DAVID SMITH - Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Babajide Ogunbiyi and Viborg assured their First Division survival with a win at Hvidovre while Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjaelland had the chance to frustrate Midtjylland one last time in a scoreless deadlock.
SønderjyskE 0 - 2 Brøndby IF
Clarence Goodson had a perfect warm-up for Gold Cup play in his final game of the season for Brøndby, putting in another solid performance in central defense to lead them to a 2-0 shut-out win over SønderjyskE.
The hosts worked valiantly to keep themselves on even terms with a far better Brøndby team, but shot themselves in the foot by gifting their visitors the opening goal in the 31st minute.
Brøndby central midfielder Mike Jensen wormed his way into the right side of the six-yard box and aimed a short pass towards Mathias Gehrt who was waiting dead center, however SønderjyskE defender Anders Østli got his foot on it first, accidentally deflecting it into his own goal to give his team the early disadvantage.
The visitors added a second score to tie up the game in the 57th minute, with Michael Krohn-Dehli receiving a pass from the right in-stride, and putting the ball past SønderjyskE keeper Mathan Coe to seal the three points.
Brøndby finish the season in third place, two points ahead of Midtjylland. This means they will enter Europa League qualifying in the third round to be held in late-July, after their domestic season has already gotten underway.
FC Nordsjaelland 0 - 0 FC Midtjylland
Michael Parkhurst put in a solid shift in Nordsjaelland's central midfield on Sunday, helping the team prevent Midtjylland from exacting any measure of revenge as the teams battled to a scoreless draw.
The teams had played exactly one week before, albeit with the stakes much higher, with the Wild Tigers having come away as 3-2 winners in the Danish Cup final on a last-minute goal by Rawez Lawan.
While Midtjylland were obviously coming into the game hoping to exact some level of retribution, such an enthralling goal-fest was not in the cards for the crowd of close to 5000.
Parkhurst lined up in Nordsjaelland's central defensive midfield, and made his presence known on several occasions.
After 30 minutes, Parkhurst found Lawan with a long pass forward, and while the Swede rounded the Midtjylland keeper to have a seemingly open shot on goal, he was quickly knocked over by a defending player in what looked to be a clear penalty, however the referee's whistle remained silent.
The second half was a tepid, defense-dominated affair, which saw Nordsjaelland unable to gain any rhythm, but conceding very little on the other side of the ball to their visitors.
The referee's whistle finally blew to give each team one point, a clearly satisfying result for the Wild Tigers.
This means that the season in the upper half of the standings, with their final sixth-place standing their best since four years ago.
Hvidovre IF 2 - 3 Viborg FF
Babajide returned to Viborg's back line and helped them finally hang on for a 3-2 win on the road over Hvidovre, a result which allowed them to remain in the First Division.
The Greens began the game with just one point separating the team from a potential drop to the Danish third tier, and with each of the two teams that could help them go down playing mediocre competition at home, they knew that only three points would assure their position.
Luckily, they were facing the division's last-place team, with Hvidovre having already confirmed their relegation several weeks before.
In a play fitting for a team stuck to the basement floor, Hvidovre handed Viborg the lead on a silver platter when a long pass from Dennis Høegh into the penalty area was handled by a defender, allowing Jesper Kjærulff to sink the 22nd-minute spot kick to put his team ahead.
In a similar manner Viborg returned the favor 16 minutes later, as a free kick from Hvidovre flew into the six-yard box, only for central defender Mikkel Rask to knock it into his own net for 1-1.
The teams stayed on even terms until midway through the second half, when Viborg midfielder Nicolai Melchiorsen took matters into his own hand, firing a long-range shot out of nowhere into Hvidovre's goal for the 2-1 lead.
They then proceeded to add a seeming insurance goal six minutes from full time, as the ball rattled around their hosts' area until finally settling at the feet of Christian Olsen, who put it away for 3-1.
Hvidovre did pull one back in the third minute of injury time with score from Poul Hübertz, however that was the last action of the game as Viborg held on for the pivotal win.
The victory pulls the Greens up to 11th place for their final standing at the end of First Division play, two spots and three spaces clear of the relegation zone.
Euan Holden was not included in the FC Hjørring squad which came out on the wrong end of a goalfest against FC Vestsjaelland, losing by a 5-4 score.
Chris Rolfe was an unused substitute for Aalborg on Sunday, as they lost by a 2-0 score to FC Copenhagen, however had their Superligaen survival nevertheless confirmed in the final seconds of play thanks to Randers failing to hang onto a win against Esbjerg on the opposite side of the country.