WROCLAW, Poland (AP) -After rating his team as an outsider before the European Championship started, Russia coach Dick Advocaat may have to revise his opinion.
The Russians put on a clinical attacking display Friday, scoring two goals in each half in a 4-1 win over the Czech Republic in Group A.
Post-victory, Advocaat's only regret was that the score wasn't higher.
"If you score four goals against the Czech Republic in an international, you have played a good game,'' the veteran Dutch coach said. "We should have scored more.''
Alan Dzagoev, a 21-year-old CSKA Moscow winger who had scored only four goals in 20 internationals before Friday, was the star of Russia's attacking show, scoring a goal in each half to put Russia at the top of the group. Poland and Greece drew in the Euro 2012 opener earlier Friday.
Picking Dzagoev to play on the right alongside the Zenit St. Petersburg pairing of Andrei Arshavin and Aleksandr Kerzhakov was a gamble for Advocaat that paid off as Dzagoev easily combined with his fellow forwards and showed more composure in front of goal than Kerzhakov.
"This was the fist step to the final,'' Dzagoev said.
Dzagoev and Roman Shirokov gave Russia a 2-0 halftime lead before Vaclav Pilar pulled one back in the 52nd minute for the Czechs. Dzagoev replied with his second, in the 80th, and substitute Roman Pavlyuchenko added a fourth two minutes later to complete the victory.
"After we scored, we gave away the ball and the punished us in the same way they did in the first half,'' Czech Republic coach Michal Bilek said after the team slumped to its biggest defeat since losing to Brazil by the same score at the 1970 World Cup.
"We are very disappointed. It's terrible to concede four goals, but we still have a team good enough to win the next two matches.''
Russia is built around a nucleus of players who made a surprise run to the semifinals four years ago. His starting lineup also featured seven Zenit players and the experience they have playing together showed from the start.
"Most of this team has played a lot together and been successful together,'' Advocaat said.
If Euro 2012's opening 1-1 draw between Poland and Greece had more drama than quality, the second group match was a feast of fluent, attacking football.
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