DAVID SMITH - Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Benny Feilhaber helped Aarhus continue their tear through the Danish First Division, setting up the team's winning goal in their come from behind win over Kolding.
After their 7-1 thrashing of Hvidovre during the weekend for their fourth straight win in the division, Aarhus was beginning to take the air of an unstoppable juggernaut clearly a class above the rest of the teams in the division.
While Wednesday's close affair in Kolding may have given the rest of the league some measure of hope that they can hold their own against the clear favorites, the game showed a more gritty side of Aarhus that has the mettle to grind out the tougher results even when the chips are down.
Having survived last year's relegation battle on the strength of their impressive record at home during the spring, the hosts surprised AGF when they took the lead after ten minutes with Danish youth international Casper Johansen outwitting keeper Steffen Rassmussen in the box to fire his team ahead.
The heavy downpour proved to be a factor throughout the opening half, forcing Aarhus into unusually sloppy play and leaving Kolding with the upper hand for much of first 45 minutes.
Peter Sørensen's squad were able to gain momentum in the final minutes before the half, and kept the upper hand following the break, albeit without any numbers on the scoreboard to show for their efforts.
They came close on numerous occasions as the game carried on, with Dennis Høegh, Davit Devdariani and Kasper Povlsen all having chances to equalize, but were left to sweat their first loss of the season until they finally pulled even in the final quarter-hour.
English left back Adam Eckersley continued to prove his worth as one of the team's most valuable summer additions, crossing the ball across the box to the far post, where Stephan Petersen was connected with a fine header to even the score in the 74th minute.
Even though the hosts showed some fight in the final minutes in their quest for a third straight win, they would come away empty handed after as Feilhaber served up a pinpoint cross to Sanel Kapidzic with five minutes left, which the Bosnian forward headed over the line to send the 600 traveling fans into a fit of jubilation.
Aarhus now hold a commanding four-point lead in first place over Vejle after just six games played, holding the distinction of leading the league both in goals scored and in fewest allowed.
They will hit the road for a second straight game on Sunday when they face seventh-place Hobro in league action, then return home three days later to take on Skive in the third round of the Danish Cup.