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Watch the incredible scenes as Sunderland v Middlesbrough friendly abandoned due to thunder and lightning storm

Sunderland's friendly match against Middlesbrough has been abandoned at half-time after thunder and lightning hit Teesside.

The players came out for the start of the second half but were quickly ushered in by referee Ross Joyce as thunder and lightning hovered over the Riverside.

The game was abandoned at half-time at The Riverside.

The game was abandoned at half-time at The Riverside.

The players went off after the floodlights were temporarily knocked out, the referee taking the players off the pitch and they didn't return.

The floodlights did quickly come back on but the game was called off, the scoreline goalless at the break.

A notice then came on the big screen to inform fans that the game had been abandoned.

Jerome Sinclair and Glenn Loovens made their Sunderland debuts against Middlesbrough, the final game of pre-season ahead of the League One opener against Charlton Athletic.

The pair were named in a strong Black Cats XI that also featured 16-year-old Bali Mumba, with Lee Cattermole not included in the squad. Chris Maguire also wasn't involved.

Bryan Oviedo was named on the bench after he returned to training earlier this week following an extended break after the World Cup.

Sunshine greeted the players but it wasn't long before the heavens opened, the rain pelting down on the players.

It took 10 minutes for the first attempt on goal, Donald Love's 25-yard effort well-held by Darren Randolph.
Adama Traore then waltzed past three Sunderland defenders before smashing an effort off the crossbar 12 minutes in. A let-off.

Sunderland were dealt an injury blow 17 minutes in, Dylan McGeouch taken off, replaced by Alim Ozturk with Flanagan moving into midfield.

Dangerman Traore would later go off with a shoulder injury picked up in a colission with Loovens.

There was little to seperate the two sides in the opening stages but Sunderland went close on the halfhour mark.

Debutant Sinclair drifted inside and played a one-two with Josh Maja before firing a low effort at goal, Randolph down low to save with his legs.

Sunderland were in again 32 minutes in, McLaughlin released Gooch down the left channel, the forward cut inside but Randolph palmed his effort up before catching it.

McLaughlin was called into action towards the end of the half, comfortably holding a Stewart Downing long-range effort before Paddy McNair latched onto a long ball.

The Scotland international was out quickly to smother.

Sunderland ended the half by hitting the post, Maja with a fierce effort from the left-hand side of the area, Randolph beaten but it cannoned off the woodwork.

They didn't return after the match was abandoned at the break.

HT: Middlesbrough 0 Sunderland 0 - Match abandoned.
SAFC: (4-3-3): McLaughlin, Love, Flanagan, Loovens, Matthews, Mumba, McGeouch (Ozturk, 17), Honeyman, Gooch, Maja, Sinclair

SAFC subs: Ruiter, Ozturk, Hume, Oviedo, Taylor, Hackett, Kimpioka.

Boro (4-5-1): Rondolph; Shotton, Flint, Gibson, Friend; Traore (Braithwaite, 24), McNair, Clayton, Howson, Downing; Assombalonga

Boro subs: Konstantopoulos, Wood, Fry, Leadbitter, Johnson, De Sart, Wing, Chapman, Fletcher, Bamford.
Referee: Ross Joyce.