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U-12 Rangers take aim at Shootout
Members of the Manteca Rangers under-12 boys soccer team are: Coaches Roberto Gonzalez and Ryan Crawford; and players Jacob Allen, Ricardo Alvarez-Sanchez, Joaquin Baker, Alejandro Cervantes, Andrew Crawford, Gerardo Gallegos, Tristan Gonzalez, Harley Guzman, Jesus Lomeli, Riccardo Nieblas-Chavez, Giovanni Padilla, Alejandro Tornero, Logan Gazaway and Kevin Thornburg. - photo by Photo Contributed

The Manteca Rangers under-12 boys soccer team captured the Neto Corona Shootout in fitting fashion over the weekend.

With a shootout.

Giovanni Padilla had a hat trick in regulation and Andrew Crawford saved two shots in a penalty kick shootout to clinch a victory over Liverpool (Union City) Black in the final, 4-2.

The game was tied at 3-all after 70 minutes of soccer.

Padilla, Ricardo Alvarez-Sandoval, Gerardo Gallegos and Riccardo Nieblas-Chavez scored for the Rangers in the penalty kick shootout.

The win avenged a 7-0 loss to Liverpool at the Jasper Cup in Morgan Hill three months ago.

Head coach Roberto Gonzalez attributed the turnaround to his club’s speed of play.

The Rangers have practiced with a sense of urgency since that loss, Gonzalez said, stringing together quick passes while pressuring the ball defensively.

It showed in three tournament games in Brentwood. Manteca outscored its opponents 21-9.

“We’ve been working on a faster response in passing and recovery of the ball,” Gonzalez added. “We’ve increased our speed of play.”

The Rangers thundered into the final with emphatic victories over the Cobras White (11-4) and Impact Black (7-2).

However, the championship game between familiar foes was a dogfight.

Padilla scored three times in regulation – two 30-minute halves – to force overtime. In the extra session – two 5-minute halves – neither team could find the game-winner.

Crawford was the difference-maker in the shootout. He saved the second and fourth shots he faced, sealing the tournament title.

The Rangers’ next date is in Modesto for the Ajax Tournament in late September.