Canberra-Sydney Liberty A-League clash called off due to lightning: What you need to know

Canberra United’s Liberty A-League clash with defending champions Sydney FC has been called off due to continued lightning, condition of the pitch and player welfare in the capital city.

As Saturday’s game did not reach half-time, it will need to be replayed at a later date.

The Round 17 fixture at McKellar Park, where the fixture kicked off at 5:00pm AEDT, was brought to a halt twice.

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The first delay lasted almost an hour after players left the field before returning to plat at 6:03pm AEDT.

However, players were again forced from the field nine minutes before half-time due to another lightning strike as heavy rain lashed the venue.

After another lengthy delay, the match was officially abandoned at 7:24pm AEDT.

Sydney are third in the standings having played 16 matches – three points off the pace. Canberra, meanwhile, are bottom of the table.

Both sides had opportunities to break the deadlock before proceedings came to a halt.

Sydney goalkeeper Jada Whyman was almost punished for a wayward pass out of the back as it fell straight to Vesna Milivojevic but she was quick off her line to smother the ball inside three minutes.

The Sky Blues then had quick-fire chances to hit the front via Cortnee Vine – who dropped out of the Matildas squad for this month’s Olympic qualifiers due to personal reasons, and Princess Ibini.

Vine, making her 100th Liberty A-League appearance, stung the palms of Chloe Lincoln in the 10th minute before Ibini’s close-range header was off target.

When the match resumed at 6:03pm AEDT local time, Lincoln was in the thick of the action once more.

She made an incredible save to thwart Indiana dos Santos in the 15th minute after the Sydney sensation was unmarked inside the six-yard box, while Ibini was there for the rebound but somehow her effort was blocked.

Lincoln was at it again six minutes later – sensationally keeping out Mackenzie Hawkesby’s effort from the edge of the area, which Paramount+ commentator Campbell Johnson labelled “unbelievable”.