MOSCOW - Russian club Rostov have encouraged supporters to look "on the bright side" and celebrate two young record-breakers after a makeshift team of teenagers were trounced 10-1.
Fourth-placed Rostov had to quarantine their entire first team after six players tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of Friday night's comprehensive thrashing at Russian Premier League rivals Sochi.
The hosts turned down an offer to postpone the match, according to Rostov, and therefore a raft of players aged between 16 and 19 were hastily called into senior action for only the second fixture of another domestic European season restarting behind closed doors following a three-month break enforced by the coronavirus pandemic.
Roman Romanov, 17, opened the scoring in the first minute – a goal described as a "mind-blowing highlight" by Rostov – but Sochi drew level five minutes later and did not look back as they ran riot against a team for whom former England and Tottenham winger David Bentley turned out seven times during a loan spell in the 2012-13 season.
Rostov also heaped praise on stand-in goalkeeper Denis Popov, who was credited with keeping the scoreline from drifting inexorably towards 25-1 on his way to claiming the man-of-the-match award.
A statement published on Rostov's official website read: "Dear friends, a lot of supporters of our club who don't speak Russian cannot really understand how today's tie could end with 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."(FA)