Arsenal crashed out of the Dallas Cup at the semi-final stage this morning, losing 2-0 to Eintracht Frankfurt. An early goal from Okan Durci set the Germans on their way, before a late Dustin Ernst strike wrapped it up, on a frustrating night in America.
Steve Bould was rocked by a late injury to Luke Freeman before kick off, but looked to compensate by bringing Jeffrey Monakana in for his first start of the competition. Roarie Deacon led the line, while Josh Rees was surprisingly left on the bench.
ARSENAL: Martínez; Hajrovic, Boateng, Angha; Brislen-Hall; Frimpong, Ebecilio; Monakana, Ozyakup, Henderson; Deacon.
Arsenal began slowly in every one of their group games, and continued that trend against a defensive and well organised Frankfurt side. Okan Durci almost opened the scoring seconds in, when he collected a sloppy Ozyakup pass and curled a left foot shot that just went over Martínez’s cross bar.
The Gunners tried to press forward, but found their German opponents a difficult match, with their quick and aggressive way of closing the ball down. Deacon then created space in the box after a successful passing move, but after he lost possession, Frankfurt broke away, and grabbed the opener. Schmidt burst away from Hajrovic down the right, and crossed for Durci to turn home from close range. 1-0.
Martínez denied Durci a second shortly after, as he saved brilliantly as the winger tried to go around him. Angha then hacked a header off the line, as Arsenal battled back from the brink. The ineffective Monakana was replaced with Ansah before half time, and it payed instant dividends.
Ansah’s clever lay off on the edge of the box found Frimpong, and he lashed a pile driver that flew just wide. It was a significant chance in a half of few opportunities for Steve Bould’s boys.
A half time re-shuffle saw Montiero replace Frimpong, and the early signs were positive. Arsenal began to pass the ball better, but as the minutes ticked on, they struggled to create any clear chances.
A Henderson free-kick caused panic at the back, but it was cleared, and Frankfurt broke again. The resulting move almost made it 2-0, when a cross-shot from Schmidt looked to have caught Martínez out, only for it to bounce over.
Ansah then headed an Ebecilio cross onto the roof of the net, but the Dallas heat began to get to the players in the closing stages. The coaching staff and impressive gathering of American Gooners tried to urge the team on, but it was to no avail. Substitute Dustin Ernst sealed the win late on, when he finished confidently beyond Martínez. 2-0.
The late strike confirmed the result on a hugely disappointing evening. The loss of Freeman to injury before kick off was no doubt a bitter blow, but Arsenal proved to be one-dimensional against the well organised Germans.