A FRIENDLY match organised between an international youth team and an English non-league side at the weekend ended up trending on Twitter as it descended into a complete mismatch.
Businessman James Cuttica, who was organising accommodation for the Russia Under-19s, arranged for them to play Cheadle Town of the North West Counties League as a warm up for a European Championship qualifying group in Northern Ireland this week.
However, Sunday’s match proved to be a breeze for the young Russians as they racked up an incredible 22-0 victory.
The club’s official Twitter feed @CheadleTownFC began to get some attention when, after the Russians had stormed into a 6-0 lead after 33 minutes, it triumphantly tweeted: “We’ve got a corner”.
The half-time score at Mottram Hall was 9-0 and the precocious tourists refused to hold back after the break, banging in a further 13 goals.
“I can’t even say that any of their goals were flukes or should have been disallowed. In fact, every one was from inside the box, and they just about walked them all into the net. Our lads couldn’t get anywhere near them at times,” Cheadle secretary Stuart Crawford told the BBC.
“We played our first-team goalkeeper Steve Piggott, but he didn’t make any gaffes and, in fact, saved further embarrassment with a few saves.”
Crawford added: “I looked at their website and when I saw their players were signed up by clubs such as Zenit St Petersburg and CSKA Moscow I knew it would be a struggle. They would give a League One side a run for their money.
“I hoped that they would take their foot off the gas when it reached 10-0, but there was no showboating and they were professional throughout.
“As our team walked off the pitch at the end, I told each of them to keep their head up because some of their guys might be stars at the next World Cup.”
A second match between the sides had been provisionally arranged but has been mercifully cancelled.
Russia Under-19s meet hosts Northern Ireland in Dungannon on Saturday.