DAVID SMITH - Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Babajide Ogunbiyi and Viborg continued their surprising start with a draw at leaders Midtjylland while a late collapse by Odense left Conor O'Brien and his teammates shaking their heads in Copenhagen.
FC Midtjylland 0 - 0 Viborg FF
A second straight exceptional defensive performance by Babajide Ogunbiyi and his Viborg teammates was enough to stifle league-leading Midtjylland on the way to a confidence-building draw on Saturday.
The Greens had done well to dispatch Aarhus one week before, but knew they would be in for a much tougher test at the home stadium of Midtjylland, the runaway league leaders who had yet to suffer a defeat through their first eight games.
Midtjylland played the role of the aggressor for much of the game, limiting Viborg to occasional counter-attacks or set pieces that proved to be no real danger.
Ogunbiyi kept the game scoreless going into the half when he cleared a shot off the line, and Viborg keeper Michal Peskovic had a number of important saves throughout both halves to preserve the draw.
Viborg remarkably occupy the league's fourth-place spot with just over one-quarter of the season played. They will be back in action on Sunday when they face fifth-place Vestsjaelland in a battle of the division's two promoted teams.
FC Copenhagen 2 - 1 Odense BK
Conor O'Brien put in a 73-minute shift for Odense on Sunday afternoon, picking up his third yellow card of the season in their disappointing loss at FC Copenhagen.
The reigning champions suffered another blow to what has already been a tough season when starting keeper Johan Wiland, the team's undoubted hero in their midweek Champions League draw against Juventus, was forced to leave the game after 16 minutes when Odense attacker Rasmus Falk accidentally trampled on his wrist during a flurry near the goal.
Odense quickly jumped on the disarray, taking the lead in the 23rd minute when Emil Larsen made a strong run from near the midfield stripe, and despite close marking from Thomas Delaney, managed to squeeze out a low shot that was perfectly placed just within the right upright for the 1-0 lead.
Six minutes after picking up his third yellow of the season, O'Brien was subbed out in favor of Krisztián Vadócz in the 73rd minute, and was forced to watch helpless as Copenhagen came roaring back in the final quarter-hour.
In the 74th minute, poor defending in the box allowed a corner from Pierre Bengtsson to float into the center of the six-yard box, where Delaney beat his marking defender with a gargantuan leap to score with a header.
Then with seven minutes on the clock, Copenhagen completed the comeback to secure just their second win of the season, as Cesar Santin's pass split the defense and found Igor Vetokele, who beat the offside trap and slid his shot past Mads Toppel for the 2-1.
Odense fall to 10th place with the loss, ahead of the relegation places now by a single point.
Having reached the limit of three yellow cards, O'Brien will miss OB's home game against first-place Midtjylland on Sunday, but should be in the starting eleven on Wednesday for their third-round Danish Cup game at Svendborg fB.