By Connor Armstrong
Arsenal Under-18s picked up a point at Swansea City on Saturday thanks to a second-half header from Eddie Nketiah.
The Swans grabbed the lead when Liam Cullen combined with Matthew Blake before finishing past Joao Virginia.
Nketiah struck back for the visitors after 68 minutes, rising highest to thump home a header after a delicious free-kick delivery from under-18 debutant Trae Coyle.
The Gunners nearly came away with all three points, but Nketiah could only find the side-netting after latching on to an underhit backpass.
SETTING THE SCENE
Virginia started in goal for the first time since his return from Rio, with Jordi Osei-Tutu, Joseph Olowu, Danny Ballard and Tobi Omole in the backline.
Josh Dasilva was handed the captain’s armband as he started in midfield, where he was joined by Josh Benson and Coyle.
Nketiah continued up front after finding the net twice against Aston Villa last time out.
Kwame Ampadu’s side endured a tough start on a wet and windy morning in Swansea, falling behind in the opening half-hour.
The first clear chance of the game came courtesy of Causso Darame, who saw his effort rattle the underside of the bar, with Cullen dragging an effort wide on the follow-up.
Cullen made amends soon after though, scooping the ball past Virginia after latching on to a flick from Blake to give the hosts the lead.
The Gunners looked for a way back into the game before the half-time interval but were unsuccessful despite the best efforts of Nketiah.
The second half began in much more positive fashion, with Nketiah firing just wide from a tight angle as Arsenal pushed for an equaliser with renewed vigour.
Soon after, Josh Benson was only prevented from scoring an equaliser when he was crowded out by a combination of the hosts’ defence and goalkeeper.
Nketiah eventually levelled the scores in the 68th minute, powering in a header after an inviting delivery from Coyle’s free-kick in the right channel.
The forward almost turned one point into three late on, but after seizing on a slack backpass he could only bury his effort into the sidenetting.
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