England wasn't able to continue its quest to qualify for the World Cup on Tuesday night, but it wasn't because of the pesky play of Poland. It was because of the pesky rainfall in Poland.
UPDATE: Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 8:15 p.m. ET by Tim Keeney
The rescheduled match will take place Wednesday and will be broadcast by ESPN3 (via EPL Talk):
ESPN will show the rescheduled Poland-England match on ESPN3.com tomorrow at 11am ET.— EPL Talk (@epltalk) October 17, 2012
---End of update---
Torrential downpour hit the stadium in Warsaw just before kickoff, immediately turning the pitch into a perfectly square ocean, and the officials decided it was best to postpone the match (via ESPN):
BREAKING NEWS: Washed out in Warsaw. England's game with Poland has been called off.— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) October 16, 2012
The crucial match—England currently leads Group Eight with seven points (the winner of the group advances to the World Cup) while Poland trails by just three—has been rescheduled for Wednesday (via Sky Sports):
England game rescheduled for 4pm on Wednesday. Hopefully the pitch will be playable by then.— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) October 16, 2012
There's no question that it was the right move.
Playing soccer in the rain is undoubtedly one of the funnest things you can do, but it's also incredibly dangerous. There's a chance that both squads could have escaped from injury, but every minute detail would have magnified.
Every dive into the pools covering the pitch, every slip because of the wet conditions and every injury—whether it be minor or major—would have given everyone a reason to criticize the officials and point fingers for letting the match go on.
That, and there's also the fact that the ball moved about seven inches every time the referee tried to kick it during the pitch inspection.
Essentially, it was a lose-lose situation in dangerous conditions.
With this being the last World Cup qualifier for a substantial amount of time, there's no harm in postponing the match until the rain stops and the pitch dries enough to be safe.
Yes, key players will be delayed in getting back to their club teams where they are certainly missed, but missing a few extra days is a lot better than missing a few extra months because of an injury suffered in poor conditions.
We'll be sure to keep you updated on the status of Wednesday's match.
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