FC Sochi coast to record-breaking win over FC Rostov youngsters

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FC Sochi 10-1 FC Rostov
Friday 19 June, Fisht Olympic Stadium

Goals: Abramov OG 6’, Kokorin 15’, 43’, 50’, Zabolotniy 44’, 47’, Novoseltsev 53’, Poloz 75’, 86’, Koldunov 87’; Romanov 1’

Man of the Match: Denis Popov (FC Rostov)

Aleksandr Kokorin’s hat-trick was just one highlight as FC Sochi equalled the record for the highest-scoring game in Russian football history. Doubles from Anton Zabolotniy and Dmitry Poloz, a Vladimir Abramov own goal, and strikes from Ivan Novoseltsev and Nikita Koldunov made this the first time a team had reached double figures in a Russian league game.

FC Rostov’s youngsters had no answer to the experience of FC Sochi, even if they gave it their best shot. After six senior players at the club tested positive to COVID-19, thus forcing the entire first-team squad and staff into a 14-day quarantine, Rostov had to field the under-18 side to fulfill the fixture.

Within seconds FC Rostov had shocked their senior counterparts through Roman Romanov’s firm side-foot finish. Soslan Dzhanaev had no chance to keep out a fine finish.

The novelty didn’t last long. Andrey Mostovoy drifted into the box with minimal trouble, and although his low shot didn’t cross the line, there was little Vladimir Abramov could do to stop it crossing the line.

Unsurprisingly Denis Popov was the busier of the keepers, and was sent scrambling a few times in the opening exchanges. There was little he could do after 15 minutes when Mostovoy broke clear in acres of space and squared to Kokorin, who had all the time in the world to pick his spot in the bottom corner.

After surviving for ten more minutes, the pace of Mostovoy was too much for Kirill Girnyk as he chopped down the winger in the box. Zabolotniy stepped up, but his low penalty was brilliantly turned round the post by Popov down to the keeper’s left. Later Zabolotniy was 

Although their defending was scrambled at times and they rarely had enough time on the ball to construct full attacks, Rostov managed to reduce Sochi to half-hearted threats until 10 minutes before half time. Kokorin unleashed a fierce overhead kick, but was denied by Popov’s foot from point-blank range.

Five minutes before the break Mostovoy again got in behind his marker, before finding Zabolotniy deep past the back post. Popov could only block his strong shot to Mostovoy, whose free header hit the crossbar.

Three minutes later Kokorin threaded a cool finish through Popov’s legs from Kirill Zaika’s first-time pass. After being frustrated for much of the half, having also been denied by a superb Rogava slide tackle 10 minutes earlier when though on goal, Zabalotniy finally got on the scoresheet with an acrobatic volley from Zaika’s cross.

In contrast to the first half, it was Sochi who started more strongly. Zabolotniy lifted a bouncing ball over Popov only for Abramov to head off the line, but seconds later he finished into the bottom corner when clear through.

The floodgates nudged opened. Kokorin sealed his hattrick on 50 minutes after curling in a deflected effort after a corner routine, before Novoseltsev smashed in from one yard out after Popov could only block a powerful header.

There was a brief opportunity for Girnyk as he dispossessed Sochi substitute Vadim Milyutin just after the hour mark, but he lashed his hurried shot into the side netting. Milyutin didn’t cover himself in glory on 70 minutes when he somehow turned a free header over from one yard out.

By then the pace had dropped off completely, giving Giannelli Imbula the most comfortable of debuts off the bench. Poloz curled an absolute peach into the top corner on 75 minutes before dinking a delicate finish past Popov 10 minutes later to make it the RPL’s highest-scoring game this season.

Nikita Koldunov sealed the rout in the last minute with a calm left-foot finish into the bottom corner.

FC Sochi: Dzhanaev, Miladinovic, Mevlja, Novoseltsev (Milyutin 56’), Margasov (Imbula 60’), Nabiullin, Burmistrov (Koldunov 69’), Zaika, Mostovoy, Zabalotniy (Poloz 60’), Kokorin (Bokovoy 69’)

FC Rostov: Popov, Girnyk, Rogava, Kalistratov, Abramov, Gorelov, Topuriya (Komarov 61’), Romanov (Kochkarin 46’), Kupriyanov (Kashtan 73’), Kolotievskiy (Kornienko 54’), Khromov (Stavtsev 80’)

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