DAVID SMITH - Monday, July 25, 2011
Chris Rolfe netted the winner for Aalborg to help them join the heap atop the league while Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjaelland held off Horsens for their first point of the season.
Silkeborg IF 0 - 1 Brøndby IF
Clarence Goodson once again played the full 90 minutes in Brøndby's central defense on Saturday, holding the fort in the back line as they waited until the final seconds to finally net the winner over AC Horsens.
Brøndby were clearly the dominant team on both sides of the half, creating and coming close on numerous occasions while largely stifling Silkeborg's advances goalwards.
Their inability to put the ball on frame when given a golden opportunity saw a frustrating scoreless draw looking more inevitable as the game wore on, however their persistence finally paid off in the dying seconds of the game.
In the fourth minute of added time, Mikkel Thygesen ran onto a ball up the left flank, dribbled to the endline and cut a pass back to the onrushing Jan Kristiansen, who fired from short-range past the helpless keeper to snatch the dramatic last-second winner.
Brøndby are now in a five-way tie atop the Superliga standings with a quartet of other teams all on four points from their first two games. They next visit Austrian team SV Ried in Europa League qualifying on Thursday before hosting AC Horsens on Sunday.
FC Nordsjaelland 1 - 1 AC Horsens
Michael Parkhurst played the full game in Nordsjaelland's defense on Sunday and drew his first yellow card of the season, as they were unable to hang onto an early lead and were forced to settle for a point in their home opener against AC Horsens.
Nordsjaelland's opener came five minutes before the break, as Nicolai Stockholm dropped a perfect pass into Søren Christensen's path as he stormed towards the Horsens goal.
The team veteran beat both defender and keeper to the ball and popped a high shot from the edge of the penalty area which looped over all defenders and into the wide-open net for the lead.
Unfortunately for the home fans, the guests clawed their way back into the game and drew even two minutes past the hour when Anders Nøhr nailed a beauty of a free kick from the left side to just inside the far post.
The Wild Tigers attacked their guests' goal ferociously for the remainder of the game, but a fine display by both the defenders and Horsens keeper to deny the hosts on several occasions sent both teams to their respective locker rooms with one point in the bag.
With their first point of the season in the bag, the Wild Tigers sit in tenth place, one point off the bottom of the standings. They have a tough test in their next outing, paying a visit to local rivals and three-time champions FC Copenhagen.
Aalborg BK 2 - 1 AGF Aarhus
Chris Rolfe netted what turned out to be the winning goal on Sunday, striking from distance as Aalborg held on for the win against visiting Aarhus.
Marcus Tracy is still recovering from long-term knee problems and did not suit up for the hosts.
Aalborg dominated the opening 20 minutes and were unfortunate to no have taken an early lead, with Rolfe and Jeppe Curth combining on several occasions to almost push the hosts ahead, with one Curth shot ricocheting tantalizingly off the right upright.
Aarhus did gain some momentum before it was too late and had some decent chances go wanting before the half, however the hosts were predictably the first to finally strike shortly after the restart.
A 56th minute corner from Anders Due was not fully cleared by the defense, and the ball landed right at the foot of Mathias Wichmann for a 20-yard rocket that had the crowd of more than 9000 on their feet celebrating.
The home audience was given even further reason to cheer five minutes later, when Nicklas Helenius Jensen tapped a short pass to Rolfe at almost exactly the same spot of Wichmann's blast, and the American took one touch to control the ball before looping it inside the upper right corner for a fantastic 2-0.
Aarhus still had some fight left, and were quick to pull one back two minutes later with an eye-popping long-range blast from Søren Berg. They kept the pressure on for the final 25 minutes, but Aalborg held strong, taking the three points in the end.
Aalborg are part of the five-way tie of teams at the head of the standings, and will go for their second straight win on Monday when hosting Midtjylland.
HB Køge 2 - 3 FC Midtjylland
Brad Rusin saw his first bit of Danish action on Monday night, playing the full 90 minutes in central defense for Køge in their 3-2 loss at home to Midtjylland.
After a scoreless first half, both teams exploded for a flurry of goals in the final 45 minutes.
Midtjylland were on the scoreboard first in the 50th minute when a Rilwan Hassan cross from the left fell near to Jude Nworuh for a shot under the opposing keeper's grasp, then were up 2-0 one minute later as Jesper Juelsgård Kristensen found a completely free Sylvester Igboun for a cool finish to give Midtjylland the seemingly insurmountable lead.
Unwilling to simply roll over, Køge pulled to within one goal in the 58th minute almost on the lone will of Nicolaj Madsen, who cut through the middle of the park before finding the target for 2-1.
Despite their better efforts to the contrary, Køge were effectively put away with 21 minutes left in the game as Hassan pounced on a shot which had been parried by the keeper.
Køge did have one last burst to create some excitement in the late-going as a header by Simon Christoffersen brought them back to within a single goal with 15 minutes left, but Midtjylland looked far more likely to increase their own lead from that point onwards, limiting the damage and ultimately securing the victory.
The second straight loss to open the season leaves Køge at the foot of the standings with no points from their first two games. They will desperately need to do better in their next game on Sunday at similarly winless Lyngby BK.
Conor O'Brien is still awaiting his work permit and was unable to suit up for SønderjyskE on Sunday for their 1-0 win over Lyngby BK. O'Brien instead played in a reserve match, starting in their 2-1 win over AC Horsens' second team on Monday.