DAVID SMITH - Sunday, September 7, 2014
Mayowa Alli continued to see sub minutes as Vendsyssel maintained their first-place dominance while Sebastien Ibeagha and Babajide Ogunbiyi squared off in a dramatic draw.
Vejle BK 0 - 2 Vendsyssel FF
Mayowa Alli saw the field for a fourth straight league game, helping Vendsyssel FF hold down the fort in their shut-out road win over Vejle on Thursday evening.
Vendsyssel came into Thursday's match on the heels of their first league loss of the season one week prior, and were looking for a quick turnaround to regain the entirely unexpected momentum they had been riding since the opening weekend.
Despite early chances on both sides of the field in the first quarter-hour, the remainder of the first half devolved into a mess of uncreative, sloppy play which sent the game into the half scoreless.
While the first minutes after the break indicated that more could be expected for the second half, the visitors finally broke through in the 54th minute when Ken Fagerberg found an opening in the Vejle defense and set his strike partner Rune Frantsen up for a blast from outside the area for the 1-0 lead.
The goal energized the hosts who looked up for the task of equalizing, however they were punished 12 minutes later. A corner by Buster Munk was poorly handled by Vejle keeper Morten Haastrup Jensen, and Jens-Kristian Sørensen pounced on the opportunity to bring his team's lead to 2-0.
Vejle did put on some pressure as the clock wound down, but the Vendsyssel back line, fortified by the addition of Alli for midfielder Thomas Hansen in the final 10 minutes, held strong to take the win.
The victory puts Vendsyssel back on track in their surprising start to the season. They remain alone atop the First Division standings with 16 points, and will have a chance to truly prove their credentials when they host AGF Aarhus on Thursday evening.
Viborg FF 2 - 2 FC Fredericia
Babajide Ogunbiyi and Sebastien Ibeagha both started in their respective teams' central defense on Sunday afternoon, as a Viborg goal in injury time helped them to rescue a draw against visiting Fredericia.
Viborg was debuting their newest addition the team, Ivorian striker Serges Deble, and the 24 year-old former youth international showed his worth by singlehandedly earning his team their share of the points.
As has been the case since linking up with Fredericia on loan, Ibeagha started the game in the team's central defense, and was joined on the field by Viborg central defender Babajide Ogunbiyi, who was making his second consecutive start after missing the early part of the season while recovering from knee surgery.
Viborg struck quickly, taking the lead after 14 minutes when Jeppe Grønning fired in a cross which Deble headed in for the 1-0 lead.
Viborg pushed for more following the opener, but it was Fredericia who managed to strike eight minutes before the break, with Anders Hostrup putting the final touch on a fine build-up with a simple tap-in for 1-1.
The visitors then build more momentum going into the break, taking advantage of chaos in the Viborg box following a free kick, which allowed Lasse Kronborg to put his team ahead with a shot to the corner in the 44th minute.
Viborg were determined to avoid what would be a deflating loss, and pushed heavily in the 45 minutes after the intermission, albeit with no reward.
Their efforts were finally rewarded three minutes into second half injury time, as Deble intercepted a pass deep in Fredericia territory, and looked every bit the expert technician in beating keeper Jakob Køhler for the last-second equalizer.
The draw sees Viborg lose some ground in the standings on first-place Vendsyssel. They are now three points back of the division leaders, although have a good chance to make up ground when they visit struggling AB Copenhagen on Friday.
The result leaves Ibeagha and Fredericia in the middle of the standings with some breathing room above the relegation places. They return to action on Sunday when they host Køge.