Jaycob Funsch scored a pair of goals, and Alexis Lopez set up two goals for Manteca as the Buffaloes dominated visiting Escalon with a 3-0 shutout in non-league soccer action at Guss Schmiedt Field.
“It all boils down to practice,” Manteca coach Daniel Guevara said. “We played a lot of combinations down the middle and we played out from the back very well. But not only that, we were first to the ball and we won every second ball.
“That was the big difference in the game and every player trusted each other. They played together and they played excellent. Since the beginning of the season I have told these boys this is a very special team and I think they are taking it on.”
In the 16th minute, Lopez took the ball into the corner and fired to the middle with Funsch and Aguilar near the middle of the net. Funsch found the loose ball and got it in the net for a 1-0 lead.
“Their goalie got frustrated and I beat him,” Funsch said. “And I have been practicing on those free kicks.”
Eight minutes into the second half, Lopez was near the sideline when he launched a blast to the middle that bounced off of Funsch and on to Aguilar who got the ball into the net for a 2-0 lead.
“I knew Alexis was going to cross it in from the wide and it was going to be low,” Aguilar said. “I was waiting for him to cross and it deflected off of Jacob (Funsch).”
Three minutes later with a pair of assists under his belt, Lopez drew a penalty and then converted a free kick for a 3-0 lead.
“On the first one I beat my guy and I saw Jacob (Funsch) and Steven (Aguilar) in the middle,” Lopez said. “I got it in there and lucky Jacob was there to capitalize and score.
“On the second one I saw there was open space in the middle and I shot it across and thankfully Jacob was there again.”
The Buffaloes (1-1) outshot the Cougars (2-5) 16-4 with seven of those 16 shots on frame. Manteca goalie Eduardo Medina tallied two saves.
Manteca 3, Escalon 2
Christopher Ho blasted a goal midway through the second half to break a 2-2 tie and give the Buffaloes the lead for good.
Aidan Moran scored the first two goals for Manteca and Daniel Garcia posted eight saves.