The Philadelphia Independence defeated the Boston Breakers 2-0 on Sunday at Widener University. Tasha Kai and Lianne Sanderson scored for the Independence, which bounced back from a 2-1 road loss against magicJack last week.
Philadelphia started the game off strong, dominating possession and building up play through the midfield. Kai had the first really dangerous opportunity in the 17th minute. Amy Rodriguez played Christina DiMartino into space in the middle of the field and DiMartino sprayed the ball out wide to Kai, who really should have done better with her shot. Kai opened up as if she was going far post but opted for a slow near post shot that went right to Naeher.
Boston also had opportunities, the best of which came in 25th minute when Kelly Smith slammed a shot off the crossbar. With her back to goal at the 18 yard box, Smith turned and fired a left footed shot right at Barnhart, who tipped the ball off the crossbar and out for a corner kick.
Then the first breakthrough of game came in the 41st minute. Just seconds after Barnhart denied an outside of the foot chance from Alex Scott, Philadelphia countered on a long ball over the top from Leigh Ann Robinson that found Kai. She out-muscled Ifeoma Dieke and sent a left footed shot that beat Alyssa Naeher but hit the post. Dieke stopped running but Kai continued on, sprinting to the ball and putting it into the net with a diving header.
Philadelphia then doubled its lead on the other side of halftime when Sanderson snuck a shot into the goal from an near impossible angle. DiMartino cut inside from the right flank and played the ball to Amy Rodriguez, whose low, driven left-footed shot was saved by Naeher but only pushed just wide of the net. Sanderson ran behind Dieke and continued with the play, shooting the ball from just a foot off the endline to double the Independence’s lead.
Boston attempted to get back into the game by pushing forward, evidenced by forward Kiersten Dallstream replacing defensive midfielder Leslie Osborne in the 62nd minute. However, Philadelphia still enjoyed the run of play and second half substitute Laura Del Rio almost extended the home team’s lead in the 86th minute, but her low shot from 22 yards out was saved by Naeher.
Philadelphia (1-1-1, 4 pts.) will travel to take on the Atlanta Beat next Sunday and Boston (2-3-0, 6 pts.) next travels to Rochester on Friday to take on the Western New York Flash.
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