Canberra United’s finals hopes remain alive, after their Round 12 clash with Melbourne Victory was delayed by lightning, before ultimately being abandoned.
United were hosting their last home match for the season at Queanbeyan’s Seiffert Oval, short of Refiloe Jane, Rhoda Mulaudzi and Maria Rojas on international duty.
After 16 minutes of play, lightning forced players from the field and a delay of initially 30 minutes that soon became an hour.
MEDIA | 🌩🌩🌩— Canberra United (@CanberraUnited) January 17, 2019
Here is a little insight into why we are having a break... Lightning. pic.twitter.com/fpW2mciFBz
After the match was confirmed as abandoned, Canberra United coach Heather Garriock had no updates on when the rescheduled game will be as her players filtered out into the muggy night.
She and Melbourne Victory coach Jeff Hopkins will make a decision together on a new game day.
“It’s going to fit in with both our schedules. As it stands now, we’ve got our last game as a bye, but in saying that Jeff’s got a game in Perth which doesn’t suit. FFA are going to give us options.”
The decision will be made as a matter of urgency but it won’t be Friday morning and the game will be played after both coaches refused an offer of no result.
Garriock is eager to get a date confirmed, and get back into preparations with her side.
“It’s just going to be another game for us. I think playing the game tomorrow wasn’t going to be professional. When you prepare for a game it’s pretty draining, it’s a good idea that Jeff and I agreed it’s not going to be played tomorrow morning.”
ICYMI | Due to lightning and inclement weather, the match between @CanberraUnited and @victorywleague has been abandoned and will be rescheduled for a later date. #CBRvMVC #WLeague— Westfield W-League (@WLeague) January 17, 2019
🎥 @FOXFOOTBALL pic.twitter.com/8ssbRDQsAx
Garriock agreed with the decision to abandon play, pointing to the most important thing - player welfare, but confirmed that she kept her players ready the entire delay.
“As a coach, I need to prepare the players as if they’re going back on until there’s a decision made.”
The delay was viewed favourably by Garriock - as it gave the team a chance reset a game she said hadn’t started well.
“Terrible. I think the players played terrible in the first fifteen minutes, and it was kind of a blessing we got to regroup and chat about it. But then we were pumped to get out there and do what we know we can do.”
The abandoned game may indeed also provide an opportunity for Canberra to face a strong Victory side with key players back in town.
It is not the first time Canberra United have hosted an abandoned game due to weather. Western Sydney Wanderers caught a heat delay followed by an abandonment due to lightning in Round 11 of Season 5. Teigen Allen was the only player on field for both.