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Russians and Swiss off to a flyer

Russia and Switzerland recorded home victories to open their campaigns in a positive manner.

Russia and Switzerland recorded 2-0 home victories against the Republic of Ireland and Georgia respectively to open their 2002-04 UEFA European Under-21 Championship campaigns in a positive manner.

Quickfire double
The two countries, who were paired together in the 2000-02 qualifying competition will again face one another again this time in Group 7, and the manner of their relatively routine opening wins suggest they will be involved in the shake-up for first place at the end. The Russians scored two goals in two minutes around the half hour mark through Roman Pavlyuchenko and Alan Kusov to account for the Irish, while André Muff scored after 23 minutes and Nenad Savic added a second from the penalty spot in second half stoppage time in the other engagement.

Austrian win
Andreas Ivanschitz's 26th-minute strike separated Austria and Moldova in Saturday's other U21 fixture. The result leaves Austria in joint first position with Belarus in Group 3, after the Belarussians provided one of the major surprises in the first series of matches by defeating the Netherlands 1-0 away from home on Friday.