DAVID SMITH - Sunday, April 24, 2011
Chris Rolfe netted his first goal of the season for Aalborg in a draw with FC Nordsjaelland while Clarence Goodson and Brøndby came up big in their huge road win over Randers.
FC Nordsjaelland 3 - 3 Aalborg BK
AaB battled back from deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 for a well-earned point on the road against FC Nordsjælland as they battle to avoid relegation.
Nordsjaelland defender Michael Parkhurst is still recovering from a leg injury and did not participate in the proceedings.
Chris Rolfe, who came in as a substitute for Anders Due in the 60th minute, didn't wait very long to help his team draw even at 2-2 when he went on a brilliant solo run and drilled a long range shot past Nordsjælland 'keeper Jesper Hansen in the 66th minute.
Nordsjælland had built a 2-0 lead off goals by Matti Nielsen and Christian Gytkjær. Although the first half was a mostly dull affair, in the 32nd minute Nielsen knocked in a rebound for the first goal of the match after a header by Tobias Mikkelsen was knocked down by AaB 'keeper Karim Zaza.
Just 45 seconds into the second half, Gytkjær made it 2-0 after taking a pass from Nielsen and beating Zaza for the goal.
Down 2-0, AaB sent everyone forward and Morten Rasmussen sparked his team to life in the 62nd minute, snaking through the Nordsjælland defense and slipping a rebound past Hansen after he had stopped a shot by Rodrigues Kayke.
However, 10 minutes after Rolfe equalized things, Nordsjælland took the lead once more Nielsen's second goal after sloppy defending by AaB gave him the space he needed to blast a shot past Zaza from the edge of the penalty area.
Nevertheless, AaB was able to salvage the draw in the 82nd minute when Rasmussen beat Hansen with some nifty footwork on a counterattack.
Michael Parkhurst did not feature for Nordsjælland.
Next up, AaB comes home to face FC Midtjylland on Saturday.
Randers FC 0 - 4 Brøndby IF
Clarance Goodson played the full game in Brøndby's central defense, guiding the team to yet another shut-out win, this time at the expense of a poor Randers team on Monday.
Both teams kept it tight and scoreless for the first half until Brøndby opened the floodgates out of the break.
Jan Frederiksen aimed a free kick into the Randers box which the group of defenders had trouble clearing, with Mathias Gehrt the first to the ball to smack it past keeper David Ousted for 1-0.
They needed nearly 30 minutes to increase their lead, but quickly put the game out of reach with a trio of scores over an 11-minute span of time late in the game.
First, Daniel Wass freed Nicolaj Agger on goal with a pass over the heads of the back line, and Agger beat Ousted to give his team a 2-0 lead in the 76th minute.
Agger then added a second to his tally three minutes later with a feisty individual effort after stealing a poor pass from the Randers backfield and beating Ousted for 3-0.
They completed the route with three minutes left on the clock, with Michael Krohn-Dehli showing his creativity to beat Ingolstadt with a weaving run and low shot into the net.
With second-place Odense and fourth-place Midtjylland also both winning on Monday, Brøndby is in for a tough fight for Denmark's final Champions League spot. They will next host AC Horsens on Sunday.
Viborg FF - Naestved BK
Babajide Ogunbiyi and Viborg were unable to hold onto a two-goal lead over visiting Naestved on Monday, giving up a pair of late scores to settle for a draw.
The towering American central defender also picked up a yellow card in the 37th minute.
Viborg were first to strike just moments before the break when a long free kick from Jeff Mensah found its way to the head of Razak Pimpong for a towering header to give the Greens the lead.
The hosts continued their dominance in the early parts of the second half, this time with Dennis Høegh dribbling around pair a past of over-matched defenders to put himself in a prime position for a shot which left the Naestved keeper no chance.
With the win look to be set, Viborg took their foot off the gas and were made to pay in the last minutes.
With four minutes left on the clock, a long free kick by Naestved brought the ball into the danger area, with Emmanuel Ake finally poking it over the line.
The collapse was completed four minutes into added time, as a long-range effort from Kristian Bo Andersen was just over Kristian Kirk's reach, and flew into the netting for the last-second equalizer.
Viborg are back in the relegation zone with the result, still just one point behind a pack of four other teams. They will look for a minor upset on Saturday when they visit HB Køge.