FC Rostov forced to play in 10-1 loss to PFC Sochi after first-team was quarantined

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Imagine the fourth-placed team in the Premier League getting absolutely pummelled 10-1 by a team fighting relegation.

Yeh... we might be guilty of calling England's top tier the most competitive league in the world, but even that's a little extreme.

However, that was exactly what happened between FC Rostov and PFC Sochi on Friday night when their Russian Premier League match descended into absolute madness due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Competition resumed this week after months of shutdown due to the pandemic despite the fact, according to Russia Today, six FC Rostov players tested positive for the virus.

That naturally meant that the entire Rostov first-team and reserve squad - estimated at 42 players - were forced to isolate in quarantine.

Chaos during Rostov vs Sochi

You would assume at this point that the Russian authorities would allow Rostov to cancel their fixture with Sochi, but you wouldn't be reading this article if that was the case.

Per a brilliant Twitter thread from Slava Malamud, Sochi essentially made the argument that it wasn't their problem, so the fixture should go ahead and the authorities gave that a free pass.

With Rostov forced to play their upcoming fixture, but without those who could pose a health risk, they had to field their youth squad that didn't include a single professional player.

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So... what actually happened?

The oldest player was 19 years old and the youngest was merely 16.

That, and the fact none of the first-team coaches were even there to give them any support because - you guessed it - they were also having to spend time in quarantine for everyone's safety.

In the words of their manager Valeri Karpin: "I don't know who is even traveling to Sochi. We are all locked up in quarantine." Insane.

So, what happened in the match? Well, astonishingly, Rostov shocked the largest country in the world by taking a 1-0 lead with academy player Roman Romanov scoring in the first minute.

But from there on in, Sochi ran riot by romping into a 4-1 lead at half-time and eventually bagging the three points to the tune of a 10-1 annihilation upon the final whistle.

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That's in spite of the fact Sochi find themselves in a relegation battle and Rostov could have moved into second place with a comfortable victory.

But the true hero of the game, rather unexpectedly, came in the form of 17-year-old goalkeeper Denis Popov who made an astonishing 11 saves and thwarted a penalty despite conceding 10 goals.

The only mercy from Sochi was the fact their coach substituted all of their strikers when the score was 7-1. How generous.

The crazy highlights

You can check out the full highlights of the truly bonkers fixture down below:

But at least after that rout, Sochi showed their class on social media, right? Right? Right?????

"The entire country will be rooting for schoolboys?" they scandalously wrote. "We were all schoolboys once. Today, let's play football. The field is level. The ball is round. Play until mama calls you home."

Just when you thought football in the midst of a pandemic couldn't get any stranger...

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