DAVID SMITH - Tuesday, May 17, 2011
The weekend's action saw three American center backs in their teams' starting lineups, with Michael Parkhurst the only one to come away victorious in Nordsjaelland's win over Silkeborg.
FC Nordsjaelland 3 - 2 Silkeborg IF
Michael Parkhurst finally made his return to Nordsjaelland's starting lineup, playing the full 90 minutes as the team notched up a strong 3-2 win at home over Silkeborg.
The Wild Tigers would go into the halftime break facing a one-goal deficit, as Silkeborg took the lead in the 41st minute after Martin Örnskov Nielsen blasted a low shot from just outside penalty area which took the defense by surprise was out of the reach of Nordsjaelland keeper Jesper Hansen.
They pulled even two minutes past the hour mark after Rawez Lawan was played free by substitute Morten Nordstrand and beat Silkeborg keeper Lasse Heinze with a an acute-angled shot from the left which flew into the inside netting at the far post.
Nordsjalelland were gifted the lead three minutes later, after Nordstrand was taken down in the area, allowing team captain Nicolai Stockholm to put the team ahead from the spot.
Lawan then made it 3-1 in the 70th minute after he received the ball in the middle of the penalty area and beat Silkeborg Heinze in the one-on-one, sliding his low shot into the net.
Silkeborg did get a consolation goal in the 88th minute to cut the lead to one, with Jeppe Illum taking advantage of lax defending bring the score to 3-2, but there was no final heroics to come from the hosts, with the referee's whistle confirming the Nordsjaelland win moments later.
The win gives the Wild Tigers a two-point gap above the drop zone with three games left on the schedule, beginning with Thursday's home game against fellow relegation strugglers Randers.
FC Midtjylland 1 - 0 Brøndby IF
Clarence Goodson was in Brøndby's defense for the duration on Sunday, however they were unable to come back from a first-half score by Midtjylland as they lost pace in their race for the Champions League.
The game saw both teams going head to head just below the top two teams in the league, each having 44 points and almost guaranteed of Europa League qualification, but still hoping to make up some of the four-point gap to second-place Odense.
Midtjylland netted the one and only goal of the game in the 25th minute, as Nigerian youngster Izunna Uzochukwu sent his countryman Sylvester Igboun through on goal with a well-place pass from the left side, with Igboun placing his shot directly between the legs of Brøndby keeper Stephan Anderson for 1-0.
The second half saw sloppy all-around play from both teams, with both having their chances but being entirely unable to finish them, and the final score favoring the hosts.
Brøndby are practically out of the race to reach the Champions League, as they now have a seven-point gap behind second-place Odense with just three games left. They next travel to Lyngby on Friday afternoon.
Brønshøj BK 1 - 0 Viborg FF
Babajide Ogunbiyi and Viborg kept themselves in the First Division danger zone, dropping a close 1-0 decision on Saturday in Brønshøj.
Viborg starting striker Dennis Høegh was a late scratch from the lineup after a slight injury during the warmups forced him to watch from the stands, and the Greens' attack visibly suffered as a result.
Brønshøj netted the lone goal of the game in the 69th minute, as Phillip Manneh Andersen managed to find himself headed free towards goal, with only Viborg keeper Robert Veselovsky to beat, and he made no mistake to strike what would be the winning goal for the hosts.
The Greens are still momentarily clear of the relegation zone, although just barely with one point to spare. They have a short break until their next contest when they host Hobro IK on Thursday.
They will hope to improve their situation on Thursday evening when they host tenth-place Hobro IK.
Chris Rolfe did not take the field for Aalborg on Sunday as the team battled to a scoreless draw on their trip to relegation bound Esbjerg fB. With three games left, the team is three points clear of the relgation zone, with a Friday-afternoon contest at Silkeborg awaiting.
Euan Holden did not take the field for Hjørring on Sunday afternoon as the team pounded Kolding FC by a 5-0 score in their crucial relegation six-pointer.