An important Championship match between Fulham and Reading was abandoned at halftime for thick fog. After seeing images of play in the first half, the decision was understandable…but as images of the pitch conditions after the break were shared, it appears soccer has gone a bit soft.
For much of the first half, visibility was low, but not once was play stopped. As you can see both above and below, fog was a major factor during play:
Once the match reached halftime with the score 0-0, the referees came together and decided to call off the rest of the match. That seemed an odd decision, considering the fog had lifted significantly during the break. Both sets of fans were angered with the decision, who chanted “you don’t know what you’re doing” as the referees made their way off the field. You can see why the fans were upset:
According to the official Fulham Twitter account, the game was abandoned because linesman said they could not see across the whole field. Seems odd that they would make that determination at halftime when the fog lifted, but said nothing throughout the first half when visibility was incredibly low.
The match will have to be replayed at some point, especially considering the match was an important one. Reading sits in third position on 43 points, six points back of Newcastle in the final automatic promotion spot, while Fulham sits in seventh, three back of a playoff spot.
There was another Championship game abandoned for fog, as Brighton and Cardiff City called off their game, but that decision was made before the match began.
On a day with many draws, the English Championship’s top sides had no such trouble find results.
[ MORE: Chelsea, Bournemouth win big in PL action ]
Norwich City earned a 3-1 win over Rotherham behind goals from Wes Hoolahan, Cameron Jerome and Steven Naismith. The Canaries remain atop the league with the victory, while sits five points buried in the relegation zone through 12 matches. Despite dominating much of Saturday’s encounter, Alex Neil‘s team will be looking to improve upon its efficiency in the final third after landing six of its 22 shots on target.
The two sides were deadlocked going into halftime but it was Fulham that came away with a 4-2 win at Barnsley on Saturday. Marley Watkins gave the hosts the lead after just four minutes, however, the fortunes for Barnsley changed significantly as the match wore on. To make matters worse for the Tykes, Josh Scowen earned himself a red card after the hour mark.
Ciaran Clark got the action going early on for Newcastle in the team’s 3-1 win against Brentford, but it was Dwight Gayle‘s double that ensured the Toons the points on the day. Gayle now has nine goals on the campaign, which leads all players in the Championship. Scott Hogan pulled a goal back for the visitors after halftime but it simply wasn’t enough for Brentford to take anything away from St. James’ Park.
Elsewhere in the Championship
Blackburn Rovers 0-0 Ipswich Town
Brighton & Hove Albion 2-2 Preston North End
Derby County 1-0 Leeds United
Queens Park Rangers 1-1 Reading
Wigan Athletic 0-0 Burton Albion
Aston Villa 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Tim Ream first made his name in Major League Soccer, and apparently the U.S. Men’s National Team defender could be on his way back stateside “sooner rather than later.”
[ MORE: Rooney becomes most-capped England outfield player ]
According to MSG’s Kristian Dyer, the Fulham defender is being monitored by several MLS players in the event that he does decide to return to the U.S. in the future.
Ream, who has seen a mere five minutes of action in Fulham’s five league matches to start the 2016/17 season, could reportedly return to MLS if he doesn’t receive consistent minutes moving forward with the English Championship side.
The 28-year-old was selected in the second round of 2010 MLS SuperDraft by the New York Red Bulls, and made over 65 appearances for the club across all competitions in his two seasons with the Eastern Conference side.
The veteran defender left for England ahead of the 2011/12 season after signing with Bolton Wanderers, before moving to Fulham this past campaign.
Sunderland and Bournemouth advanced to the League Cup third round, while Middlesbrough and Burnley dropped out after both finding themselves bested in extra-time.
A strong Boro lineup still saw its goal pummeled all evening by Fulham’s young squad, and Lasse Vigen Christensen won it in extra time with an assist from American youngster Luca de la Torre to complete the 2-1 scoreline. Middlesbrough went ahead early on an 8th minute header by David Nugent, but they were on the back foot the rest of the match. Scott Malone forced a Boro own-goal for the equalizer shortly after halftime, and Christensen won it seven minutes before penalties.
The win for Fulham means they are unbeaten through five matches this season across Championship and League Cup play. The Whites then drew a home meeting with Bristol City for the third round of the Cup.
Burnley also went to extra-time after a scoreless full 90 minutes, and they were stunned by a goal from Accrington Stanley’s Matt Pearson in the 122nd minute, just ticks before penalties to down the Clarets 1-0. It was a dull match up to that point, and the League Two side earned its first-ever victory over a Premier League side in cup play with the late winner. The winners will have another shot at a Premier League side in the next round, drawing West Ham.
Bournemouth nudged past League Two side Morecambe 2-1 thanks to goals from Max Gradel and Marc Wilson, although Morecambe had leveled things for a bit between the two Cherries’ goals. Bournemouth saw themselves drawn against Preston North End in the upcoming round.
Sunderland also saw themselves through thanks to Adnan Januzaj‘s first goal for the Black Cats, an 83rd minute strike to down League One side Shrewsbury Town 1-0 at the Stadium of Light. The match was a relatively even affair until Januzaj’s late goal, but Sunderland likely deserved to win on number of chances, with Patrick van Anholt having the best prior opportunity just before halftime with a rocket saved by Jason Leutwiler. The Black Cats will travel to QPR following the third round draw.
The newly-renamed EFL Cup, formerly the League Cup, rolls on Wednesday with four more matches ahead of the evening’s third-round draw.
American attacker Lynden Gooch starts for Sunderland, while Tim Ream starts for Fulham and Luca de la Torre is on the Cottagers’ bench. Emerson Hyndman is on the bench for Bournemouth.
Tuesday’s action saw Premier League sides West Brom and Watford excused from the tournament.
Wednesday’s EFL Cup schedule — FOLLOW LIVE
Accrington Stanley vs. Burnley
Fulham vs. Middlesbrough
Morecambe vs. Bournemouth
Sunderland vs. Shrewsbury Town