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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