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Benfica reaches state Final 4

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Benfica reaches state Final 4

Benfica’s Cami Silva advances the ball during a State Cup games held on the weekend of Nov. 2-3. Benfica swept all three games, clinching a berth in Saturday’s under-9 State Cup semifinal at Woodwa...

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POSTED November 12, 2013 12:27 a.m.

The Manteca Futbol Club will do more than host this weekend’s under-9 State Cup championship rounds.

MFC will have a title contender on the field, as well.

The Benfica ’04 girls soccer team punched their ticket into the Northern California Final Four with a thrilling victory over the Danville Mustangs, the state’s third-ranked club.

Jocelin Roa hammered home a sudden-death goal in overtime and No. 6 Benfica put itself in position for Manteca Futbol Club’s first-ever premier State Cup championship with a 3-2 victory on Nov. 3.

The State Cup tournament began in September with 88 teams. After an exhausting calendar of pool-play contests and elimination games, there are only four left standing.

The semifinal games will be played on Saturday, with the winners advancing to a Sunday final (11:20 a.m.). There will be a third-place match (9:40 a.m.) on Sunday, as well.

All games will take place at Woodward.

Benfica will play Elk Grove at 1:20 p.m., while Juventus Sol Black of Redwood City will take on the Pleasanton Rage Orange in the other semifinal.

Benfica set up its weekend finale with Danville with back-to-back victories over the Pleasanton Rage White (5-0) and Livermore Fusion Maroon (8-0).

Benfica had a much tougher time disposing of the Mustangs, a powerhouse on the under-9 circuit.

“Big bad Benfica,” as they are called by coaches, parents and fans, rocketed out to a 2-0 lead at the half.

The Mustangs battled back, pulling within one just minutes into the second half. Danville netted the equalizer with minutes left in regulation, forcing the game into a sudden-death overtime period.

The terms of sudden-death are clear: First one to score wins. Benfica, take a bow.

Roa’s blast was set up by Madee Iniquez just three minutes into the overtime session.

Iniquez pushed the ball up field, beating two defenders along the left sideline. She whipped a cross into Roa, who pounded the back of the net.

Benfica will compete this weekend in the highest division, Premier. MFC has won State Cup titles before, according to coach and MFC director Manuel Pires, but never in the highest division.

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