, they rode Calciopoli to a heroic World Cup win.

  •  

    [Comment from Hans Gruber]
    Look on the brightside....the 2% picking Italy are a lot more delusional than the 8% picking England

  •  

    James Tyler: For example: Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

  •  

    James Tyler: I will never abbreviate a name, Anon. Just witness my keyboard thumping in the previous game.

  •  

    [Comment from Anon]
    James, just do what Arsenal fans did all season, and shorten it to "the Ox" or "Our Lord and Saviour."

  •  

    [Comment from Bill]
    I picked England so you have to spell Oxlade-Chamberlain all month.

  •  

    James Tyler: However, not surprised in the slightest that a referee did something objectionable. Par for the course these days, though I try not to let it bother me.

  •  

    James Tyler: Mike, I was crestfallen by their apparent choke. But more than that, I was stunned at the Greeks emerging from a catenaccio chrysalis to hold their own. And then some.

  •  

    [Comment from Mike]
    What's you guys think of Poland?

  •  

    James Tyler: To the 8 percent of you picking England to win Euro 2012: we should hang out sometime. I like the cuts of your jibs.

  •  

    James Tyler: No cricket for you, Ricky? And the draw gives both the Czechs and the Russians a massive leg-up.

  •  

    [Comment from Ricky Ponting]
    So James, do you think this draw changes grpA equations. I know many folks predicted a Polish win

  •  

    [Comment from Davo]
    I still miss Rog. Tell him I love him.

  •  

    [Comment from Nick]
    No Dutch love on the poll question

  •  

  •  

    [Comment from Abe]
    I missed you like Frank misses pies.

  •  

    [Comment from Jogi]
    Quite a start. Can you conjure up another cracker for game #2.

  •  

    [Comment from Mike]
    you better cech yourself, tyler.

  •  

    [Comment from Nick Christie (GFOP)]
    I missed Roger like the Rose misses the rain, like a Leopard misses his partner in the jungle.

  •  

    James Tyler: Leander is in our bullpen, EB. He will be spot-starting a few times on these very pages. Until then, you're stuck with me.

  •  

    [Comment from EB]
    I'm sure we all did. Where's Leander at? He got me though the last World Cup...

  •  

    [Comment from Jakob]
    I missed you like Greece misses PKs.

  •  

    James Tyler: I was Pavlychenko'ing too, Rob.

  •  

    [Comment from Rob]
    Were you out Arshavin' a good time?

  •  

    James Tyler: A nice gamut of emotions there. And thank you all.

  •  

    [Comment from Brian]
    a little. cant focus on work

  •  

    [Comment from Mandar]
    not much

  •  

    [Comment from cathy]
    always

  •  

    [Comment from Mike]
    so much, so so much.

  •  

    James Tyler: Back, folks. Did you miss us?

 
COMPLETE TEAM CLOSE X
Goal Shot Video
  •  
  • Shots (on goal)

  • tackles

  • Fouls

  • possession

  • Russia

  • 17(5)

  • 22

  • 13

  • 51%

    49%

  • Czech Republic

  • 16(5)

  • 16

  • 15

Match Stats

  • Russia
  • Czech Republic
17(5) Shots (on goal) 16(5)
13 Fouls 15
3 Corner kicks 5
2 Offsides 4
51% Time of Possession 49%
0 Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
4 Saves 1