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SOCCER

Sol falls to St. Louis, 1-0

L.A. blows an opportunity to secure a bid to play host to the first Women's Professional Soccer championship game.

July 09, 2009|Mario Aguirre

The Sol blew an opportunity Wednesday to secure its bid to play host to the first Women's Professional Soccer championship game, losing to the St. Louis Athletica, 1-0, in front of an announced crowd of 4,841 at Home Depot Center.

The Sol lost its first home game, meaning it will need a victory and a tie in its next three games -- all on the road -- to secure the only guaranteed spot in the Aug. 22 title game.

St. Louis (7-5-2) is in second place behind the Sol (11-2-4), which clinched a playoff berth last week. St. Louis gained some traction Wednesday by dealing the Sol its first loss since May 2.

The game's goal came after St. Louis forward Eniola Aluko crossed a pass to Amando Cinalli, who scored from six yards in the 11th minute. Aluko is the team leader with four goals. The Sol is 0-2-1 after giving up the first goal.

The Sol failed to convert on 13 shots Wednesday, four of them on goal. But the team's frustration mounted with each missed opportunity, highlighted by a yellow card assessed on forward Marta for unsporting behavior in the 70th minute.

The call came three minutes after one of the Sol's best scoring chances.

After attacking from the left flank, Marta pulled back slightly before feeding a pass to Aya Miyama, who held the ball too long before her shot, allowing goalkeeper Hope Solo to make another brilliant save.

Solo, who had four impressive saves, recorded her sixth shutout.

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mario.aguirre@latimes.com

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