Lightning, rain washes out Canadian finale

Lightning, rain washes out Canadian finale

Published May. 26, 2011 5:22 a.m. ET

A relentless lightning and rain storm forced officials to abandon play Wednesday in the Canadian Championship final between Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps.

The game will be replayed in its entirety Thursday. If the field isn't playable at the 11 a.m. starting time, the match will be rescheduled for another day.

The Whitecaps had a 1-0 lead in the second match of the two-game series when officials ordered the players from the field in the 60th minute. After a delay of more than an hour, play was called off.

Eric Hassli scored in the 17th minute with a low strike that deflected off defender Julian de Guzman's foot and sailed past goalkeeper Stefan Frei.


The Voyageurs Trophy winner will receive a spot in 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League play.

A nearby lightning strike just before halftime forced a 45-minute delay to the start the second half.

The water-logged pitch was nearly unplayable in the second half, with one pass back to Frei stopping dead in the water and forcing the goalkeeper to sprint out to boot the ball out of danger.

When officials sent the teams off the field for the final time following another lightning strike, the fans were instructed to leave the stadium.