T-30 minutes to kickoff: It's time for playoff football, everybody. As in WPS Playoffs football.
Today, it's the WPS first round between the Philadelphia Independence and Washington Freedom at John A. Farrell Stadium on the campus of the University of West Chester in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
The winner will face the Boston Breakers in the WPS Super Semifinal at Harvard Stadium in Cambridge, Massachusetts later this week.
FIRST HALF START: 11:36 A.M. PT
1' - We are underway.
3' - Some early ball movement between both sides.
5' - Good clearance from Allison Falk. Ashlyn Harris with the goal kick.
6' - The ball possession battle continues.
7' - Good shot from Holmfridur Magnusdottir. Harris with the first big save of the day. Corner, Philadelphia.
8' - Both corners were cleared. Now this is the Icelandic international, but Caroline Seger is unable to get help,
9' - These cowbells, always a nice facet to a game at an Independence game.
10' - We are 10 minutes into the contest, and it's scoreless. The Sons of Ben, a.k.a. the Daughters of Betsy, providing support.
11' - Back comes Philly on the attack. Love the anticipation.
12' - Rash challenge on Estelle Johnson. No card for the time being. Free kick, Freedom.
13' - No one on the receiving end; may have been Abby Wambach there but she got jammed. Goal kick, Val Henderson.
14' - Nikki Krzysik pushes that out of bounds. And Abby Wambach may have been shaken up.
15' - Wambach will be shaking that off for a bit. Back to the game. And it's Henderson resetting the rotation.
16' - A good deal of the action has been in Philadelphia's half. Just noticed that.
17' - Offsides, Washington.
18' - Set piece for the Independence in the hands of Ashlyn Harris. We've yet to see Amy Rodriguez make an impact. Sonia Bompastor a bit shaken up, and it seems her knee got busted there.
19' - We are 19 minutes into the game, and it's still scoreless. It's certain that Bompastor will need to sub her out if it gets bad enough.
20' - The good thing here is that Bompastor is able to get back on her feet. Maybe she is able to shake off that injury.
21' - Here is Rebecca Moros, and there is another rash challenge, this time from Lianne Sanderson. Free kick, Washington.
Too low a shot from Cat Whitehill.
22' - Rebecca Moros with the throw-in. Offsides, Rodriguez and Sanderson.
23'- Now it's Becky Sauerbrunn, and the ball possession battle continues.
24' - Anita Asante with the clearance.
25' - 25 minutes into the match, and it's still scoreless.
26' - It's been a matter of point vs. counterpoint today. Every offensive series by one team has been broken up with precision by the defense of the other. This is great football.
27' - Cheesy sound effects in the background. Big chance for Sanderson, and Harris makes another clutch save. Sauerbrunn with the throw-in.
28' - Sauebrunn with another throw after some more scrambles. Rodriguez didn't get enough mustard on that hot dog.
29' - Harris with another stop. Boy, she has been doing a share of the dirty work, hasn't she?
30' - Is it just me, or am I hearing bagpipes in the background?
31' - Sauerbrunn with another throw, Magnusdottir clears. Sarah Huffman is decked. A clean tackle.
32' - Val Henderson resets with a goal kick, and back come the Freedom. Bompastor is marked, and Sanderson keeps her in check for a goal kick.
33' - Paul Riley, the 2010 WPS Coach of the Year, looks on with bold intentions. Tina DiMartino with a great clearance.
34' - That didn't work too well for Rodriguez.
35' - 35 minutes in, and we are still scoreless in what has been a defensive showpiece.
36' - Free kick on the way for Philly. Taken short. Too long from Estelle Johnson.
37' - Goal kick, Henderson.
38' - Back come the Freedom. Indies counterattack, but that shot for Rodriguez misses the mark.
39' - Corner on the way for the Independence. Lori Lindsey to take.
40' - Not well-headed. The Freedom defense was there to stuff it up.
41' - Wambach is tripped up by Caroline Seger, and she is none too pleased with the lack of cards issued. Cat Whitehill's shot misses that mark.
42' - Magnusdottir breaks up that offensive stanza for Henderson. The defensive standoff continues.
43' - Now that was a speculative pass from Rodriguez. Not sure where she was passing that ball to...
44' - Back come the Independence. And that pass to the right side didn't amount to much. Sanderson with the throw, but Washington looks to counter.
45' - Magnusdottir with the challenge. Wonder how many minutes of stoppage time will be added. Free kick for the Freedom called back due to offsides.
45 ' + 1' - One minute, says Jose Carlos Ribeiro, our match official today.
SECOND HALF START: 12:42 P.M. PT
46' - The second half begins. Let's see if we have any adjustments in order.
Substitution Washington Freedom
IN 7 Lene Mykjaland
OUT 19 Rebecca Moros
47' - Philadelphia gaining possession early.
48' - Back come the Freedom, but they are met by the Philly back line.
49' - It's looking to be a game to be decided by one goal. It's that tenacious of a contest.
50' - Here is Magnusdottir. Corner for Philadelphia.
51' - Taken short, and Estelle Johnson didn't do well on that cross.
52' - Shot for Jen Buczkowski goes high and over the crossbar.
53' - Again with the cheesy sound effect, as we get this Indies free kick going.
54' - Cat Whitehill with the anticipation on Allison Falk. Corner for Philly. And that was dangerous. Any Rodriguez frustrated Harris there.
55' - Yellow card 26 Holmfridur Magnusdottir
Chippiness now in order.
56' - Harris with another save on Rodriguez
57' - Henderson with the reset.
58' - Lindsey gets roughed up.
59' - Nice attempt from Magnusdottir, but it's not gonna work.
60' - A full hour in, and it's still scoreless.
61' - One vs. three for Abby Wambach. Here is Sarah Huffman, and that attempted pass for Brittany Bock left much to be desired.
62' - Too high a shot for Amy Rodriguez. Boy, we have been seeing a great deal of shots that have gone high, over the crossbar, well off target. It's, as the Buckinghams like to say, kind of a drag.
63' - That went into the fourth official's box with pinpoint accuracy. Bompastor looks for help from Sauerbrunn.
64' - Buczkowski with the stop.
65' - That chance for Abby Wambach misses the mark. Timing off. Ashlyn Harris seems shaken up.
Substitute Washington Freedom
IN 10 Homare Sawa
OUT 5 Brittany Bock
66' - Temperatures not as hot in West Chester; well, that's cause it's September, and not August.
67' - Harris is fine as she resets with the goal kick. Henderson with a goal kick of her own. End-to-end action.
68' - Lianne Sanderson seems to be a bit shaken up. Got that knee busted. Throw-in, Independence.
69' - Panic clearance from Bompastor. Back come the Indies. Too long a shot from Estelle Johnson.
70' - 70 minutes in, and it is still scoreless. You know, we could have extra time on the card here.
71' - A fan chucks that ball back on the track. Ahh, the interaction of it all.
72' - And there are those bagpipes again. Bagpipes and football...what a holy combination.
73' - Now it's Magnusdottir, to DiMartino, to Rodriguez...and Bompastor gets the better end of the stick for Washingto.
74' - Easy pickings for Val Henderson. Wonder what Sarah Huffman was trying to do there.
75' - As per the Laws of the Game, both sides have to play two 15-minute periods, and if it's not divided then and there, we go to penalties.
76' - Back come the Freedom, but Magnusdottir makes the stop. And here comes a free kick after the Anita Asante foul. Caroline Seger was close, but Ashlyn Harris makes trhe save.
77' - Corner for Washington after Nikki Marshall gets jammed. Sarah Huffman with the corner. Up and over the top.
Substitution Philadelphia Independence
IN 19 Danesha Adams
OUT 10 Lianne Sanderson
78' - Homare Sawa looked to provide trouble in the Freedom's attacking third.
79' - Decent footwork from Lene Mykjaland, but the pass leaves much to be desired.
80' - Great saves from Ashlyn Harris. She is frustrating Lindsey and this Independence offense.
81' - Another shot, this time from Danesha Adama, misses the mark.
82' - Sonia Bompastor clears. Nearly got inside the far corner, had it not been for the French international.
83'- 83 minutes in...and it's still scoreless.
84' - This is Homare Sawa, and now it's Mykjaland looking for help, but the Philadelphia backline is there to make the stop. Nikki Marshall with the throw.
85' - And now it's Sauerbrunn. Indies bracket it, and it will be a goal kick to Val Henderson. Temper, temper, Abby Wambach...
86' - Anita Asante marking Amy Rodriguez there.
87' - The pace from the Freedom will look to slow down a little bit, Washington's Jim Gabarra suggests.
88' - Ugh, unbelievable. That has to be atrocious finishing right there from Philadelphia. Worst of the day. Perhaps the worst we've seen all season from this side.
89' - We can hear some of the boos here, and rightfully so. Well, there's gotta be a worst time for everything right? No wait, that's not it...
90' - Another one wasted. This should be the end of regulation. One minute of stoppage time.
90' + 1' - To extra time we go!
FIRST EXTRA TIME START: 1:32 P.M. PT
91' - And we are underway with the first period of extra time. Bompastor is getting hounded tonight.
92' - She's got some toughness to her, that Sonia Bompastor. Resilient footballer.
93' - Estelle Johnson with the throw-in. Tina DiMartino seems to have something stuck in her eye.
94' - 94 minutes in, still scoreless. Abby Wambach can't believe her bad luck.
95' - Free kick from Magnusdottir, Harris with the clearance. The Tar Heel rookie has been stellar this afternoon.
96' - And Lene Mykjaland trips on the surface.
97' - Washington continues to push for what they hope will be the game-winner.
98' - Wambach asks for more from her troops at this juncture of the contest.
99' - We are 99 minutes in...and it's still scoreless.
100' - Val Henderson went way off her line. That was trouble.
101' - This has been an evenly-matched contest so far between the Independence and Freedom.
102' - And Ashlyn Harris has been a thorn in the side of the Indies today. She has made stop after stop. That's what I call a goalkeeper.
103' - Too much pace on the ball, Val Henderson with the goal kick. Sawa, Sauerbrunn, Allie Long, Nikki Marshall, Sawa again, and so on and so forth. Not bad passing, but Philly snuffs that up.
104' - Touches don't seem to be as clean because of the fatigue factor settling in.
105' - Offsides, Abby Wambach.
And that leads up to the end of the first extra time. Still scoreless. Wambach ask for more from the Freedom as we head into the last period of extra time at John A. Farrell Stadium this year.
SECOND EXTRA TIME START: 1:49 P.M. PT
106' - Second period of extra time underway. Goal kick, Harris.
107' - Here's Lori Lindsey. Homare Sawa with the challenge. DiMartino is a bit winded. Free kick for Philadelphia.
108' - Too high for Holmfridur Magnusdottir. Goak kick, Ashlyn Harris.
Substitution Philadelphia Independence
IN 18 Kelly Henderson
OUT 9 Caroline Seger
109' - We are 109 in, and it's still scoreless. Could penalties be on the way?
110' - Another close call for the Freedom.
111' - One more sub...
112' - Substitution Washington Freedom
IN 25 Brittany Klein
OUT 14 Sarah Huffman
113' - Bompastor with the throw-in. Gee both sides seem to be tired right about now.
114' - Harris snaps that up for a goal kick. Tina DiMartino and Estelle Johnson double-team Lene Mykjaland.
115' - 115 minutes in, and it's still scoreless.
116' - Now the song "Let's Get Loud" is playing. Ohhh boy. I wonder if this is really going to work.
Substitution Philadelphia Independence
IN 2 Heather Mitts
OUT 26 Holmfridur Magnusdottir
Tactical sub for the impending penalty shootout from Indies manager Paul Riley.
117' - Val Henderson stretches to grab that one.
118' - Wide shot from Rodriguez. Offsides, Rodriguez. And the bad news continues to come out.
119' - It seems the servers are getting loaded with viewers at this point. Too long for Danesha Adams. Goal kick, Ashlyn Harris.
120' - Anita Asante with the clearance. And there is the winner, it looks like!
GOAL Philadelphia Independence 8 Amy Rodriguez
Is that the game-winner right there? Right at the death. Clinical finish at the front!
That's the whistle!
Heartbreak for Washington, relief for Philadelphia. Watch out Cambridge...the Grey Shirts are coming.
Stay tuned later this week for a Play-By-Play (and Other Miscellany) of the Super Semifinal between the Philadelphia Independence and the Boston Breakers on the View from Victoria Street, the WPS Fan Corner, and Bleacher Report.
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