Hector Romero scored two goals for East Union on Saturday and the Lancers added a late goal on a penalty kick for a 3-1 win over visiting Manteca in Valley Oak League soccer action at Dino Cunial Field.
Trailing 1-0 in the 22nd minute, Trent Rivera’s shot for East Union (8-0-1 VOL, 13-1-3) was blocked and deflected toward Romero who fired it into the net to tie the score at 1-1.
Ten minutes into the second half Daniel Gomez lined a cross to Romero and Romero headed it in for a 2-1 Lancers lead.
“The first goal was all about being in the right position and moving,” Romero said. “The second one was all about the chemistry and how my dad taught me to move without the ball.”
Gomez attributed the second goal to hard work in practice.
“We work on those crosses all the time in practice,” Gomez said. “It’s all about chemistry.
“I couldn’t have done it without the lads.”
Zachary Hernandez added an insurance goal via penalty kick in the closing minutes.
“They’re teenagers and they want to have fun,” East Union coach Edgar Zelaya said. “And I told them if they want to have fun to have fun, but just give me what I want. We’re still undefeated, but we are still going to have to play hard, every game, to go undefeated.
“Our defense is fast, strong, and we play smart. We don’t play kickball – we blast the ball from the defense all the way to the front. We know how to open the field.”
The Buffaloes (3-4, 8-7-1) got their lone goal in the 18th minute on a penalty kick by Aron Navarrette. Manteca could not manage a shot on goal in the second half.
“They are a good team defensively,” Buffaloes coach Justin Coenenberg said. “We were able to create some opportunities in the first half but in the second half those opportunities were fewer.
“I think we played hard, but East Union is in first place for a reason. They are a strong opponent. I am proud of the way we played and I think we carried ourselves well on the field as well.”