Russia manager Dick Advocaat hailed the ‘important’ 4-1 victory over Czech Republic on the first day of Euro 2012.
First-half goals from Alan Dzagoev and Roman Shirokov gave Russia a comfortable lead at the break before Vaclav Pilar gave the Czechs hope early in the second half.
However, they failed to mount a comeback as Dzagoev’s second and substitute Roman Pavlyuchenko’s strike added to the scoreline.
After the match, Advocaat admitted the high-scoring win would be a boost but he was reluctant to get carried away.
“This is an important victory,” he told NOS.
“We made it hard for ourselves in the beginning of the second half. But in the end this match is good for our confidence.
“But the trophies will be given out at the end of the tournament. We played well, but not (for) the whole game.
“So I saw enough things we can do better. We’re happy, but we will be really happy when we reach the next round.”
Meanwhile, Czech manager Michal Bilek was left disappointed.
Bilek, who signed a new deal with the Czech Football Association (FACR) just before the tournament, voiced his frustrations at his side’s display but did not discount the strength of their opponents.
“We had a fairly good start to the match, the first 15 minutes we kept the ball well, we played well. Then we started to have problems when we lost possession in their half, they counterattacked us very quickly.” the coach told isport.cz.
“Logically, we are all disappointed, the result is underwhelming. (Conceding) four goals is very annoying. (We) must show strength and character. We will analyse our mistakes and go to the next match.
“Everyone is disappointed right now. We imagined that the result would be different. We often lost the ball, (and) an improvement is necessary.” the former international later told CT4.
The second round of Group A fixtures is on Tuesday, with Russia taking on co-hosts Poland in Warsaw and the Czech Republic playing Greece in Wroclaw.
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