November 27, (THEWILL) – In an unprecedented turn of events in Portugal’s top division, Belenenses were compelled to name only nine players for their Primeira Liga match against Benfica on Saturday night.
Due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the club, the Portuguese side was unable to field a full strength side, and rather than cancel the match and perhaps incur additional penalties, the club went through without subs and without the full complement of players.
According to Primeira Liga regulations, a minimum of seven players are required to meet the standards for an official match.
Two goalkeepers were named to bulk up the lineup as Joao Monteiro, a former goalkeeper, began at right back. However, Benfica showed no compassion, forcing an own goal in the very first minute.
Benfica began the game in third place, looking to maintain pressure on league leaders Porto. The circumstances of the game provided the visitors an opportunity to increase their goal difference, which they gladly embraced and have jumped into the leadership of the table.
With a hattrick by star player Darwin Nunez, a Harris Seferovic brace and a goal from Julian Weigl, Benfica are already up by seven goals as at the time of this report.