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 said.
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 threat.
''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).