Severe hailstorm delays Juve-Gala clash

The re-organised Champions League match between Galatasaray and Juventus has been pushed back to a 1300GMT kick-off after a severe hailstorm.

Heavy snow on football pitch

The Italian champions needed to avoid defeat at the Turk Telecom Arena on Tuesday night to book second place in Group B and progression to the knockout stages, while a Galatasaray victory would have seen Roberto Mancini's men safely through to the last 16 alongside pool winners Real Madrid.

Snow and hail began to seriously affect play after about 20 minutes and the game was ultimately suspended in the 33rd minute following discussions between UEFA delegates, Pedro Proenca's refereeing team and both sets of players.

A statement published on the official UEFA Champions League Twitter account read: "The #UCL fixture between @GalatasaraySK & @juventusfc has been abandoned after a snow storm caused the pitch to become unplayable.

"According to article 11.04 of the competition regulations, the remaining match time must be played either tomorrow or on a reserve date or other date set by the UEFA administration."

A further UEFA update confirmed the fixture would resume on Wednesday afternoon at 1300CET (1200GMT) but that time was later revised to 1400CET (1300GMT) following discussions with Turkish police.

Juventus had enjoyed the better chances of the interrupted clash in Turkey and Fernando Llorente missed a gilt-edged chance to put the Serie A side ahead in the 16th minute.

At the end of a swift counter-attack, the Spanish striker found himself in a good position in the Galatasaray box to control Arturo Vidal's cross before flicking it just wide of a post.

Former Juventus midfielder Felipe Melo had earlier tested goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon from distance while Selcuk Inan sent a free-kick wide of the visitors' goal before the snow began to fall.

Groundsmen attempted to clear snow from the lines marking the pitch but the weather showed no sign of abating and brought an early end to proceedings.

Gala were level on four points with FC Copenhagen going into Tuesday night's fixtures but have a better goal difference against the Danes, who lost 2-0 at home to already-qualified Real Madrid in the other group game.



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