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Independence 1, Breakers 0

Independence stop Breakers

Boquete strikes in 83d minute

By Frank Dell’Apa
Globe Staff / July 28, 2011

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Most of the Breakers’ World Cup players returned for last night’s game against the Independence. But they could not make the difference as Philadelphia took a 1-0 victory and took over first place in the WPS.

Veronica Boquete scored the game’s only goal off a pass from former Breaker Laura Del Rio in the 83d minute.

“A quality player got one chance and put it away,’’ Breakers coach Tony DiCicco said. “Give them credit, that’s why they’re leading the league, they find ways to win and they did it again.’’

This was the second of five games in a 13-day stretch for the Breakers (4-6-4, 16 points), who visit the magicJack in Boca Raton, Fla., Saturday.

“Playing with only two days’ rest is tough, and now we have two more days’ rest and we play again, which is almost abuse,’’ DiCicco said. “The league has bigger problems than scheduling, but one of their failings is to schedule games with enough rest. I think we may have lost our legs a little down the stretch and that hurt.’’

The Breakers went with their World Cup back line - Rachel Buehler and Amy LePeilbet paired in the middle and Alex Scott and Stephanie Cox outside. But they could not stop Boquete, who held off LePeilbet before finishing with a shot into the upper right corner of the net.

“[Boquete] did well to finish to the far post,’’ LePeilbet said. “I’m not sure exactly what happened, but I think we’re fully recovered, I think our legs feel great. Tony gave us a week, and our bodies were fresh. We were ready to play. It’s rough but we’ll be ready come this weekend.

“Three points would have been wonderful for us, but we’re in a three-way tie [for third entering last night] and we’re going to face the teams we’re tied with and that’s great for us. If we can win those games we’re right back in it.’’

Japan’s Aya Sameshima went to the left wing and US national teamer Kelley O’Hara, who scored twice in a 2-2 tie with Western New York Sunday, started at forward. But the Breakers’ offense was missing Lauren Cheney (US) and Kelly Smith (England), both injured during the World Cup.

“We played the best two teams the last two games and there’s arguments that say we should have won them,’’ DiCicco said. “And maybe with a Cheney and a Kelly Smith we could have won them. One of those things - they’re both in the World Cup and they both get injured. Other teams come back and all their players are fine, so those are the breaks.’’

DiCicco said Smith is doubtful for games Saturday and against Western New York in Rochester Aug. 3. Cheney could return against the magicJack Aug. 6.

Substitutes added attacking threats for both teams late in the game. Philadelphia’s Lori Lindsey provided midfield playmaking, finding Boquete for a shot that was saved by Alyssa Naeher in the 75th minute. The Breakers’ Nikki Marshall had a shot stopped in the 81st minute. Then, Boquete broke through.

“I play against them every day in training, and they’re very good,’’ Philadelphia forward Amy Rodriguez said of her US teammates on the Breakers. “The three of them together are very good, and they have Alex Scott. They’ve got a great defense, and it was very hard to beat them.’’

Frank Dell’Apa can be reached at f_dellapa@globe.com.

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