Photo courtesy of Zachary D. Bland / Charleston Battery
CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charleston Battery were on the front foot from the opening whistle for a 6-1 victory against Toronto FC II on Saturday at MUSC Health Stadium. Romario Williams and Dante Marini each recorded braces, with Williams setting up Marini’s second tally in a lopsided victory. Forrest Lasso added a first-half goal, as well, while Justin Portillo struck in second-half stoppage time for good measure. For Williams, he moved into first place in the USL Golden Boot race as he now has 13 tallies, one more than Reno 1868 FC forward – and former Battery striker – Dane Kelly. With the victory, the Eastern Conference-leading Battery improves to 9-2-4 (31 points) overall and 6-1-2 at home. Toronto falls to 2-8-5 (11 points) overall and 1-6-2 on the road. Sergio Camargo, who had a strong match on both sides of the ball, put TFC II on the score sheet in the 65th minute.
31’ – CHS – Romario Williams (Maikel Chang)
42’ – CHS – Forrest Lasso (Taylor Mueller)
50’ – CHS – Romario Williams
57’ – CHS – Dante Marini
65’ – TOR – Sergio Camargo (Ryan Telfer)
71’ – CHS – Dante Marini (Romario Williams)
90+2’ – CHS – Justin Portillo
#CHSvTOR: Full match and Opta box score
Three Things That Mattered:
1. Charleston striker Romario Williams continues to add to his career season. He had ample chances in the first half and didn’t miss in the 31st minute. Maikel Chang’s left-footed corner kick from the right side was driven toward Williams positioned at the near right post. He snapped a header inside the far left post for a clinical finish. Early in the second half, Williams had a nice turn, and while he had a fortunate deflection against his defender, the ball found its way into the back of the net as Williams notched his 13th of the campaign. He moved ahead of Reno 1868 FC forward Dane Kelly for the league lead in the race for the USL Golden Boot. Williams is already three goals ahead of his 10-goal campaign from 2016.
2. Dante Marini found his first two goals of the season. His first was a steal and left-footed finish from outside the box, finding the right of the frame for a 4-0 advantage in the 57th minute. Marini struck again in the 71st minute, as Williams set him up with the short dish. Marini again aimed for the far right post to snag the brace.
3. Toronto didn’t have too many positives to take away from Saturday, other than Sergio Camargo’s efforts at the forefront. Camargo finally put TFC II on the score sheet with his second-half header, but he made his presence felt earlier in the match with some strong passing and a noteworthy goal-line clearance on Williams’ 11th-minute header to keep the match scoreless in the early stages.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Romario Williams, Charleston Battery – The Battery striker moved into the league goal-scoring lead with a brace and set up one of Dante Marini’s goals. Williams now has 13 goals on the season.
Charleston Battery vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies – July 1, 7 p.m. ET, MUSC Health Stadium
Toronto FC II vs. Harrisburg City Islanders – July 1, 5 p.m. ET, Ontario Soccer Centre