MABTON - The Mabton boys soccer team last night struggled against the Ki-Be defense, but prevailed 3-1 at home.
"It was a pretty close game...they played a lot of defense," said Viking coach Junior Garcia.
He said watching the match was difficult because the Bears' defense kept shutting down Mabton's offense.
Some adjustments were made and the Vikings maneuvered their way past Ki-Be to score the first goal in the 16th minute of the match.
Mauricio Palomino and Crisantos Chavez teamed up, weaving the ball past the Bear defenders. Palomino slipped the ball to Chavez, who capitalized on the opportunity.
It took 22 minutes for Mabton to find another scoring opportunity. Daniel Cambron and Josh Carrasco placed themselves in the right position at the right time. Cambron kicked the ball over the heads of the defenders and Carrasco headed it in between the crossbars for another goal.
Mabton, however, committed a no-no and Ki-Be was given a freebie. The Bears, just one minute after the Vikings scored, were lined up on the other end of the field. Ki-Be's Johnathan Gutierrez sent the penalty kick soaring past Mabton keeper Kevin Garcia and into the back of the net.
The Vikings maintained a 2-1 lead at intermission and continued to battle the Bears' defenders through most of the closing half of the match.
It was at the 58-minute mark that Mabton scored the final goal of the match. Miguel Abundez and Carrasco slipped past the Bears. Abundez delivered the ball to Carrasco, who hit pay dirt to give Mabton a 3-1 victory.
Garcia recorded three saves and the Vikings made 11 shots on goal.
Ki-Be keeper Zachary Metcalf blocked eight of Mabton's scoring attempts. The Bears had four shots on goal.
"The Vikings tried hard and worked around the defense to secure the win...it wasn't easy," said the Mabton coach.
The Vikings (2-1) will tomorrow (Thursday) face the Spartans in Granger.