Middlesbrough v Sunderland friendly abandoned because of storm conditions

Riverside stadium
The match was 0-0 when it was abandoned at half-time

Stormy weather conditions forced the abandonment of Middlesbrough's pre-season game against Sunderland amid safety concerns.

Torrential rain, lightning and thunder began midway through the first half at the Riverside and continued into the interval, with the game still 0-0.

Safety fears for players and a crowd of 7,509 led to the decision at half-time.

"I popped my head out at half-time and it was ridiculously heavy," Sunderland boss Jack Ross told BBC Newcastle.

"There's a safety issue with thunder and lightning as well, and as it's pre-season, it's an easier decision to make rather than a competitive match."

Riverside Stadium
Middlesbrough and Sunderland were Championship rivals last season, before Sunderland were relegated to League One