Galatasaray and Juventus returned to the Turk Telekom Arena seventeen hours after weather conditions caused referee Proença to suspend the match, as we reported yesterday.
The match resumed at the 31st minute on a field in questionable shape, perhaps worse than yesterday: the middle of the pitch resembled a muddy “no man’s land”, making it difficult for ground passes to get to the intended target. But all sides, including UEFA, were determined to complete the match in time for Monday’s quarterfinal draw, so “the show must go on”.
The remaining fifteen minutes of the first half are little more than a warm up to give the players an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the turf’s conditions.
Nothing to report until the 54th minute, in which Wesley Sneijder picks up a loose ball from 20 yards and puts it two metres wide of Buffon’s net. But two minutes later, the chance of the game fell on to Drogba who rifles a shot from the top of the box that Buffon does well to save.
Juventus responds with a weak shot by Asamoah at the 65th, but it’s Galatasaray who is dialing up the pressure. Juventus resists. And reacts. On 80 minutes, Juventus combines wonderfully Tevez leaves it fror Marchisio, whose shot is saved perfectly by Muslera.
At the 85th minute, everything comes together for Sneijder: the ball falls for him perfectly in the box, his diagonal shot through Bonucci’s legs and along the far post.
It was heartbreak for Juventus fans, as the efforts of an entire campaign went wanting on account of one play in surreal conditions. Nightmare in Istanbul.