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Teenage Goalkeeper Wins Man Of The Match Award After Conceding 10 Goals

Ryan Sidle

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Teenage Goalkeeper Wins Man Of The Match Award After Conceding 10 Goals

It's not often a goalkeeper can concede 10 goals in a match but pick up the Man of the Match award, but that's exactly what happened to Denis Popov on Friday, after Rostov FC were forced to play a team of teenagers.

David de Gea was being chastised from all corners, especially Roy Keane's, for one mistake that cost Manchester United two points and he can feel especially hard done by when hearing of his fellow Goalkeeper's Union buddy Popov's plaudits for conceding 10 times.

The 17-year-old played alongside teammates raging from 16 to 19-years-old after a bout of Covid-19 hit the full team with six positive tests, that forced everyone to go into quarantine.

Rostov tried to get their game against PFC Sochi postponed but the hosts wouldn't accept and the league didn't intervene. The teenagers lost 10-1, and even opened the scoring, but Popov made a league record 15 saves, including one from the spot.

According to Russian sports writer Slava Malamud, the teenagers weren't in anyway prepared for the match and hadn't been in training since March.

The players, all teenagers, have been schooling via Zoom for the past few months during lockdown and had to travel to Sochi to play a full strength Sochi side.

If that wasn't enough for Rostov there were two particularly bad decision against them, one for the saved penalty and another for a goal that somehow stood.

The six tests led to all 42 of the senior team, and coaches, having to quarantine, meaning the academy kids were out at the match only with their own staff, who also must have been feeling like fish out of water.

On top of that the Sochi Instagram page even mocked their opponents, before deleting the mocking post after a lot of negative reaction.

In a statement after the match Rostov praised their players, especially the goalkeeper, saying, "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."

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What a great bunch of lads!

Topics: Football News, Zenit, Russia, Covid-19

Ryan Sidle
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