Goalkeeper Wins Man Of The Match Despite Conceding 10 goals
Rostov’s 17-year-old goalkeeper, Denis Popov won Man of the Match award set and new shot stopping record despite letting in ten goals against Sochi in the Russian league.
Rostov were forced to play their youth players after six of their first-team squad tested positive for coronavirus. The kids got off to a great start – taking a 1-0 lead after just one minute – but quickly they fell behind and lost by nine goals away from home.
However, despite enduring a horrendous afternoon on the scoreboard it proved to be a busy one for Denis Popov, the Rostov goalkeeper, who broke a Russian League record for the most saves in a match with an incredible 15 stops – including one penalty.
Popov went on to win the man of the match award as the 17-year-old impressed despite letting in ten goals.
The club later released a statement to justify the scoreline, after it made the rounds on social media without the knowledge of their squad being struck by the virus.
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!’
Sochi could only field a team of teenagers after six first-team players tested positive for COVID
The statement went on to highlight Popov’s incredible afternoon between the sticks and also mentioned their 17-year-old striker Roman Romanov, who scored their only goal of the match and became the youngest player to score in the club’s history.
‘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.’