DAVID SMITH - Monday, September 12, 2011
Jonathan Borrajo and Ham-Kam knocked off Adeccoligaen leaders Sandnes Ulf to move back into the promotion spots while Josh Gatt saw substitute action for Molde as they were held to a draw by Brann.
Stabaek IF 2 - 4 Tromsø IL
Mikkel Diskerud played the full 90 minutes and helped to set up a goal which kept Stabaek in the game on Friday against visiting Tromsø, however a second-half collapse sent them reeling to defeat.
Second-place Tromsø came into the game looking to cut into the eight-point lead of Molde atop the Tippeligaen, and took an important first step one minute before the half-hour. Åge Yndestad sent through into the left side of the area and cut a pass back from near the endline to the edge of the six-yard box, where Magnus Andersen rushed in to slam it into the underside of the top netting for 1-0 to the visitors.
The hosts needed only seven minutes to equalize, as Diskerud held possession of the ball outside the area under pressure just long enough to slip it to Johan Andersson, whose perfectly-placed 22-yard looping shot to the upper right corner put the teams back on even terms.
Stabaek then took the lead three minutes before the halftime break, when Morten M. Skjønsberg ran past the defense on the right flank and picked out Pálmi Rafn Pálmason two yards out with a pinpoint cross for a point-blank shot.
Stabaek were perhaps over-confident of their halftime position, as it all fell apart following the break.
Tromsø pulled even one minute before the hour as Mostafa Abdellaoue rose at the far post to meet a diagonal cross from Remi Johansen, then grabbed the lead three minutes later in spectacular fashion when Johansen fired an unstoppable blast from 30-yards out past the outstretched hands of Stabaek keeper Jon Knudsen.
The visitors then put the final touch on the victory, hitting a fourth on the evening with eight minutes left in regulation on a low drive just inside the left corner by Abdellaoue.
Stabaek fall to sixth with the loss, and will hope to make up some ground on the Europa League qualification spots when they host Odd Grenland on Sunday.
Molde FK 2 - 2 Brann Bergen
Josh Gatt played the final 23 minutes of regulation as a substitute on Sunday for Molde, as they had a win snatched from their grip in the final seconds thanks to a dramatic equalizer by visiting Brann Bergen.
Gatt's U-20 international teammate Sean Cunningham did not suit up for the game.
Molde were quick to jump ahead, finding the net in the ninth minute when a low shot from the edge of the area by Magnus Wolff Eikrem slipped free from the Brann keeper's grip and rolled over the line for an embarrassing 1-0.
They looked well on their way to a straightforward win, doubling the lead in the 37th minute as Jo Inge Berget dropped a short pass to Eikrem at the top left corner of the six-yard box for a shot that flew barely inside the far post.
Brann pulled one back in the 66th minute when Lars Grorud was left too much room just to the left of goal to head in a corner from Diego Guastavino.
Molde looked to have caught a major break in the final minutes of regulation, as Brann's Carl-Erik Torp was shown a yellow for a hard tackle in the 87th minute, then after petulantly throwing the ball to the turn in disagreement, was promptly given his marching orders by the referee.
The effect appeared to play in Brann's favor, however, as they were able to snatch an injury-time equalizer when Lars Grorud somehow found space amidst three Molde defenders to head in a long ball from Rodolph Austin to earn his team one point.
The draw combined with Tromsø's win at Stabaek cuts Molde's lead atop the division to six points with eight games left on the schedule. They will try to regroup on Sunday when facing relegation-threatened Fredrikstad.
Strømmen IF 0 - 0 Hønefoss BK
Steve Clark and Hønefoss put on a fine defensive performance in their trip to Strømmen on Sunday, holding their opponents as they grabbed an important road point.
Hønefoss forward Kenneth Di Vita Jensen was in uniform but sat as an unused substitute.
Both teams had trouble generating any scoring chances, with an overall sloppiness in the attack effect doing much of the work for the defenses.
The best chance in the game came in the 39th minute when Strømmen defender Fredrik Nilsen was played free into the 18-yard box but was wastefully off-target with his resulting shot.
Hønefoss remain third place with the point, three points behind second-place Sandefjord although with one game in hand. They next host league leaders Sandnes Ulf on Sunday.
Bryne FK 0 - 0 Mjøndalen IF
Kyle Helton continued his run in the Mjøndalen starting lineup on Sunday, playing the full 90 minutes on the left side of the midfield as they held on for a scoreless draw at Bryne FK.
The hosts predictably held the upper hand for much of the contest, however a resolute Mjøndalen defense held their ground and prevented any real danger around their goal.
Mjøndalen nearly stole the three points with 13 minutes left when Petar Rnkovic's header bounced off the crossbar, inches away from victory.
Mjøndalen remain ninth place with the draw, holding a five-point edge over the relegation zone. They next host 13th-place Strømmen on Sunday.
Sandnes Ulf 0 - 2 Ham-Kam
Jonathan Borrajo and Ham-Kam took an important step to promotion, picking up all three points on the road on Sunday against Adeccoligaen leaders Sandnes Ulf.
In the midst of a multi-team dogfight to reach the Adeccoligaen's promotion playoff spots over the final few games of the season, Ham-Kam made surprisingly easy work of the league leaders in a show of force to the rest of the league.
They were in the lead after just five minutes when Emil Dahle sent Tore Andreas Gundersen through on goal for an acute-angled shot that flew unimpeded into the target.
The lead was doubled in the 39th minute as Alexander Kirkevold fired a blazing shot that flew just inside the far upper corner for 2-0.
Ham-Kam had a third goal questionably waved off for offside with nine minutes left on the clock, however their lead was already secured, and the final whistle confirmed the victory.
Ham-Kam climb to fifth place with the win, now in line for a place in the promotion playoff with games in hand over the rest of the teams in the league. They next host 11th-place Kongsvinger IL on Sunday.
Joseph Bendik was on Sogndal's bench as backup keeper on Sunday for the team's scoreless draw at home against Aalesunds FK.
Sandefjord backup keeper Colin Burns watched from the bench as his team dismantled their hosts Randaberg in 5-1 victory on Sunday.