WARSAW - Alan Dzagoyev's glancing header wasn't enough for Russia in their 1-1 draw with co-hosts Poland in their Group A match on Wednesday.
Dzagoyev met Andrei Arshavin's teasing, curling free kick at 37 minutes after Russia, which thrashed the Czech Republic 4-1 in their tournament opener, had withstood early Polish pressure.
Poland dominated the opening 20 minutes with Sebastian Boenisch denied from close range by a fine block from keeper Vyacheslav Malafeyev, and Robert Lewandowski, who scored in Poland's 1-1 draw against Greece, sent a left-foot volley whistling narrowly over the bar.
Russia had a magnificent opportunity to extend its lead in the 55th minute, but Arshavin's pass went astray, and Poland stormed forward on the break, before Jakub Blaszczykowski sweetly struck home from outside the box, for one of the tournament's most breathtaking goals so far.
Tempers flared on the pitch immediately after the equalizer, as the home crowd pushed their team forward. Both teams seemed threatening, but neither managed to score until the final whistle.
Before the game, at least 56 people were arrested and another 10 were injured after Russian football fans marched to Warsaw's stadium and clashed with Polish fans and police.
Stones were thrown and firecrackers set off as the Russian fans walked to the venue over a bridge crossing the Vistula River. They were separated from the Polish fans walking nearby by police cars and two lines of police officers.
The atmosphere was lively as some 5,000 Russians sang "We came to win" and danced waving their national flag. The march was held to celebrate a Russian national holiday. They sang the war-time Russian song "Katyusha" and beat drums as they were accompanied by riot police on their way to the Euro 2012 game.
In one incident, Polish hooligans were seen provoking Russian fans before fighting broke out. Witnesses said several people were injured.
Gay activists demand Cassano apology
Gay activists have asked Antonio Cassano to apologize after the Italian striker made disparaging remarks about homosexuals during a press conference at Euro 2012 on Wednesday.
"If they are faggots, it is their problem," Cassano said when asked if he believed there were any gay footballers in the Azzurri squad. "I am not saying more, otherwise I will be attacked from all sides. I hope there is none in the Nazionale."
The question referred to a recent book about homosexuality in sport, "The Champion In Love," by Alessandro Cecchi Paone, who wrote that there are two undeclared gay players on the Italian national team.
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