It all started at 2:45 p.m. ET on Tuesday with a green pitch, a white ball and the hope of a Champions League barnstormer to come. It ended at 9:19 a.m. on Wednesday with a browny-white pitch, an orange ball and a continent of shortchanged soccer fans.
Galatasaray qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League thanks to the 1-0 win it earned from its extended clash in Istanbul, while Juventus will believe that its shot at the knockout stage was massively compromised, and rightly so.
After Tuesday’s abandonment in the 31st minute, it was obvious that UEFA would want the remainder of the game to be completed as soon as possible. Had the final hour been postponed until next week, there would have been the risk of Monday’s draw being affected, among other things.
The pressure on referee Pedro Proenca to see the game to its end Wednesday left fans across Europe watching a poor imitation of the match that had been so anticipated. These were two teams primed to play the most important game of their seasons, but upon the resumption they were simply taking part in an absolute farce.