Do-or-die Galatasaray match against Juventus abandoned due to snow

Do-or-die Galatasaray match against Juventus abandoned due to snow

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Do-or-die Galatasaray match against Juventus abandoned due to snow

Galatasaray's and Juventus' players speak with referee Pedro Proença after heavy snowfall halted their UEFA Champions League Group B match at the Türk Telekom Arena Stadium in Istanbul. AFP photo

Galatasaray’s quest to reach the second round of the Champions League was put on hold Dec. 10 night, as heavy snow during its match against Italian giants Juventus forced the postponement of the match until 3 p.m. today.

Portuguese referee Pedro Proença ordered a 20-minute suspension to the match in the 32nd minute with the teams level at 0-0 so that grounds crews could clear the lines.

At the end of the break, however, Proença, in consultation with UEFA officials, chose to abandon the match until further notice amid the intense snowfall.

Befitting their need for victory, Galatasaray started with urgency in front of an impassioned home crowd, forcing two early corners and sending a number of searching crosses into the Juve box, albeit without putting the ageless Gianluigi Buffon to the test.

It was Juventus that first came closest to scoring, however, as the Turin side’s Basque striker Fernando Llorente did well in minute 16 to stab the ball just past the post of Fernando Muslera, who returned to the Galatasaray goal after weeks on the sidelines with a broken toe.

The Lions had a sniff at goal at the other end three minutes later when Juve’s Claudio Marchisio felled Emmanuel Eboue in a dangerous position, but Selçuk İnan’s free kick failed to trouble Buffon.

As the first half dragged on, Türk Telekom Arena’s green pitch was quickly covered in a blanket of white as the snow increased in intensity. The snow succeeded in entirely covering the pitch within 10 minutes, prompting Proença to call for the break in play.

Galatasaray must defeat Juventus to advance to the second round of the Champions League. The Lions, however, are guaranteed at least a place in the knockout stage of the Europa League after Real Madrid beat FC Copenhagen 2-0 in the group's other game tonight, ensuring that Cim Bom can finish no worse than third in the section.