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Philadelphia Independence 2-2 Sky Blue FC: DiMartino equalizes late

Sky Blue FC and the Philadelphia Independence played to a 2-2 draw on Sunday at Yurcak Field after Christina DiMartino scored the equalizer for Philadelphia in second half stoppage time.

Laura Kalmari opened the scoring for Sky Blue FC in the 18th minute when she buried a low cross from Brittany Taylor. Allie Long collected the ball in the middle of the park and sprung the overlapping Taylor with a great through ball. Taylor then played a square ball to the six-yard box and Kalmari beat defender Nikki Krzysik in her blind side.

Sky Blue FC then doubled its advantage in the 36th minute off a spectacular free kick from midfielder Casey Nogueira.  Krzysik fouled Eniola Aluko just outside the top corner of the 18-yard box.  Nogueira stepped up and cracked a curving shot toward the far post – one that got some help from the wind – and went over Philadelphia goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart and into the upper corner of the net.  Barnhart did not even attempt to save the ball, seemingly thinking it was not headed for the back of the net.

Sky Blue FC took the 2-0 lead to halftime and enjoyed most of the run of play in the first half.

But Philadelphia turned the game around in the second half thanks to forward Amy Rodriguez’s introduction to the match at halftime.  In the 57th minute, Rodriguez received a ball from Tasha Kai and found herself in behind the Sky Blue FC defense (and possibly in an offside position).  She beat Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Jenni Branam with a slow, dribbling shot to the far post to cut the home side’s lead to 2-1.

Philadelphia pushed on for the equalizer and finally found it in the first minute of stoppage time after a series of hectic plays.  Kai redirected a Lori Lindsey free kick with her head and it looked to be in the net, but Long cleared it off the line.  The ball went out for a throw-in and that throw fell to Philadelphia rookie midfielder Sinead Farrelly.

Farrelly was taken down in the box by Long and no foul was called, but the ball popped out to DiMartino, whose shot went through Carolyn Blank’s legs and deflected off of Anita Asante and past Branam to tie the game at 2-2, which is how the game would end.

Next up for Sky Blue FC (0-0-1, 1 pt.) is a trip south to take on the Atlanta Beat on Saturday at 7 p.m.  Philadelphia (0-0-1, 1 pt.) opens its home schedule on the same day against magicJack at 7 p.m.


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