Two-time FIFA World Cup winner Tobin Heath was in the starting line-up for the Arsenal Women as they fought back to rescue a point after going down a goal and a player against the Manchester United Women at Meadow Park on Saturday afternoon.  The game ended 1-1, thanks to Stina Blackstenius’ first goal for the Gunners.

Arsenal went into the game as league leaders, four points ahead of second-place Chelsea and five ahead of their opponents, with the intention of putting more space between themselves and the chasing pack.

Manchester had the first sniff at goal just seven minutes in but Heath came charging in to block the shot.  She did enough to put Ona Batlle off and allow her keeper, Manuela Zinsberger, to grab the poorly hit effort.

The visitors did break the deadlock minutes later, however.  United have scored more goals from corner kicks than any other team in the Women’s Super League this season.  Alessia Russo added another one after captain Katie Zelem’s floater into the box found her and the England international headed it past Zinsberger.

Arsenal pushed for the equalizer and came close, especially with  Vivianne Miedema’s screamer that she hit from distance that was right on the money.  Mary Earps got fingertips to it, enough to direct it to the crossbar and out of harm’s way.  The Jersey girl also had a half-decent chance from 15 yards out but couldn’t get it under the crossbar either.

Things took a turn for the worst fifteen minutes before full time when Katie McCabe was rightly booked for a dubious tackle that happened to be her second yellow card of the game, thus leaving her team at a numerical disadvantage.

With relentless United attacking, Arsenal saw their opportunity when Miedema latched onto the ball deep in her own half, spotted the run of Blackstenius and delivered the perfect through ball to the birthday girl.  The Swedish attacker outpaced a trio of chasing defenders and slid the ball past the oncoming keeper and into the back of the net to rescue a valuable point.

The 79th-minute strike kept the Gunners’ unbeaten home streak alive and slightly increased their lead over Chelsea.  Next up will be the game of the season so far when they travel to Kingsmeadow to take on the Chelsea Women on Friday night.

By Michael Adubato

The old man of Yanks-Abroad, having been around since the very beginning in 2004, Known as the resident Belgian expert since that’s where he has lived for a couple of decades. Over the years he has interviewed Nats such as Kasey Keller, Brian McBride, Oguchi Onyewu, Jozy Altidore and Tim Weah, to name a few. When not working the day job, he can often be found in stadiums around Europe, watching games from the top flight to the lower leagues. To prove that he is not just a pretty face, Mike received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Maryland and a Masters from the University of Oklahoma. Boomer Sooner! On a non-soccer note, Adubato has just released a book of poetry from his travels, Missing the Exit, published by Broken Keys Publishing in Ottawa, Canada. So that must make him the YA poet laureate! You can grab your copy on Amazon.com, order online and pick it up and Barnes & Noble or get an e-copy at various outlets.

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