By Tom Bennett at Pizza Hut Park, Dallas
Arsenal maintained their 100 per cent record at the Dallas Cup with a 3-1 win over Club Bolivar.
Jhon Carinao gave the Bolivian side an early lead but Luke Freeman equalised and Roarie Deacon grabbed a brace to secure another impressive victory for the young Gunners at the Pizza Hut Park.
Arsenal's Under-19s went into their final group stage match of the tournament with progress to the Semi-Finals assured. However, that the early kick-off in Group A - a 4-4 draw between Chorillo FC and Dallas Texans - had concluded by the time Arsenal took to the pitch did nothing to diminish their sense of purpose.
And the Gunners started brightly, putting pressure on the Club Bolivar defence from the off.
They could have been ahead within 10 minutes. First when Rees raced through on goal from the right-hand flank, only for the keeper Romel Quiñónez to dive at his feet and block. Then when Martin Angha fired over from close range, having latched onto a ball zipped in by Conor Henderson from the left.
Despite the early pressure, it was the Bolivian side who scored first, Carinao's deflected shot looping over the outstretched fingertips of Emiliano Martinez on 11 minutes.
Arsenal rallied and were level within three minutes. Emmanuel Frimpong played in Freeman who skipped beyond the last defender and round Quiñónez, passing into an empty net for his fourth goal of the tournament.
A quarter of an hour later, Arsenal took the lead courtesy of a defensive lapse from the Bolivian keeper. Rees played a low ball in from the right, Quiñónez came to gather but spilled and Deacon pounced on the loose ball, firing his shot between the keeper’s legs and in.
The Gunners could have doubled their advantage shortly before the break. Henderson once again found Angha with a cross from the left but the Switzerland youth international, lunging for the ball at the back post, was just unable to turn it in.
The second half began with a more defensively resilient Bolivar and chances scarce for both sides. Martinez had to snuff out danger after 51 minutes, racing off his line to smother. And Deacon went close with a header at the other end with the keeper reacting smartly to palm clear. But neither team could muster a clear goalscoring opportunity.
Then, with 75 minutes played, Jeffrey Monakana lofted a ball into the box from the right flank, Deacon took it down superbly, steadied himself and stroked the ball into the corner for his second of the game, and third in three.
That made it 3-1 and an unblemished group stage record was secured.
Next for Arsenal is a Semi-Final with Eintracht Frankfurt on Friday evening. The German side have two wins and a draw from their opening three games and promise to be tough opponents.
The Gunners though, with 14 goals and full points from their group stage, will believe they can go all the way in Dallas.
Arsenal: Martinez, Brislen-Hall (Smith), Frimpong, Boateng (Monteiro 46),Deacon, Ozyakup (Webb 46), Henderson (Monakana 46) , Freeman (Ansah 66), Angha, Rees (Bihmoutine 46), Wynter
Club Bolivar: Quinonez, Chacon, Mendez, Salvatierra, Torrico, Justiniano,Suarez, Carinao, Segardia, Maygua, SquitaCopyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source