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Second half comeback lifts Spartans over Mabton

GRANGER - The Mabton Vikings set themselves up for a big win against rival Granger yesterday (Thursday) in a SCAC league soccer match.

The Vikings went ahead 2-0 in the first half only to see the Spartans reel off three unanswered goals. Mabton went home with a 3-2 loss and a 0-3 league record.

Mabton Coach Junior Garcia said he felt the Granger players were just more confident than his.

"They were playing like they knew we wouldn't beat them," he said.

The Vikings scored quickly in the fourth minute of play. A Mabton player took a shot at the Granger goal only to have the keeper, Ulises Lemus, block the shot. The ball deflected out about six feet in front of the goal and Mabton's Tony Espinosa kicked it in.

Mabton went up 2-0 in the 15th minute of play when Josh Carrasco got a foot on a corner kick and scored.

Two minutes before the end of the first half the Spartans scored when Fredy Sojo found the back of the net.

In the second half Mabton lost one of its better players. Espinosa was given a yellow card for making contact with a Granger player after the Spartan lost the ball. Espinosa then argued his case to the referee, which resulted in another yellow card and an automatic ejection.

"He's one of my best players out there," Garcia said. "He usually creates a lot of plays for us."

With Espinosa on the bench the Vikings still had opportunities but couldn't capitalize on them.

In the 63rd minute Granger got the equalizer when Jovany Andrade scored.

"When they tied it up we couldn't get anything going," Garcia added.

The score was tied 2-2 at the end of regulation. The teams played two 10-minute halves of overtime. In the second overtime period, Granger scored with 23 seconds left to win 3-2.

Lemus had 12 saves for the Spartans. Mabton's keeper, Raul Nunez, recorded five saves. Jerry Barajas, who played keeper for the Vikings for 15 minutes, also recorded a save.

The Vikings will travel to Benton City on Tuesday, March 22, for a 6 p.m. match with the Bears.

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