Sochi thrash Rostov's academy 10-1 in Russian Premier League's return

Sochi thrash Rostov’s academy 10-1 in Russian Premier League’s return as visitors are forced to play the kids after first-team were forced into quarantine due to coronavirus

  • Rostov’s first-team squad could not play in their league game against Sochi
  • The Russian Premier League side instead fielded a line-up full of youth players
  • Rostov tried to get the game postponed but Sochi refused to reschedule
  • Sochi beat their youthful opposition 10-1 – but they had to come from behind 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

The Russian league resumed on Friday in emphatic style as Sochi thrashed Rostov 10-1.

Rostov, fourth in the table, had tried to get the game postponed after six players tested positive for COVID-19 and their first-team squad was quarantined. 

But hosts Sochi pushed for the fixture to go ahead and registered a double digit goal tally to claim a vital three points to boost their battle against relegation.

PFC Sochi thrashed FC Sochi 10-1 as the Russian Premier League returned in emphatic style

Football in Russia returned for the first time in three months following lockdown in the country

The visitors put out a team of teenagers who, despite helping the side take a first minute lead through Roman Romanov’s strike, were no match compared to Sochi’s first-team stars.

None of the Rostov squad had played first-team football before. The oldest player in the 18-man squad was just 19, while there were three 18-year-olds, two 16 year-olds and a dozen 17-year-olds.

‘We were weaker than our opponents only in terms of our physical characteristics,’ said 17-year-old Roman Romanov, who gave Rostov a first-minute lead, told Match TV.

Russian international striker Aleksandr Kokorin scored a hat-trick for Sochi.

Sochi could only field a team of teenagers after six first-team players tested positive for COVID

Aleksandr Kokorin (second left) scored a hat-trick against the hapless teenagers

The Rostov youngsters scored a first-minute goal to give them a shock lead 

On Thursday, the Russian Football Federation offered to postpone the match until July 19, but this required the agreement of both clubs, and struggling Sochi declined.

Sochi issued a statement declaring the match on only hours before the kick-off.

‘Rostov and Sochi have agreed to stage the game, the 23rd round of the first division. The match is going ahead!’

But a petition organised by Rostov’s main sponsor urged Sochi to show ‘solidarity’.

‘Let’s remind ourselves of the values this sport teaches us. A dignified fight, honest competition, respect for our adversary…’ the petition signed by more than 1,000 people said.

The row clouded the league’s restart after its three-month hiatus. 

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