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ATL UTD 2 rescues point at Charlotte Independence behind Romario Williams hat trick

The Jamacian strikes in stoppage time in a wild ending in North Carolina.

Karl L. Moore

ATL UTD 2 looked headed for a heartbreaking road loss at Charlotte Independence on Saturday evening. But Romario Williams came to the rescue, finishing off a hat trick during a wild second half stoppage time session to stake Atlanta to a 3-3 draw at the SportsPlex at Matthews.

The late goal for Williams was fitting in a match that saw him put the visitors ahead inside of the first minute, thanks to a nifty touch in the box by Jon Gallagher to set up the earliest goal in club history.

In the 42nd minute, Williams was at it again as Anderson Asiedu broke off a great run down the pitch to the left side of the box. His pass found Williams, whose nifty footwork shook him off his defender and gave him enough space to finish past Charlotte keeper Brandon Miller.

But Charlotte enjoyed the better of play as the second half progressed and eventually broke through for 2 goals in 10 minutes to make it a 2-2 contest. It eventually took the lead as veteran Jorge Herrera found himself off a perfect delivery from the left edge of the area for what appeared to be the match winner inside of the third of four added minutes.

The remaining time was just enough for Atlanta to salvage a point.

Asiedu found himself involved again as his cross from the right of the box found the head of Jon Gallagher. Miller made the initial save, but wouldn’t make the second as Williams was there to cap a stirring late-game effort.

Atlanta will be disappointed to let a shot at 3 points slip away late. But in the end, it will be happy to leave with at least a point and bounce back from what looked to be the goal that would see Charlotte get a win.

ATL UTD 2 are off fo the next two weeks before returning to action for a home match on April 6 against Saint Louis FC.