MABTON - It was a tightly contested match between SCAC foes this past Saturday, but Mabton prevailed 2-1 via a shootout against Granger in the first round of the District playoffs.
The win places the Vikings in position to play against unbeaten Highland tomorrow (Tuesday).
Coach Junior Garcia knows it will be another nailbiter, since the two teams just last week battled one another and Highland slipped away with a 2-1 victory thanks in part to Mabton accidentally scoring a goal made in its own net.
As for this past Saturday, the Vikings and Spartans tied 1-1 in regulation.
Granger's Noe Ramos made the first goal at the 20-minute mark, giving the Spartans a 1-0 advantage going into halftime.
Mabton battled back and in the 70th minute Lorenzo Sanchez kicked the ball to Jonathan Flores, who got it past the crossbars to equalize the match.
The teams remained locked in a 1-1 tie through two overtimes before forcing themselves into a shootout.
Mabton prevailed, getting the ball past Granger keeper Gerardo Ochoa four times. Kicking the ball into the net for the Vikings were Guillermo Macedo, Daniel Cambron, Damian Diaz and Mabton keeper Gerardo Barajas.
Granger only had three successful shootout kicks because of the defensive efforts of Barajas, who also recorded six saves during regulation.
Mabton had a total of 10 shots on goal during regulation, but Ochoa denied five attempts.
Garcia said Saturday's game was exciting and he anticipates Tuesday's match will be equally exciting.
The Vikings (12-5) will face the Scotties on Cowiche turf for the District semi-final.