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Williams Strikes to Lift Battery Past Cincinnati

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 03/26/16, 10:15PM EDT


Second-half substitute’s stoppage-time goal gives Charleston 1-0 win

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Romario Williams scored deep in stoppage time as the Charleston Battery took a 1-0 victory against FC Cincinnati at MUSC Health Stadium on Saturday night.

On loan from the Montreal Impact, Williams came on as a second-half substitute and proved the difference-maker in the final minute of stoppage time. Charleston full back Obi Woodbine slipped a pass through the Cincinnati defense that Williams controlled before rounding the goalkeeper and finishing.

After storms in the area had delayed kickoff by 45 minutes, the Battery (1-0-0, 3pts) almost took the lead in the 11th minute when Cuban forward Heviel Cordoves rifled a shot from 20 yards off the post. Entering his fourth year with the team, Cordoves also won a free kick eight minutes later, but the Cincinnati defense was able to clear without incident.

Cincinnati (0-1-0, 0pts) was also denied by a good piece of defending by Charleston’s Shawn Ferguson just past the midway point of the half when Ross Tomaselli tried to link up with Sean Okoli. Charleston’s Zach Prince then went close just before the break, but his volley from Cordoves’ through-ball flew over the crossbar to keep things scoreless at halftime.

Cincinnati went close early in the second half as Kenney Walker hit a free kick that went just wide of the post, and Andrew Wiedeman forced a good save by Charleston goalkeeper Alex Tambakis just past the hour-mark as the visitors started to carry more of the play.

The teams continued to go back and forth in search of a winner, as Charleston’s Maikel Chang went close with just under 20 minutes to play as he found space in the penalty area, but pulled his shot wide of the post. Cincinnati’s Jimmy McLaughlin sent a teasing cross through the penalty area two minutes later, but no-one could turn it on goal.

The Battery hit the post again with six minutes to go as new addition Atallah Guerra struck the woodwork after creating space for a shot, and it appeared that might be the last chance for a winner. With time winding down, however, Williams put home his finish to leave the hosts with all three points.

Charleston will head south for its first road game of the season next Friday as it visits Orlando City B at the Titan Soccer Complex. Cincinnati will visit Bethlehem Steel FC on Sunday, April 3 in a meeting of two expansion clubs at Goodman Stadium.