Rostov keeper sets new record despite 10-1 loss as youngsters forced to play while first team are quarantined

Rostov keeper sets new record despite 10-1 loss as youngsters forced to play while first team are quarantined | Highlights
The 17-year-old Denis Popov was one of a number of teenagers who had to step in with the first team suffering from coronavirus

Rostov were thrashed 10-1 by Sochi on Friday, but their teenage goalkeeper Denis Popov set a new all-time Russian Premier League record for a stunning individual performance.

Rostov attracted attention for all the wrong reasons after the scoreline found its way around social media.

They had actually gone 1-0 up in the first minute of the game, but were eventually beaten by nine goals away from home.

Aleksandr Kokorin scored a hat-trick, Antonin Zabolotny and Dmitry Poloz bagged two each, while Andrei Mostovoy, Ivan Novoseltsev and Nikita Koldunov all got on the scoresheet.

After seeing themselves go viral, Rostov released a statement explaining the result.

It read: “A lot of supporters of our club who don’t speak Russian cannot really understand how today’s tie could end with a 10-1 score.

“We would like to explain. Six players of our club have been infected with coronavirus, and thus, the entire team had to be quarantined.

“Football Club Sochi turned down our offer to postpone the match, and this is exactly why these young players aged 16-19 had to play in this match.

“The score was most likely upsetting, however, we do want you to stay on the bright side!

“First of all – our 17-year-old goalkeeper, Denis Popov, made 15 (!!!) breathtaking saves (including one penalty), which is a Russian Premier League new record! Denis absolutely stole the whole show today and got his well-deserved Man of the Match award!

“Another mind-blowing highlight was definitely our first goal! 17-year-old Roman Romanov scored an incredible goal and became the youngest person to score in the history of our club as well as top three in RPL history!

“Romanov is also among the top three young goal scorers in the history of Russian Leagues.

“We know you would agree our players were fighting for every inch of the pitch – each and every one of them showed incredible character and attitude today!

“We would like to express our gratitude to everyone, all the supporters of our club around the world.”

Despite the result, Rostov finished the day fourth in the 16-team Russian top flight, with Sochi in ninth.

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