|Toronto FC's Joao Plata breaks past FC Dallas defender Daniel Cruz (right) during first half CONCACAF Champions League action in Toronto on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011. (REUTERS/Mike Cassese)
TORONTO - Mother Nature gave Toronto FC a boost in its biggest game of the season.
For the second time this year, a crucial game was called off with the Reds trailing 1-0.
With FC Dallas leading 1-0 on Wednesday, a second delay due to extreme weather forced the evacuation of BMO Field at 10 p.m. ET. The game was finally officially abandoned at 11:30, due to “adverse weather conditions” and will be replayed in its entirety starting at 10:15 a.m. on Thursday.
Back in May, TFC trailed Vancouver in the final leg of the Canadian Championship. When that one was restarted from scratch, the club came away with a 2-1 victory, putting it on the way to this competition.
With a tornado warning in effect for Toronto and lightning flashing and thunder rumbling, the stands were mostly barren.
The officials originally stopped play in the 32nd minute for a 30-minute rain delay.
Coming in, Toronto and Dallas were tied atop their CONCACAF Champions League group after both won away games last week. A win by either in this game would put them in strong position to advance.
Both organizations were eager to get the game in on Wednesday, no matter how long the wait, but the weather finally prevailed.
Each team has a league games scheduled for Saturday, Toronto at home, Dallas in Kansas City.
Anyone with tickets to Wednesday’s game will be allowed in on Thursday, as will anybody on the CNE grounds.
Dallas had opened the scoring in the 18th minute when defender Jackson was inexplicably allowed to run up the field untouched. Jair Benitez looped a pretty cross to the unmarked Brazilian who bolted past Danleigh Borman to receive it and beat Milos Kocic.
With TFC failing to create much in the way of offence, a positive result did not seem in the cards.
But the team will get another crack at edging Dallas for the first time in 2011 on Thursday morning.