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  • 29 July 2012
  • • 10:00
  • • Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong

Kitchee 2-2 Arsenal: Walcott and Eisfeld secure comeback draw for the Gunners

Kitchee 2-2 Arsenal: Walcott and Eisfeld secure comeback draw for the Gunners

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Arsene Wenger's side were a goal down twice in the match but thanks to strikes from the England winger and German youngster were able to take something out of an entertaining match

Arsenal played out an entertaining 2-2 draw with Chinese side Kitchee in Hong Kong as they twice came from behind to level the match.

The Gunners went 1-0 down after Yago opened the scoring inside the first 10 minutes, but equalised through Theo Walcott in the first half.

Five minutes later and Kitchee were ahead again, thanks to left-back Dani Cancela, but Arsenal found another leveller late on through substitute Thomas Eisfeld.

Arsene Wenger named a strong starting lineup for the match, with Wojciech Szczesny back in goal and both Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain starting.

The hosts made a decent start, with Johan Djourou having to be alert to block a cross in a dangerous area. Szczesny then made a diving stop from another cross, with Craig Eastmond clearing up at the back post.

And in the eighth minute, Kitchee led, with Miquel at fault for the Gunners. The Spanish player gave the ball away with a sloppy pass on the edge of his area, and was out of position as the ball was threaded through for Yago to slot past Szczesny.

Arsenal came close twice in the next 10 minutes, with Walcott sending the ball just wide when attempting to bend a shot into the far corner with his left foot, and then Marouane Chamakh hitting a shot at the keeper when he perhaps should have done better after some good play from Miquel.

The Gunners equalised in the 24th minute when Abou Diaby won the ball on the edge of Kitchee's box, before slotting in Walcott to clip a shot home.

The hosts came close to taking the lead with what would have been a spectacular goal, as a free-kick in a dangerous area was ingeniously flicked over the wall to Roberto Losada for an attempted bicycle kick that flew wide.

And Kitchee did lead again in the 29th minute. Szczesny did well to block an overhead kick, but from the rebound left-back Cancela slammed the ball into the top corner.

The Gunners should have equalised again in the minutes before half-time as they broke with Chamakh, Walcott and Diaby in a three-on-three situation, but Chamakh's pass to Diaby bobbled and the midfielder lashed a volley wide and the hosts led at the halfway stage.

The second half began with a host of substitutions for the Gunners, and they almost equalised as two of those replacements combined.

After Oxlade-Chamberlain won the ball, he passed to Gervinho, who jinked his way past two defenders before playing a simple ball to Benik Afobe in front of goal, but his shot hit the foot of the post when he really should have scored.

At the other end, Kitchee almost capitalised on some poor positioning from left-back Andre Santos and hesitancy from Szczesny, but Chu Siu Kei's shot from a narrow angle only found the outside of the post.

Over the next 10 minutes there was some truly terrible defending from Arsenal, and Santos in particular, but the Gunners were still making chances at the other end, with Walcott just unable to lob a header over Wang Zhenpeng in the Kitchee goal.

With a quarter of the match to go, the Gunners came close, and again should have scored. Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross found Afobe unmarked from six yards out, but his header looped over the bar.

And with just under 15 minutes to go, Arsenal finally found a leveller through substitute Thomas Eisfeld, but in truth the goal was all about Gervinho. The winger had looked dangerous since joining the field, and rampaged down the left wing before getting to the byline and cutting it back for Eisfeld to tap home a simple finish.

And two minutes later Gervinho was at it again, making the byline but unable to find a similar ball as they eventually lost possession.

The rest of the match was played out almost entirely in Kitchee's half, with Arsenal searching for a winning goal, but were ultimately unable to find it as the game finished all square.