Arsenal defenders Jurrien Timber and Folarin Balogun showcased their skills in the MLS All-Star shooting challenge at Audi Field. The Gunners dominated the competition, defeating the MLS trio of Christian Benteke, Jesus Ferreira, and Denis Bouanga to take a 1-0 lead.
Timber impressed with a score of 50 points, contributing significantly to Arsenal’s victory in the shooting challenge. Kiwior also performed admirably, adding 49 points to the Gunners’ total. Surprisingly, Balogun’s contribution was not required for the win.
In this challenge, each player had 60 seconds to score as many points as possible from 12 yards out. Targets of varying point values were placed around the goal, with a moving target worth 20 points introduced in the final 20 seconds. Timber emerged as the top scorer with an impressive 50 points, just 15 points shy of the record set by Hector Herrera last year.
Kiwior, the fellow defender, secured 49 points, helping Arsenal secure a 121-88 victory over the MLS team. Balogun, on the other hand, struggled and only managed to score 22 points, leaving his shooting prowess behind. Despite his low score, Arsenal would have still emerged victorious without Balogun in their three-man team.
Another striker who faced difficulties was former Aston Villa, Liverpool, and Crystal Palace star Benteke, who mustered 27 points. Arsenal comfortably triumphed at the home of DC United.
The Skills Challenge between Arsenal and the MLS All-Stars serves as a prelude to their upcoming clash on the football pitch. The two teams will meet at Audi Field, where Timber and Declan Rice could potentially make their debut for Arsenal.
Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun had no answers to the shooting challenge presented by defenders Jurrien Timber and Jakub Kiwior last week.
The young Gunners striker looked to shine against the two defenders, but it was not to be as he was outshined by them. The challengers took on the likes of Folarin in a shooting test to assess their shooting skills, and it was the experienced Dutchman and Polish Kiwior, who stole the show.
Timber and Kiwior both displayed good accuracy in a range of shooting drills. Both managed to score more goals than their marksman counterpart, thus outshining him in the end.
The result of the shooting test comes as further evidence of Balogun’s struggle of late to become a regular starter in the Premier League side. While the youngster has solidified himself as a valuable member of Mikel Arteta’s matchday squads, he has not been able to make the breakthrough into the starting XI as of yet.
It appears that Balogun will have to be more lethal in his finishing if he is to break into the first team and edge out such accomplished defenders like Timber and Kiwior in the near future.