Russia and Poland play out 1-1 draw in Group A

Alan Dzagoev scored his third goal of the European Championship,

and Jakub Blaszczykowski scored what will surely be one of the

goals of the tournament.

With hooligans fighting one another and police away from the

stadium, Russia and Poland played out a 1-1 draw Tuesday. The

result left Russia at the top of Group A, but all four teams still

have a chance to qualify for the quarterfinals.

”We’re still in the tournament, so with this point a win in our

final match puts us into the knockout stage,” Blaszczykowski


Dzagoev was first to score Tuesday. He darted past defender

Lukasz Piszczek in the 37th minute and sent a glancing header

beyond goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton after a curling free kick from

Andrei Arshavin.

Russia continued to push forward after the goal, allowing Poland

to equalize on the counter in the 57th when Blaszczykowski cut in

from the right and sent a searing left-foot drive into the far

corner of the goal.

”I think we deserve praise because all of us put a lot into

this match,” Blaszczykowski said. ”The tactics we set up before

the match we carried out 100 percent.”

At least 15 people were injured in fighting between fans. Polish

police also fired rubber bullets and tear gas at a group of young

Poles who attacked them with glass bottles.

”To be honest, I haven’t seen or heard anything and nor have

the players,” Russia coach Dick Advocaat said. ”I don’t know what

has happened.”

The violence erupted around a group of thousands of Russian fans

who marched in a cordon of riot police across a bridge over the

Vistula River to the National Stadium to celebrate the Russia Day

national holiday.

The march was seen as a provocation by many Poles, who share a

difficult history with Russia, including decades of control by

Moscow during the Cold War. Many Poles felt the authorities should

not have allowed the Russians to march as a group in Warsaw given

the historical wounds.

Russia’s football federation pleaded with its fans to behave

after video emerged online of supporters beating stewards at the

Municipal Stadium in Wroclaw during the match against the Czech

Republic, warning that more trouble could cost the team points.

UEFA opened disciplinary proceedings against the Russian

federation following the trouble in Wroclaw, including throwing

fireworks onto the field and displaying nationalist flags – both of

which happened again Tuesday.

On the field, Russia’s rampant attack in the opening 4-1 win

over the Czechs was largely muzzled by a well-organized Polish

defense. At the other end, Robert Lewandowski was a constant


”When we went 1-0 up, I thought we’d get more space like we did

against the Czech Republic, but that didn’t happen,” Advocaat

said. ”We lost the ball too fast when we were going forward and

they could counter. We left the field too open.”

Earlier Tuesday, the Czechs played themselves back into Group A

contention by scoring two early goals and hanging on to beat Greece

2-1 in Wroclaw.

”Of course, today’s match confirmed that we are good enough to

beat the Czechs,” Poland coach Franciszek Smuda said. ”Our team

sees the chance to advance to the quarters and they’re going to try

take advantage of it.”


Poland: Przemyslaw Tyton, Sebastian Boenisch, Marcin Wasilewski,

Damien Perquis, Lukasz Piszczek, Dariusz Dudka (Adrian

Mierzejewski, 74), Eugen Polanski (Adam Matuszczyk, 85), Ludovic

Obraniak (Pawel Brozek, 90), Rafal Murawski, Jakub Blaszczykowski,

Robert Lewandowski.

Russia: Vyacheslav Malafeev, Alexander Anyukov, Alexei

Berezutski, Sergei Ignashevich, Yuri Zhirkov, Roman Shirokov, Igor

Denisov, Konstantin Zyryanov, Andrei Arshavin, Alexander Kerzhakov

(Roman Pavlyuchenko, 70), Alan Dzagoev (Marat Izmailov, 80).