Marta again the difference in Sol win over Sky BlueBy iyeo • May 16th, 2009 • Category: Match Reports
Marta’s late second-half goal was all the Sol needed on Friday night at the Home Depot Center, as the Sol snapped a brief three-match winless streak with a 1-0 win over the New York-New Jersey based franchise.
The Sol’s win leaves them at 4-1-2 and keeps them atop WPS with 14 points, four ahead of the Boston Breakers. Marta’s fourth goal of the season also ended a scoreless streak for the Sol that lasted almost 200 minutes. Sky Blue FC fell to 1-3-2 with four points, leaving them in fifth place.
After 79 scoreless minutes, the Sol broke through in the 80th minute. Defender Camille Abily launched a long ball, which Marta tracked down and broke for the box. Once in the box, Marta juked past Goalkeeper Jenni Branam, evaded a Sky Blue defender and sent a laser into the back net at the far post.
“Even though it was an individual play that I scored the goal on, it was the result of a lot of hard work by a lot of my teammates,” Marta said.
The Sol were the aggressors in the first half. Los Angeles got its first chance when Aya Miyama maneuvered past several Sky Blue defenders in the box and launched a rocket that was stopped by Branam. The ball however stayed in play and Aly Wagner chased it down and attempted a shot that was behind Branam but didn’t get the bend she needed for the goal. The Sol pushed forward again in the 23rd minute. Forward Han Duan out of Marta’s handbook of trickery by flicking the ball off her left heel and broke for goal. Duan survived a tackle and sent a ball to Wagner, but her shot sailed high.
“It was a close battle and each team had opportunities,” Sol head coach Abner Rogers said. “We had better opportunities in the first half, but we just didn’t capitalize.”
Sky Blue turned the tables in the second half, outshooting the Sol 9-3. Sky Blue almost broke the ice in the 74th minute when Karina LeBlanc left her line to redirect a corner kick. The ball however went to Sky Blue, and a cross sent in was headed by Christie Rampone into an open net, but Liz Bogus headed the ball out before it could cross the line. Things got worse for Sky Blue after the Sol took the lead when forward Natasha Kai suffered a leg injury while trying to win a loose ball from Sol keeper Karina LeBlanc. Kai actually had to be carted off the field.
“We didn’t play well in the first half, so we made some adjustments at halftime and dominated a large part of the second half,” Sky Blue FC head coach Ian Sawyers said. “Overall, we are disappointed, but the team played well.”
Next up for Sky Blue FC is a trip to Washington D.C. for a matchup with the Freedom on Saturday while the Sol travels to Northern California to face in-state rival FC Gold Pride a day later that can be seen on Fox Soccer Channel at 7 p.m. ET.
Sky Blue FC vs. Los Angeles Sol
May 15, 2009, The Home Depot Center, Los Angeles CA
LA – Marta 80’ (Camille Abily)
Los Angeles Sol: Karina LeBlanc; Brittany Bock, Allison Falk, Martina Franko, Stephanie Cox; Camille Abily, Shannon Boxx (c), Aya Miyama, Aly Wagner (61: Liz Bogus); Han Duan, Marta.
Sky Blue FC: Jenni Brenham; Christie Rampone (c), Anita Asante, Megan Schnur, Julianne Sitch; Kelly Parker, Collette McCallum (58: Yael Averbuch), Keeley Dowling; Natasha Kai (84: Jen Buczkowski), Heather O’Reilly, Rosana (67: Kasey White).
Los Angeles / NJ-NY
Shots 11(8) 14(5)
Shots on Goal 6(4) 3(3)
Saves 5(4) 3(3)
Fouls 5(3) 9(6)
Corners 0(0) 3(1)
Offside 6(3) 2(1)
Referee: Margaret Domka
SAR: Colin Alabaster
JAR: Adam Brugman
4th Official: Francisco Orozco
Weather: Clear and 65 degrees