Philadelphia's Liu Ailing scored in the 84th minute, but Boston's Allie Kemp scored the equalizer six minutes later, as the Charge and Breakers played to a 1-1 tie at Nickerson Field on Saturday night. The Charge (10-2-5, 35 pts) moved to 6-1-5 in its last 12 games and held on to first place in the WUSA standings.
The second-place Carolina Courage (10-4-3, 33 pts) lost to the Atlanta Beat (9-7-1, 28 pts) on Saturday night, 1-0, allowing the Charge to remain in the lead in the eight-team league. The Beat's win kept them in fourth place and also meant that even if the Charge had won, Philadelphia would not have clinched a playoff spot with a win. The Charge needed to win and hope for San Jose or Washington to lose or tie or for Atlanta to lose to secure a spot. However, all three teams won and the race for the first playoff spot continues in the WUSA.
Melissa Moore made three saves for the Charge, who relinquished a second-half lead for the second straight game. Philadelphia had a two-goal lead against the New York Power on Wednesday night, only to allow three goals in the final seven minutes and lose 3-2.
Liu, the Charge's leading scorer from a season ago, has tallied her only two goals of the season in her last two games. Moore missed out on her fifth shut out of the year for Philadelphia, which needs just three more points to solidify a playoff spot and five more to wrap up homefield advantage.
The Charge will next travel to San Jose to face the defending Founders Cup champion CyberRays on Wednesday, July 31 at 10 pm (ET). The game can be seen live on CN8. San Jose (7-6-4, 25 pts) defeated the Power (3-14-1, 10 pts) on Saturday night, 4-1, to remain in the playoff hunt.
Forward Marinette Pichon missed the game with a big toe injury to her left foot for Philadelphia, which returns home on Saturday August 3 at 7 p.m. to play the San Diego Spirit. Pichon entered this weekend's action as the leading goal scorer in the WUSA with 13 and was tied for the lead in points with 27.
Kemp's goal was her first of the season. Ragnhild Gulbrandsen and Kristine Lilly each had assists on the play for the Breakers, who avoided the three-game season-series sweep to the Charge.
The 35-year-old Liu gave the Charge the lead and what looked like three points late in the contest. Her unassisted goal was the 12th of her career, which is expected to officially come to an end at the conclusion of this season.
Kemp, however, not only salvaged a point with her dramatic goal in the 90th minute, but also stole two points from the Charge and delayed Philly's postseason hopes for another time.
There was four minutes of stoppage time added to the end of the game.
The Washington Freedom (8-5-5, 29 pts) defeated the San Diego Spirit (4-9-4, 16 pts) 1-0 at RFK Stadium earlier on Saturday to hold on to third place in the WUSA standings.
NOTES: Charge midfielder Zhao Lihong had a five-game point-scoring streak come to an end ... Philadelphia moved to 4-1-3 on the road this season.