GK wins MOTM after conceding 10 goals

International

A 17-year-old goalkeeper earned a Man of the Match award after conceding 10 goals as FC Rostov were forced to field a youth team in the Russian Premier League.

Denis Popov proved to be a bright spark in a 10-1 thumping against PFC Sochi in the Russian top-flight as Rostov fielded teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 due to the club's senior team being infected by the novel coronavirus.

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With six first-team players testing positive last week, the entire squad were forced into quarantine and with Rostov needing to fulfil their fixture, the youngsters started brightly by taking a shock early lead.

Having not trained since March, Roman Romanov opened the scoring in the opening minute of the game but the school kids were taken to the task against the full strength Sochi for the remainder of the encounter.

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But Popov managed to produce a league record 15 saves in the mauling and saved a penalty while the first-team technical staff were also not in attendance.

"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," the club said in an official statement after the game.

"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!"

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The statement continued: "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!"

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