weather weirdness

Refs Suspend Northern Ireland-Ukraine Match for, Like, Two Minutes Due to Crazy Hail

Northern Ireland and Ukraine's Euro 2016 match was briefly suspended due to a hail storm.

by Sean Newell
Jun 17 2016, 2:57pm

Driving rain turned to chunks of hail in Lyon today during the Northern Ireland-Ukraine match, leading the referee to pull the players off the pitch in the 58th minute. It was apparently a safety precaution, but it was incredibly brief and not two minutes later the players were back out and the match resumed. Northern Ireland had been building some momentum at the time, so it was especially curious, but they still hold a 1-0 lead thanks to Gareth McAuley.

Northern Ireland got on the board very early in the second half on a perfectly executed set play. Oliver Norwood hit a wonderful service on the free kick and McAuley was able to get enough space between himself and the defender to head it back across the goal with authority. The Ukraine keeper, Andriy Pyatov, was rooted to the ground, unable to do anything but offer a wave as the ball went into the side of the net. It was Northern Ireland's first goal in a major tournament since June 7, 1986. If the score holds, it will be their first win in a major tournament since 1982.