Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Controversial goal sends Independence to WPS championship

Thierry Henry and Diego Maradona, meet Danesha Adams.

Controversial goal sends Independence to WPS championship

0 comments
Travel Deals

Thierry Henry and Diego Maradona, meet Danesha Adams.

Adams scored the goal that put the Independence into the WPS championship game with a 2-1 win over Boston in extra time. But Adams' header towards the net appeared to deflect in off her left hand.

The play was certainly controversial. From the angle behind the net, it did not look like there was ball-to-hand contact. But from one of the field-level sideline cameras, it seemed pretty clear. The entire Boston defense was furious, and literally stopped moving after the ball crossed the line. But referee Kerry Seitz did not blow her whistle to signal a foul. Instead, she signaled that the goal was good.

Adams' tally capped off a game full of surreal plays, most notably from the two goalkeepers. In the first half, Independence goalkeeper Val Henderson was repeatedly caught off her line, and was finally punished for it when Lauren Cheney's shot went in off the crossbar in the 22nd minute.

Boston continued to have the majority of possession, but Philadelphia got the equalizer just seven minutes later. Amy Rodriguez played a pass to Caroline Seger on the right side of the 18-yard box, and the Swedish star calmly fired a shot past Alyssa Naeher to tie the score.

In the second half, Naeher somehow managed to come down with whatever condition had been affecting Henderson in the first 45 minutes. The Breakers' goalkeeper prepeatedly strayed off her line as the Independence came forward. Rodriguez could have scored at least twice, but couldn't get shots on target after getting the ball around Naeher.

After 90 minutes, the score stood at 1-1. There weren't too many chances in either extra time period, but the Independence had most of the better play. It certainly had to be hard work for Philadelphia, as their first-round playoff game last Sunday against Washington also went to extra time. But the Independence didn't seem especially fatigued.

Perhaps the spacious confines of Harvard's soccer-specific Soldiers Field helped with that. The Crimson's soccer stadium is 74 yards wide, as opposed to the 65-yard-wide field at the Independence's home, Farrell Stadium. The Breakers usually play in Harvard's football stadium, which also has a narrower pitch than the soccer facility.

So the match looked a lot more like a soccer game than it did a pinball game. It also served as a reminder of how much better the presentation is on television when there aren't gridiron lines all over the place.

The Independence's win was their first in team history over the Breakers. Of the four regular-season meetings, two were draws and two were won by Boston. Next up will be a showdown with Women's Professional Soccer's best team by far, FC Gold Pride, in the WPS championship game Sunday afternoon.

The game will take place at Pioneer Stadium on the campus of California State University-East Bay in Hayward, Calif. Fox Sports Net will have the TV broadcast on its affiliates, starting at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

As there is no official FSN channel in Philadelphia, I don't know yet whether the game will be on TV here. Both Comcast SportsNet and Comcast Network, which air FSN's national broadcasts, have other programming scheduled for the time slot. I'll post information about the local TV broadcast here as soon as I have it.

More coverage
 
Special section: Complete Women's World Cup coverage
 
More soccer coverage from The Goalkeeper
 
USA 2015 Women's World Cup Champs Gear & Collectibles
 
Women's World Cup TV schedule
 
2015 Philadelphia Union schedule
 
Major League Soccer national TV schedule
 
UEFA Champions League TV schedule

Chek out video highlights and the transcript of my live blog from the game below. Should the winning goal have counted?



Philly.com
0 comments
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
 
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
The Goalkeeper is your home for the latest news about the Philadelphia Union, Major League Soccer, the National Women's Soccer League, the U.S. men's and women's national teams, and the rest of the world's most popular sport. It's also a place for fans to gather and celebrate the culture of soccer and its unique place on the sports landscape.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
Lauren Green Inquirer Staff Writer
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
letter icon Newsletter