August 28, 2010

Freedom Defeat Sky Blue 2-1

Abby Wambach scored twice in the final 15 minutes as the Washington Freedom came from behind to defeat Sky Blue FC 2-1. The victory moves the Freedom into sole possession of 4th place at 28 points.

Natasha Kai, scoring for the first time since June 27, put New Jersey on top in the 1st half and for a long time, it looked like the goal might hold up. Kai was the first opposing player to score on Freedom keeper Ashlyn Harris in five matches.

Sky Blue goalkeeper Jen Branam was injured in the 1st half and had to leave the match. She was replaced by Meghann Burke, who was seeing her first WPS action.

In the 79th minute, Burke was whistled for a foul in the box and Wambach converted the penalty to tie the score at 1-1. Just five minutes later, Allie Long sent Wambach through and she finished to put the Freedom on top, 2-1.

Washington has just two games remaining, traveling to Chicago next weekend before hosting Atlanta on Saturday, September 11. Sky Blue still has a game in hand, which will be their match at home against Gold Pride on Wednesday. The Freedom victory eliminates Chicago from playoff contention.

FC Gold Pride 6, Atlanta Beat 1

In what is the most lopsided WPS contest ever, Gold Pride destroyed Atlanta by a 6-1 score on Saturday evening. Marta scored twice, her 16th and 17th of the season, and was joined by Tiffeny Milbrett, Camille Abily, Kelley O'Hara, and Christine Sinclair in the scoring column. No team had previously scored more than four goals in one WPS game.

The game was scoreless for the first 40 minutes. Milbrett opened the scoring just before the break to put the regular season champs up 1-0 at halftime.

Abily scored her first goal of the 2010 season early in the 2nd half to make it 2-0. But Eniola Aluko, scoring her 9th goal of the season, temporarily got the Beat back in the game in the 65th minute. Gold Pride then scored three goals in rapid succession to up the lead to 5-1 by the 72nd minute. Sinclair added a late goal in the 88th minute.

The loss virtually eliminates Atlanta from playoff contention. They are now eight points out of 4th place with just three games remaining. They would need to win all three and get help elsewhere to have a chance. Gold Pride moves to 14-3-4 and 46 points.