MEGHAN BRENNAN - Sunday, May 9, 2010
Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek got back on the winning track with a win over Brann while it was heartbreak again for Start's American duo of Hunter Freeman and Clay Goodson who fell to league leaders Tromso.
Stabaek 2 - 1 Brann
Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek snapped their four match winless streak with a home away from home victory over Brann on Sunday.
Diskerud lined up again as a central midfielder for Swedish coach Jan Jonsson and went the distance in the victory.
Stabaek was forced to play Sunday's match on the home turf of fellow Oslo club Valerenga due to the exceedingly popular Eurovision contest.
Any thoughts that their temporary surroundings would plague Diskerud and company quickly dissipated in the 14th minute when Espen Hoff opened the scoring.
Veigar Pall Gunnarsson tried funneling a ball into Johan Andersson which was broken up by the Brann defense but fell right to Hoff who ripped a shot from outside the area that curled just inside the right post.
Diskerud should have doubled the margin four minutes later and had the Brann goalkeeper all alone but shot right into the netminder's chest.
The visitors from Bergen would answer Hoff's strike in the 30th minute when Diego Gustavino hooked up Petter Vaagan Moen to equalize.
Gustavino fed Moen with a ball from the right side and Moen had all day to tee up a shot which he fired to the left of the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
Stabaek would tally the game winner just seconds before the halftime break when Hoff swung in a perfect cross to the far post which Bjarni Ólafur Eiríksson headed in while sandwiched between two Brann defenders.
The hosts came out for the second half looking for a third goal and were led by some stellar play from Diskerud who nearly found Hoff in the 66th minute to extend the lead to two.
One minute later, the dual citizen was spearheading an attack this time for Jørgen Skjelvik who would be rebuffed by the Brann defense.
The back and forth affair would eventually end with no goals scored in the second half but certainly with its share of offensive opportunities.
The win lifts Stabaek to 11th in the Eliteserien standings as they next divert their attention to the Norwegian Cup by traveling to lower division Holand on Thursday.
Tromsø 1 - 0 Start
Hunter Freeman and Clarence Goodson's defensive efforts proved to be effective for Start until the final minutes of play in the loss to league leaders Tromsø at Alfheim Stadion.
Freeman and Goodson were reunited on the back line of Start's defense Sunday after Goodson sat out the 2-3 loss to Lillestrom lastThursday with an injury.
The two were able to hold off a Tromsø attack, whom stormed the net during the first half, until the final minutes over extra time.
Per Mathias Høgmo's offense created several scoring chances and controlled the tempo of the entire first half.
One such opportunity was created in the 33rd minute when an unmarked Serigne Kara ripped a shot from 25 yards out that bounced off the right post and out of bounds.
Kara's missed goal was one of several in the first half full of constant offensive pressure by Tromsø.
The second half, however, came in direct contrast to the first with little action by either team's attack.
Nearing the end of regulation, it looked like a goalless draw would be the fate of the game. That was until Hans Age Ynedstad sealed the victory for Tromsø in extra time.
Center back Jesper Mathisen headed a routine ball out of the 18 and, unfortunately, to the feet of Mathisen who was perched 20 yards out.
One timing the bouncing ball, Mathisen drove a hard low ball into the bottom right corner of the net and past Start goalkeeper Kenneith Høie who was barely able to react.
The last minute goal secured a seventh win of the season for the home squad and second victory in a row.
It also meant the third loss since May 3rd for Knut Torum's squad, whom began the 2010 season with a jolt of adrenaline.
Start next begin their 2010 Norwegian Cup campaign with a visit to lower division Jerv on Thursday.
Steve Clark is in the final stages of recovery from a quad injury and watched on as Honefoss shutout Sandefjord at home. fellow American Kenenth Di Vita Jensen did not see action for the hosts.
Tyrel Lacey continues to recover from a knee injury and did not take part in Lyn's 4-1 shellacking at the hands of Lov-Ham.
Colin Burns watched on in agony as the backup goalkeeper as Sarpsborg coughed up a three goal lead in a 4-4 draw with Jay Needham's old club of Alta.
Joseph Bednik sat on the bench as the reserve goalkeeper in Sogndal's 1-1 draw with Connor Tobin's former team Nybergsund.