The Western New York Flash stayed unbeaten on Sunday, defeating the Philadelphia Independence 2-1 in front of 3,456 fans at Widener University. Megan Rapinoe opened the scoring early for Philadelphia but the Flash scored two quick goals in response to earn the road victory.
Rapinoe’s goal came in just the ninth minute when Lianne Sanderson played the U.S. international on the right flank. Rapinoe took a settling touch and fired the ball from the corner of the 18-yard box, over the head of Flash goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris and into the far side netting. A stunned Harris did not even move on the shot, which could have been a mis-hit cross.
But Western New York responded quickly when Becky Edwards scored her second goal in as many games in the 14th minute. Philadelphia failed to properly clear the ball before Ali Riley collected it and sent a left-footed cross to the far post. Philadelphia goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart came out to punch the ball away but McCall Zerboni’s challenge caused for a poor punch from Barnhart that went straight into the air. Edwards, waiting at the far post, calmly headed the ball into the net to equalize.
Seven minutes later, the Flash took the lead via a penalty kick that Marta finished. Zerboni got tripped in the box by Nikki Krzysik to draw the penalty, which Marta finished to Barnhart’s left to give the Flash a 2-1 lead.
Both teams had several chances from there, including a Holmfridur Magnusdottir shot that went just over the bar for Philadelphia in the 40th minute and a Christine Sinclair header that hit the crossbar three minutes later for the Flash.
Philadelphia had the best chance of the second half in the 65th minute when Christina DiMartino played a right-footed cross into Tasha Kai’s path, but the second half substitute’s bouncing header was brilliantly tipped over the crossbar by Harris to preserve the 2-1 lead for the Flash.
Western New York (6-0-1, 19 pts.) maintains an eight point lead at the top of the table over magicJack, which now has 11 pts. after a 4-0 drubbing of Atlanta on Saturday.
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