Connect with us

Pro Soccer

Hartford kicks off new season with a 1-0 win over El Paso

A successful penalty kick from Romario Williams in the first half of tonight’s match proved to be enough for Hartford Athletic, as they held a clean sheet the rest of the way to beat El Paso 1-0 in their season opener.

Romario Williams converted on a penalty kick in the 13th minute to help the Hartford Athletic win their USL Championship season opening match on Saturday night with a 1-0 win over El Paso.

Williams drew the penalty himself in the 13th minute, taking contact in the box from El Paso’s Bolu Akinyode after chasing down a well-placed ball by Jay Chapman from midfield into the box. Williams calmly buried his try into the bottom right corner of the net, beating El Paso goalkeeper Jahmali Waite and giving Hartford a 1-0 lead.

The Green and Blue nearly doubled their lead just moments later in the 15th minute. Williams was involved again, feeding a cross from the left flank to the six yard box for Michee Ngalina, whose shot went just above the crossbar.

El Paso’s Miles Lyons, Lucas Stauffer, and Amando Moreno fired off shots over the next 15 minutes in response to Hartford’s early attack, but only Stauffer’s was on target and it did not challenge Hartford goalie Paul Walters.

Walters made his USL Championship debut on Friday. The 19 year old was up to the task, making three saves and earning the shutout.

Offensively for Hartford, Michee Ngalina’s active night included four shots, one that hit the post, and five touches inside the box. Romario Williams picked up right where he left off after a 15-goal campaign a season ago, netting the deciding goal with his successful penalty kick in the 13th minute.

Hartford (1-0) returns to the pitch on Saturday, March 23 at 2 p.m. with their home opener against Birmingham Legion FC.

25 (GK) Paul Walters, 5 (DF) Triston Hodge, 23 (DF) Thomas Vancaeyezeele, 15 (DF) Joseph Farrell, 19 (DF) Rece Buckmaster (Akpunonu 82’); 8 (MF) Jay Chapman, 12 (MF) Anderson Asiedu, 11 (FW) Michee Ngalina, 7 (FW) Marcus Epps (Mushagalusa, 74’); 31 (FW) Deshane Beckford (Makangila, 68’); 9 (FW) Romario Williams
23 (GK) Jahmali Waite, 4 (DF) Lucas Stauffer, 93 (DF) Tony Alfaro, 2 (DF) Brandan Craig, 16 (DF) Miles Lyons (Hinds, 65’); DF (21) Bolu Akinyode, MF (6) Eric Calvillo, 22 (MF) Liam Rose, 10 (MF) Amando Moreno (Zacarías, 74’); 18 (FW) Tumi Moshobane (Basuljevic, 74’); FW (9) Justin Dhillon

Since 2009, the Collinsville Press has been providing award-winning coverage of sports and news in the Farmington Valley and across Connecticut.

More in Pro Soccer