Independence / Indy match reports

Independence lose, still clinch playoff berth

The Philadelphia Independence will be in the WPS playoffs.

Though they dropped their third straight match last night, the Independence’s strong start to the year is going to be enough to see them into the postseason thanks to Sky Blue FC’s 1-1 tie with first place FC Gold Pride.

The Chicago Red Stars, already eliminated from playoff contention, came into last night’s match determined to defend their home turf. Veronica Boquete knocked in a Casey Nogueira free kick in the fourth minute to put the home team on top, and Philadelphia’s offense couldn’t respond. Even with the lead, Chicago pressed forward and locked the Independence in their own half for much of the first forty-five.

Philadelphia responded by inserting Joanna Lohman for Sara Larsson at the half. No tactics or substitutions could stop the Red Stars from doubling their lead in the 54th when Marian Dalmy’s brilliant run from the back caught Karen Carney’s eye. The midfielder’s well-timed pass was matched by a beautiful finish as Dalmy placed her shot over Val Henderson from well outside the box. The goal took any remaining wind from the Independence’s sails.

Philadelphia inserted Lianne Sanderson and Danesha Adams as the second half progressed, but neither was able to provide the spark the team has lacked in recent weeks. Although Philly took twelve shots, only four were on net. This coupled with three offsides suggests a lack of concentration that the team will need to address before the playoffs.

There is no questioning the talent of this Independence team. In their inaugural season they have delivered not only excitement and passion, but strong, attacking soccer.

If you are tired of watching the Union’s fullbacks remained pinned in their defensive half, tune in on September 11th at 8:30pm on Fox Soccer Channel. The Independence will face a tough final test against Marta and FC Gold Pride. While Gold Pride have a firm hold on first place, the Independence could leapfrog Boston and take over the number two spot with a win.

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