Alan Dzagoev said the Czech Republic’s fans made for a tough match on Friday.
The 21-year-old played a crucial part in Friday’s 4-1 victory by opening the scoring early on and sealing the win for Dick Advocaat’s side with only 10 minutes remaining.
Despite playing in Wroclaw, a large number of fans travelled from neighbouring Czech Republic to watch the game, a scenario which the attacker acknowledged.
“It’s always difficult to play against teams that are playing at home,” Dzagoev told reporters.
“Their fans push them on to score and win (the game).”
Meanwhile, fellow Russia team-mate Yuri Zhirkov added: “The Czech team played respectably but we scored more and won.
“There was a worry (at 2-1) but we overcame it. Thanks to Dzagoev, who scored the third goal. It got easier.”
Meanwhile, Russia captain Andrey Arshavin praised Dzagoev’s performance after the match.
“Dzagoev’s a good lad. He’s a mature player and he himself knows how well he played,” Arshavin said.
“Of course, 2-1 is a dangerous score. If we’d let in one more, it would have been tough but we slowed everything down and Dzagoev scored again.”
Midfielder Roman Shirokov, Arshavin’s teammate at Zenit St Petersburg in the second half of 2011-12 and scorer of the second goal, also reflected on the importance of his side’s clinical finishing.
“We took our chances in front of goal well,” he said.
“Of course we were aiming for victory. I didn’t think that after half time we would be leading 2-0. We started very watchfully and then scored two goals and everything became easier.”
Next up for Russia in Group A are co-hosts Poland on Tuesday.
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