Benfica’s clash with Belenenses was abandoned amid unusual spectacle after Covid-fuelled La Liga players had to name a squad of just nine players – including two goalkeepers.
The visitors benefited from seven goals scored in the first half, before Belenenses returned with only seven players.
The match was then called off one minute into the second half as goalkeeper Joao Monteiro fell to the ground, forcing the referee to abandon the match due to the minimal number of players not on the field.
After testing positive on the team earlier in the week, a total of 17 cases were reported among players and staff.
Despite the team’s destruction, the match continued as only nine players were selected and goalkeeper Montero played in the midfield.
The Belenenses players released a joint statement before the match that read: “Football only has a heart if it is competitive. Football only has a heart if it is truly sporting.
“Football has a heart only when it sets an example for public health. Today, football has lost its heart.”
Manchester City and Portugal midfielder Bernardo Silva continued, and tweeted in disbelief: “What is this? Am I the only one who does not understand why the match has not been postponed?”
Darwin Nunez scored a hat-trick as Benfica put their exhausted hosts to the sword, but the headlines were grabbed by Belenenses, who eventually succeeded in forcing the team to abandon the scene.