Cup quest

Osasuna's Emmanuel Becerra blocks off a Juventus defender.

Team Osasuna beat Juventus in penalty kicks for Latino Program
Soccer Title
GILROY – Back-to-back games on consecutive days between front-runners Juventus and Osasuna could not decide the championship in the fourth season of the Gilroy High Latinos Program Intramural Lunch-break Soccer League.

So after tying 2-2 on Thursday and then finishing in a 1-1 tie on Friday in the Gilroy High main gymasium, the two squads lined up for penalty kicks to determine which team would get its name etched on the coveted tournament trophy.

With the 100-plus lunch-time crowd filling the stands, Osasuna’s first two shooters – Juan Llamas and Javier Hernandez – both scored on penalty kicks, while shots from Juventus’ Carlos Morales and Jorge Plata were both saved by opposing goaltender Luis Esqueda.

“I knew it was going to be a hard match… This is the first time I’ve won. I’ve come close before, but this was the first time,” said Hernandez, who was the Tri-County Athletic League’s co-MVP as a junior striker for the Gilroy High boys soccer squad. “This is for bragging rights.”

Hernandez’s Team Osasuna were the fourth tournament champions in the bi-annual soccer league – established by administrator Jose Hernandez and his Latinos Program. The winning team was made up of Hernandez, Esqueda, Llamas, Emmanuel Becerra, Luis Becerra, Wilver Chavez, and Gildardo Ramirez.

“It was very exciting,” said Jose Hernandez of the fourth season of his lunch-break soccer league. “I loved it.”

Team Juventus – which had a roster of Morales, Plata, Oscar Garcia, Jorge Cruz, Marco Aguilar and Horacio Arteaga – finished second in the 24-team field that also included an all-teachers team as well as two all-girls teams.

The Latinos Program soccer league – which will continue to run twice a year during the school term – charges 25 cents admittance for fans and a $5 team entry fee. The league has generated about $500 per season for the Latinos Program.