Late goal gives Dortmund draw with Arsenal

Reuters, Tuesday 13 Sep 2011

Substitute Ivan Perisic volleyed in two minutes from time to hand Borussia Dortmund a deserved 1-1 draw against Arsenal in their Champions League Group F opener on Tuesday

Ivan Perisic

Arsenal looked to be cruising to an unexpected victory after taking a first-half lead through captain Robin van Persie but Perisic thundered in to rescue a draw.

The English club had to endure a barrage of attacks and were lucky not to concede a goal before captain Van Persie struck on 42 minutes, firing in after a defensive blunder by Dortmund captain Sebastian Kehl.

The hosts, 1997 Champions League winners and making their first appearance in Europe's premier competition in eight years, got off to a flying start in front of 65,000 fans but looked to have been punished for a string of missed chances before Perisic's equaliser.

With Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger watching the frantic start from the stands due to a suspension, each team missed a glorious early chance. The London side's Gervinho sneaked into the box but failed to chip the ball over keeper Roman Weidenfeller and in the ensuing quick break Kevin Grosskreutz fired over the bar.

Arsenal made defensive errors and minutes later Shinji Kagawa broke the offside trap but failed to hit the target from 16 metres out.

Dortmund teenager Mario Goetze, who was reportedly an Arsenal target during the transfer window, sent Robert Lewandowski through with a beautiful pass as the hosts blasted through the Londoners' defence yet again but the Pole's effort was cleared on the line.

The visitors, who lacked any real offensive momentum, struck against the run of play when Van Persie intercepted a pass from Kehl and Theo Walcott sent the Dutchman through to fire in the winner.

Dortmund desperately searched for an equaliser in the second half and got it when Perisic struck two minutes from the end to rescue a draw. 

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