It's called matchups. Head to head Russia was stronger, and if they were equal on points should and would go ahead. But on balance, the Czechs got more done against other opponents. It's that simple. That's the whole reason you have group play. But regarding your specific point, yes the Czechs were impotent against Russia's defense, but that spoke only to how out of synch the Czechs were in attack. Again and again they would miscue on attack. But that's the only reason they didn't carve up Russia more. I noted that during the game, though I admit I was star struck by their attack, I figured it would balance out their deficits through the group: It didn't even take Spain or Germany to expose the holes in Russia's defense. Just a savvy veteran player (35?) pouncing on their inattention.