A relentless lightning storm last night forced the abandonment of the Canadian Nutrilite Championship final between Toronto FC and the visiting Vancouver Whitecaps.
The Whitecaps led Toronto 1-0 and had the Voyageurs Trophy in their sights in the second of the two-game, total goals series Wednesday when officials sent the teams to the dressing room in the 60th minute the second delay on a soggy affair.
The game will be replayed in its entirety at 9:30am on July 2nd.
Official release from the Whitecaps:
The second leg of the 2011 Nutrilite Canadian Championship final between Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Toronto FC will now be played on Saturday, July 2, at 9:30 a.m. PT at BMO Field. The second leg was rescheduled after the original match at BMO Field was abandoned due to unplayable field conditions on Wednesday evening.
The second leg was tentatively rescheduled to be replayed on Thursday morning at 8 a.m. PT at BMO Field, but after another field inspection, officials from the Canadian Soccer Association, Whitecaps FC, and Toronto FC agreed that BMO Field was still unplayable due to field conditions. All parties have now agreed to replay the second leg at BMO Field on Saturday, July 2. Whitecaps FC and Toronto FC have a Major League Soccer regular season match at BMO Field on Wednesday, June 29. CONCACAF has been informed of the new date for the second leg.
The winner of the two-leg Nutrilite Canadian Championship final will win the Voyageurs Cup and qualify for 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League. Canada’s representative will face Nicaraguan club Real Estelí FC in the Preliminary Round of the CONCACAF Champions League in late July and early August.
Wednesday’s match was originally delayed at halftime due to thunder and lightning before eventually being called in the 60th minute, with Whitecaps FC leading 1-0, as the match officials deemed field conditions too dangerous due to the accumulation of heavy rainfall.
Official Nutrilite Canadian Championship rule 12: If the match is abandoned before the completion of normal playing time because of extreme weather or for reasons outside the control of the host team, the match shall be replayed in its entirety the following day, thus avoiding the considerable extra expense for the visiting team. If it is still impossible to play the match the next day for the same reasons, the match may be postponed by another day, provided both teams agree. If the match can still not be played on the third day, the expenses thus incurred by the visiting team shall be split between the two teams. A decision will be taken within two hours of the referee’s decision to abandon the match, in consultation with the two clubs concerned. In case of dispute, the CSA Organizing Committee fixes the date and kick-off time of the match. Its decision is final.
Vancouver were ahead courtesy of a 17th minute goal by striker Eric Hassli. The big Frenchman found space and unleashed a 25-yard shot that deflected off TFC midfielder Julian de Guzman and past Reds goalkeeper Stefan Frei for a crucial away goal and a 2-1 aggregate lead.
Whitecaps FC return home to face Eastern Conference club New York Red Bulls in MLS action on Saturday afternoon.
TEAM1410am pre-match at 12:30, kickoff at 2:30.