Russia coach Dick Advocaat declared himself pleased with his side's impressive 4-1 victory over Group A rivals Czech Republic in Wroclaw, but warned their finishing must improve to have a chance of winning UEFA EURO 2012.
While the final scoreline was comprehensive courtesy of a double from midfielder Alan Dzagoev and further strikes from Roman Shirokov and substitute Roman Pavlyuchenko, Russia also missed a host of presentable chances.
Striker Aleksandr Kerzhakov was the most notable offender, and when Vaclav Pilar made it 2-1 just after the interval it looked as though Russia's profligacy would prove costly. Dzagoev's second and Pavlyuchenko's effort eventually sealed the win, which was inspired by a brilliant display from Arsenal's Andrey Arshavin.
But Advocaat knows his side can't afford to pass up the sort of opportunities they created with regularity against Michal Bilek's side. "We are quite happy, we scored four goals and in any international game that is a very good result," he said. "We could have scored more goals, in fact we should have scored more as we had a lot of chances.
"At 2-1 we made it very difficult for ourselves so we have to get better at that because maybe a better team would have scored more against us," the coach added. "It could have been 2-2, there were moments where we need to be sharper, at certain points they had a lot of space and were very dangerous. But this was our first game and we are really happy with the result."
Advocaat reserved particular praise for Arshavin, who is currently on loan at Zenit St Petersburg, after his superb display of midfield artistry. "He worked very hard and he played very well," the boss said. "He is a very important player for us for the way we play and he was very, very good. I am very positive about him."
For Czech coach Bilek the result made for a miserable start to their campaign, and he knows his team will have to regroup quickly ahead of their meeting with Greece on Tuesday. "I think we started well, in the first 15 minutes we had plenty of possession, but there were some attacking situations we did not finish off.
"Then we lost the ball in our opponents' half, they broke quickly and it was a mistake that cost us," he said. "We tried to change it after half-time and we scored a goal, but then we lost the ball again and the opponent punished us and that is why the result is what it is.
"We had problems with the combinations in Russia's midfield and that is how they had so many chances," he admitted. "We are very disappointed but now we have to show our strength and our team spirit. We are still able to win and the players have a chance to perform in the following two matches so we are going to look forward now."