Danesha Adams’ scored a controversial goal in the 103rd minute Thursday to help the Philadelphia Independence top the Boston Breakers 2-1 in the WPS Super Semifinal at Harvard’s Soldiers Field.
Adams appeared to use her hand instead of her head when she guided the ball into the back of the net to give Philadelphia the victory. Christina DiMartino provided the cross to the back post, where Adams tapped the ball in for the game-winning goal in the first half of the 30-minute overtime. Replays proved inconclusive as to whether or not Adams used her head or her hand.
The win sends Philadelphia through to the WPS Championship Sunday against FC Gold Pride, the WPS regular season champion.
Meanwhile, Boston’s season is over after a magnificent second half run that saw the Breakers climb from near bottom of the table to second place and hosts of the Super Semifinal.
Lauren Cheney gave Boston the lead in the 22nd minute when she chipped Philadelphia goalkeeper Val Henderson. Kristine Lilly provided the through ball to Cheney.
But Philadelphia countered just minutes later. Caroline Seger received the ball at the top of the 18-yard box and sent what looked like a low, driven cross toward the back post. Confusion in the box froze Boston goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher and the ball went untouched into the side netting at the far post.
Boston continued to dictate play in the first half but the Breakers went quiet in the second stanza. Independence forward Amy Rodriguez was unable to convert multiple chances that could have given her team the regular time victory.
Still, Adams’ goal would make the difference in overtime and Philadelphia is now one win away from a magical WPS Championship run, similar to Sky Blue FC’s 2009 story. With two overtime games, Philadelphia has played 240 minutes since Sunday and faces a cross-country flight for an 11:30 a.m. Pacific kickoff Sunday.
For in-depth game analysis, check out The Equalizer Women’s Soccer Podcast on World Soccer Reader.
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