Technical problems forced a 20-minute delay to the start of Sunday's WPS (Women's Professional Soccer) Fox Soccer Channel game of the week, as the Boston Breakers hosted the Expansion Philadelphia Independence.
The game marked the return of former Breaker Players Heather Mitts and Amy Rodriguez.
As a matter of fact, Mitts was responsible for almost putting Boston in position to score the game's first goal after she was called for pulling Kristine Lilly down inside the 18.
The referee’s initial call was for the ball to be placed on the penalty spot, but after further review, the assistant referee had flagged Lilly offside prior to the Mitts infraction.
The best player in the first half was clearly Philadelphia net-minder Karina Leblanc, who made two huge saves; one in the 32nd minute when she stopped Boston’s Kelly Smith on a breakaway, then again in the 45th minute when she dove and parried the ball around the right post.
Unfortunately, LeBlanc’s clean sheet would end at the 50th minute of the second half; Kelly Smith blasting a free kick from just outside the 18, got a fortunate deflection off the Philadelphia wall, just enough to change the ball's flight path and pass LeBlanc’s finger tips.
It was LeBlanc’s first goal allowed this season, after 135 shutout minutes in the Philly net.
Six minutes later, Independence defender Allison Falk would once again put her name in the league record books by scoring the first goal in franchise history.
Falk, already in the books for scoring the first every goal in league history, used her 6-foot frame to get above the crowd and head a nicely placed Lori Lindsey free kick into the back of the Breaker net to tie the game at one.
Scary moment for Philadelphia in the 86th minute, as a second yellow card to Jen Buczkowski resulted in a red card ejection and suspension from next week's home game against the Washington Freedom.
Fortunately, Philadelphia was able to hold off Boston’s man advantage for the remainder of regulation and four minutes of stoppage time.
1-1 the final as the Independence remain unbeaten at 0-0-2, (2pts) while the Breakers even their record at 1-0-1 (4 pts).
BOS: Kelly Smith 2 (Unassisted) 50'
PHI: Allison Falk 1 (Lori Lindsey) 56'
PHI: Caroline Seger (Caution) 63'
PHI: Jen Buczkowski (Caution) 76'
PHI: Jen Buczkowski (Ejection) 86'
PHI: Jen Buczkowski (Ejection) 88'
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