Romario Williams scored both goals for the Battery in the team’s 2-2 draw with Ottawa Fury FC at MUSC Health Stadium Saturday night. The team battled back from behind twice to earn a point in the first of three consecutive home matches.
"Anytime you don’t get three points at home, you’re going to be a bit disappointed," said Head Coach Mike Anhaeuser. "Our guys showed tremendous grit and character tonight to battle back from behind twice, so I’m happy with the performance. It’s a bit unlucky, but it’s not a negative result."
Ottawa struck first in the match on what felt like a midsummer night in May. Jamar Dixon earned a free kick at the top of the Battery’s box following a partially cleared corner kick. Ryan Williams converted from the dead ball situation, curling a shot past Odisnel Cooper.
The Battery responded immediately and put the Ottawa back four under constant pressure after the opening goal, but didn’t find an equalizer until twenty minutes later when Maikel Chang played a cross into Williams in the Fury’s penalty area. Williams controlled the pass and smashed a shot in at the near post to level the score at one just before the halftime break.
Ottawa edged out in front again in the 56th minute through another set piece. Ramon Martin Del Campo nodded a Ryan Williams corner kick in from about eight yards to push the Canadian side into the lead for the second time in the match.
Charleston created several quality scoring chances as they searched for the second equalizer of the night. The tying goal eventually came when Chang and Williams connected for the second time in the match in the 84th minute.
The Battery put together a brilliant counterattack beginning with an Heviel Cordoves slip header that sprung Chang free down the right flank. Chang took a driving touch forward and curled a pinpoint pass into Williams’ path who tapped it in at the back post.
"Tonight, I just tried to make runs into the box," said Williams after the match. "I know the quality that Mike (Chang) possesses on both feet, so I just try to get myself in there so he could pick me out and tonight he delivered two beautiful passes and I was able to finish them off."
Charleston still sit atop the Eastern Conference table following the draw with Ottawa. The Battery continue a three-game home stretch next week with a match against Bethlehem Steel FC at MUSC Health Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM on May 6th; dollar beers will be served throughout the night.
CHARLESTON - Odisnel Cooper, Quinton Griffith, Taylor Mueller, Forrest Lasso, O’Brian Woodbine (Skylar Thomas, 87), Maikel Chang (assist, 42), Justin Portillo, Tah Brian Anunga (Heviel Cordoves, 71), Kotaro Higashi (Dante Marini, 71), Ataulla Guerra, Romario Williams (goal; 42, 84)
Unused substitutes - Joe Kuzminsky, Ricky Garbanzo, Jeffery Otoo, Neveal Hackshaw
OTTAWA - Callum Irving, Eddie Edward, Ramon Martin Del Campo (goal, 56), Shane McEleney, Ryan Williams (goal, 22; assist, 56), Sito Seoane (Sergio Manesio, 69), Jamar Dixon, Jonathan Barden, Tucker Hume (Steevan Dos Santos, 80) Aron Mkungilwa
-per Charleston Battery