DAVID SMITH - Monday, October 4, 2010
Babajide Ogunbiyi and Viborg finally showed signs of life in the First Division with a win at Hobro while Michael Parkhurst showed his versatility for Nordsjaelland in their draw with Esbjerg.
Esbjerg fB 1 - 1 FC Nordsjaelland
Michael Parkhurst shifted over to right back for Nordsjaelland on Sunday in his last appearance before heading off on international duties, helping the team rally from a goal down to earn a draw at Esbjerg.
The game was a tale of two halves, as the first saw both teams pushing towards their opponent's goal while the second lacked any real excitement or style.
Esbjerg jumped ahead after 34 minutes when a Mikkel Vendelbo header got the best of Nordsjaelland keeper Jesper Hansen, however matters quickly turned sour for the hosts as the Wild Tigers took control of play for the remainder of the half.
Their attacking flair paid off eight minutes later, with Søren Christensen freeing Tobias Mikkelsen on goal to rush past Esbjerg keeper Lars Winde and poke the ball into the net for the equalizer.
The lone bright spot of a dour second half was the return of Nordsjaelland central defender Andreas Bjelland to the field after a lengthy injury absence, with a 90th-minute red card to Esbjerg's Jesper Lange for kicking out at Nicolai Stockholm coming too late to make any real difference in the game.
The point bumps Nordsjaelland up to sixth in the standings with 14 points. They will have the chance to jump into the top four in two weeks when they host fifth-place Brøndby.
Naestved BK 0 - 0 AGF Aarhus
Benny Feilhaber and Aarhus were unable to get their attack going on Saturday during their visit to Naestved, settling for a goalless draw to have their lead in the division cut to three points.
Knowing they were in for a fight if they hoped to avoid being yet another victim of Aarhus' tear through the division, Naestved played a tight defensive game, allowing their visitors the majority of possession while focusing their energy in defending their goal.
An ill-advised attempt by keeper Frederik Vang to dribble the ball out of trouble nearly allowed Martin Jørgensen to pick his pocket and have a free run at goal after 22 minutes, but the Aarhus midfielder missed his chance for an easy score.
Feilhaber nearly netted an unlikely winner with 13 minutes left when his corner flew past all players in the box and bounced off the far post, however luck was not on his side as he missed by inches.
Aarhus still remain in first place with the point, however see their lead atop the league cut to three points. Their next league game against Fyn has been postponed until October 20 due to a number of players absent for international duty, giving them a two-week break until they host Hjørring.
Hobro IK 0 - 2 Viborg FF
Babajide Ogunbiyi played the full 90 minutes in central defense for Viborg on Saturday, helping them to an impressive defensive performance as they shut out Hobro on the road to finally end their winless streak.
While their season was barely one-quarter finished, a surprisingly slow start by the Greens had seen them drop into the relegation zone and desperately needing to find a way to take all three points on Sunday's trip to Hjørring.
Viborg opened the scoring in almost somewhat typical, but welcome fashion on the half-hour mark, as Christian Stisen took advantage of confusion by the home team following a corner to strike his team into the lead.
Hjørring were clearly second best for most of the afternoon and effectively lost their chance to gain anything from the contest when Kian Christensen was sent off for his second yellow in the 54th minute.
With regulation ticking down and the game in little doubt, Marc Dal Hende added a second and final goal for the visitors in the 87th minute, heading in a corner for the final 2-0 score.
The win moves Viborg up to 14th place, giving them the chance to fully escape the relegation zone on Sunday when they host Brønshoj.
Chris Rolfe and Marcus Tracy are both injured, missed last-place Aalborg's 2-1 loss at home on Monday against Odense.