Women’s Champions League: Arsenal comfortably beat Okzhetpes in qualifier

Beth Mead
Beth Mead started despite coming off as a precaution in the friendly victory over Tottenham

Arsenal won their first competitive match under new boss Jonas Eidevall as they comfortably beat Okzhetpes in a Women’s Champions League qualifier.

There were debuts for four Arsenal players, including midfielder Mana Iwabuchi, who opened the scoring as the Gunners went on to win 4-0.

Captain Kim Little slotted a penalty shortly afterwards when Vivianne Miedema was fouled in the box.

Beth Mead and Nikita Parris scored a goal each after the break.

The Gunners were dominant, enjoying 85% of the possession in Moscow and had 27 attempts on goal, including 10 on target.

Kazakh side Okzhetpes were not able to cause Eidevall’s team any problems, although Arsenal lacked ruthlessness at times in front of goal.

Striker Miedema missed several chances in the first half, while Little struck wide from close range and substitute Caitlin Foord failed to take advantage of a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper.

But Parris, a Champions League winner with former club Lyon, was a constant threat throughout and eventually fired home from close range in the second half to score on her debut.

Arsenal will face either PSV Eindhoven or Lokomotiv Moscow on Saturday for a place in the second round of qualifying.

They begin their Women’s Super League campaign against defending champions Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on 5 September.

‘We scored the hard goals’ – reaction

Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall: “There are some circumstances that made it a little more difficult. It was extremely hot conditions and on an artificial turf which gets a little bit dry, so that’s hard to move the ball at a good pace.

“I think we scored the hard goals today but we didn’t score from any corners, any wide free-kicks, any crosses or any counter-attacks.

“In order for us to be able to score more today, we needed to be better at those situations. We need to be better at that on Saturday – no matter which opponents we play.”

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