Relegated Caroni beaten 15-0 in Venezuela

CARACAS - Caroni, already relegated after one season marked by serious financial problems in Venezuela's first division, were crushed by a national record score of 15-0 by El Vigia at the weekend.

The team from Puerto Ordaz, founded in 2009 and second division winners in their first season in existence, made the 25-hour journey to El Vigia with 11 youth players, the daily El Medidiano reported on its website.

The referee ended the match five minutes from time when Caroni, who had no substitutes, were down to seven players due to injuries, the website reported.

Striker Genlis Pinero scored a hat-trick and substitute Yan Salazar four goals, the Venezuelan Football Federation said on its website, in front of 1,020 spectators.

The first team squad, owed unpaid wages, refused to play and the players at the match were pictured in showing a banner saying: "For football up to date (with pay)".

Mid-table El Vigia, looking to qualify for eight-team playoffs for a place in South America's second-tier Copa Sudamericana club competition, took full advantage to boost their goal difference.

Caroni have had problems since the beginning of the season to raise adequate sponsorship to meet their expenses. Venezuelan league football draws very small crowds, generally under 1,000 fans.

The Clausura championship will be decided on the final day next weekend when Zamora visit second-placed Caracas FC. The winners will then face Apertura title holders Deportivo Tachira over two legs for the 2010-11 crown.