The Gunners’ Champions League progress hangs within the steadiness after a first-leg draw

Arsenal had been held to a 2-2 draw by Ajax in the primary leg of their ladies’s Champions League 2 qualifier at Meadow Park on Tuesday.

Jonas Eidevall’s aspect had been pinned again in a pulsating first half, however got here out of the jam after the break, however couldn’t put away their probabilities and confronted a tricky activity to beat the Dutch giants within the return.

Gunners goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger was compelled into an early save along with her legs to hold out a thunderous strike from Victoria Pelova as Ajax began brightly.

The Austrian stopper then needed to react rapidly to hold out Sherida Spitse’s effort from vary, however was helpless to forestall Ajax taking an 18th-minute lead, with Romee Leuchter firing in on the close to publish.

Arsenal responded effectively to this early setback when Beth Mead’s free-kick was spilled by Lize Kop, though Stina Blackstenius one way or the other could not management the rebound.

But Blackstenius was to not be denied moments later when she was first to react to a Rafaelle header that crashed towards the bar and fired residence to stage the scores.

Ajax maintained aggressive stress all through the primary half, making Zinsberger work and robbing Arsenal’s defenders of possession.

Leuchter virtually doubled his tally on the close to publish over again earlier than the break however this time Zinsberger bought a glove.

Just after the break, the Gunners thought that they had gone forward after Steph Catley drove by means of on purpose, however she might solely discover the woodwork and Ajax had been let off the hook.

Arsenal’s robust begin to the second half continued when Rafaelle hit the pot from shut vary, and the hosts had been awarded a penalty after Beth Mead tumbled within the field. Kim Little stepped up and despatched the Kop the flawed method to put the Gunners forward.

England captain Leah Williamson was invited to shoot from all of 35 yards quickly after, and her speculative strike was not too removed from beating the Kop.

The Dutch keeper produced one other nice stifling save to disclaim Catley from including a 3rd, and Arsenal had been pegged again at the opposite finish when Leuchter poked residence throughout a scramble within the field.

Arsenal had been denied a late winner when Katie McCabe discovered the online, however the offside flag was raised and the purpose was chalked off.

The second leg will happen at De Toekomst on the outskirts of Amsterdam subsequent Wednesday, with Arsenal needing a win – both earlier than the top of beyond regular time or on penalties – to succeed in the group stage.

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