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EURO 2012 LIVE: Russia starts with impressive win

Friday - 6/8/2012, 4:49pm  ET

WARSAW, Poland (AP) - Russia started the European Championship in impressive style, beating the Czech Republic 4-1, while host Poland drew 1-1 with Greece, who squandered a chance to take all three points by missing a late penalty.

Here is a running account of Friday's developments. The times, which indicate when each update was filed, are Polish time, which is two hours ahead of GMT and 7 hours ahead of EDT.

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2240: A superb attacking performance from Russia. They passed the ball well, looked dangerous on the break and the movement from the likes of a rejuvenated Andrei Arshavin and Alan Dzafoev were just too much for the Czech Republic to handle. It's been a good start to the tournament. Holland vs. Denmark and Germany v Portugal have a lot to live up to tomorrow night.

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2239: mikecorder (via twitter): RUS beats CZE 4-1, an emphatic and stylish win for Dick Advocaat's team to open its Euro2012 campaign. Petr Cech looks shellshocked.

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2235: FULL-TIME: Russia 4, Czech Republic 1.

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2230: Milan Baros has gone off for the Czech Republic, with David Lafata replacing him. For Russia, Aleksandr Kokorin replaces two-goal man Alan Dzagoev.

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2227: It's turned into a rout. Two goals in a matter of minutes. Alan Dzagoev nets his second goal of the game to cap a great evening for the 21-year-old. The ball falls to Pavlyuchenko who plays a great first-time pass into the feet of Dzagoev, who drives home. Then, Pavlyuchenko weaves his way into the penalty area and holds off a Roman Hudnik challenge with a twist before turning and unleashing a powerful left foot drive past Petr Cech to make it 4-1.

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2224: GOAL! Russia 4, Czech Republic 1

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2221: GOAL! Russia 3, Czech Republic 1

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2218: The pace has slowed and some of the players are looking a bit leggy. Aleksandr Kerzhakov's night has come to an early end as Roman Pavlyuchenko replaces him. Fifteen minutes left to play. Theodor Gebre Selassie goes close now for the Czech Republic. Plasil floats the ball over to right back, who takes it first time on the volley but the ball hits the side netting at high speed.

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2211: Russians now finding space: Kerzhakov looks desperate for a goal. He runs at the Czech defense and forces his way into a meter of space, but shoots wide to add to his growing frustration. Another chance missed by Aleksandr Kerzhakov. Andrei Arshavin spots Kerzakhov's run across the defense and picks him out, Kerzhakov spins and shoots but sees his shot flash wide of the far post. He looks to skies in dismay.

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2205: The game is getting a bit scrappy at the moment. The Czech Republic seem reluctant to commit too far forward at this stage, knowing that conceding a third will kill them off. Russia are also anxious about conceding another and allowing all the momentum to be with the Czechs.

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2200: simonhaydon (via twitter) "Howard Webb is showing the ref of Poland vs Greece how to ref. At least one red was unnecessary. Webb's cards still in pocket.

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2156: Vaclav Pilar is known as the Czech Lionel Messi and with a such a finish, you can begin to see why. He picks up on a through ball and rounds Malafeev before passing the ball into an empty net. Could a second-half comeback be on for the Czech Republic?

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2153: GOAL! Russia 2, Czech Republic 1

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2148: The second half is underway. One change: Jan Rezek is replaced by Tomas Hubschman for the Czech Republic. The Czechs are moving the ball around better but lack movement to pull a stern Russian defense out of position.

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2139: Alan Dzagoev has enjoyed a great first half for Russia. He started the move that led to Russia's first goal, releasing Andrei Arshavin down the right flank. He should have done better with a chance moments later when he was released by Kerzhakov, again down the right, but blasted wide of the near post. The first half an hour was electric. The Czech Republic began the brighter but a goal from Alan Dzagoev was a catalyst for the Russians to play some good attacking football of their own, with pin-point passing and fast movement causing chaos. They doubled their lead through Roman Shirokov and deserve to lead 2-0 at half time.

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HALF-TIME: Russia 2, Czech Republic 0

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2129: A downward header from Vaclav Pilar brings the first real save of note from Russia's Vyacheslav Malafeev. The Russians win a free kick inside the Czech Republic half, Plasil bringing down Kerzhakov, but nothing comes of it. The Czechs are trying to keep possession inside Russia's half as much as possible. The Czechs are trying to battle their way back into the match, but Russia's defense is starting to look a bit stronger than it did during the first 30 minutes of this match.

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