DAVID SMITH - Monday, September 26, 2011
Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek were unable to get the engines running in their loss at Strømsgodset while Jonathan Borrajo and Ham-Kam continued their final push towards promotion.
Molde FK 0 - 0 Viking Stavanger
Josh Gatt played the full 90 minutes in the Molde defense on Friday, as they were held to a scoreless draw at home against Viking Stavanger.
Sean Cunningham was not included on Molde's bench and is still awaiting the opportunity for his first league appearance with the team.
Molde applied early pressure with Gatt in the thick of things, setting up Magnus Wolff Eikrem for a near miss from outside the area in the 12th minute then having a shot following a corner blocked moments afterwards during a flurry of shots that by all means should have resulted in the lead for the hosts.
Davy Claude Angan was inches from giving Molde the win midway through the second half as his shot from the edge of the box bounced off the right post and was cleared before any nearby attackers could put the ball away.
Viking were up in arms with 12 minutes left in regulation when a seemingly clear foul by Molde defender Vegard Forren on Viking substitute Christian Landu Landu in the penalty area was ignored by the referee, however could consider themselves lucky that they didn't leave the game completely empty-handed when keeper Rune Jarstein made a clutch save to deny Angan from close range after the Ivorian striker had been set up by Gatt.
The final whistle blew, eventually awarding a well-deserved point to each team.
With Tromsø's loss on Sunday, Molde now hold a seven-point advantage atop the Tippeligaen with six games left to play. The two teams will square off on Sunday in a game which could all but wrap up the title race or throw it into complete uncertainty.
Strømsgodset IF 1 - 0 Stabaek IF
Mikkel Diskerud went the distance for Stabaek on Saturday afternoon, as a tepid performance by the team doomed them to a loss on the road to Strømsgodset.
The hosts were nearly in front after four minutes, when Alfred Sankoh's blast from 23 yards ricocheted off the crossbar.
Seven minutes later, Diskerud sprung Vegar Hedenstad on the right side, and the defender hit a low cross to the center of the six-yard box which Johan Andersson hit too close to the keeper, who blocked it with his left foot.
Strømsgodset had the bulk of chances through the first half and did manage to take the lead five minutes into the second half, as a nice possession sequence ended with Oyvind Storflor hitting a cross from the right flank which Ola Kamara lunged in to head powerfully over the line for 1-0.
The hosts looked the likely to strike again on several occasions, and Stabaek were perhaps lucky that their deficit stayed at a single goal, however they were nevertheless forced to return home without any points.
The result drops Stabaek back down into the lower half of the standings, where they currently sit in ninth place, well off the pace for a European spot. They next face off against visiting last-place team Sarpsborg 08 FF on Sunday afternoon.
Sandnes Ulf 4 - 1 Mjøndalen IF
Kyle Helton was once again in the Mjøndalen starting lineup on Saturday, playing the first 80 minutes and drawing a late yellow card as the team was handily beaten by their hosts Sandnes Ulf.
Ulf were quick to take the lead, with Morten Eriksen pouncing on a terrible defensive mistake by Morten Sundli to recover the ball, before sliding it over to Kamal Saaliti for a free 1-0.
The score held through the remainder of the half, until the hosts doubled the lead in the 51st minute, with Saaliti netting his second of the afternoon off of a corner by Edier Frejd.
They needed just two minutes to add a third, with Eriksen pulling down a long ball from teammate Bo Andersen and placing it between the legs of Mjøndalen keeper Anders Rotevatn.
Petar Rnkovic pulled one back for the visitors just after the hour mark when he connected with a cross from the right flank by Martin Rønning Ovenstad, but a fourth and final goal by the hosts four minutes later from the foot of Eriksen completed the dismal afternoon for Mjøndalen.
The loss sees Mjøndalen drop to tenth place, still seven points clear of the drop zone. They will return home to host Kongsvinger IL on Sunday.
Ham-Kam 2 - 1 Asker
Jonathan Borrajo once again played the full 90 minutes in defense for Ham-Kam, as a nervous win over Asker move them furtehr towards the top of the standings.
After an opening hour that saw neither team able to capitalize on its respective chances, Ham-Kam built a safe lead in the space of ten minutes.
Thomas Lehne Olsen entered the field in the 58th minute and nearly immediately stepped up to take a free kick from 20 yards out, which he put to the left of Asker keeper Fredrik Purser for the lead.
Ten minutes later, John Anders Rise hit Tore Andreas Gundersen with a precise through ball into the clear, which the towering striker had no problems to put away in the lower corner for 2-0.
Despite the quick disadvantage, Asker made a game of it, pulling one back in the 72nd minute when Balal Arezou fired a cross which Atli Heimisson was in perfect position to head past the home keeper, however Ham-Kam held the line, earning an important three points in the end.
The victory - Ham-Kam's fifth in the last six - brings them to fourth place with a game in hand over the three teams above them and the directly three below chasing one of the playoff promotion spots.
They will play that extra game against visiting relegation strugglers Alta IF on Wednesday evening, and would move into one of the top two automatic promotion spots with a win.
Kongsvinger IL 2 - 2 Hønefoss BK
Kenneth Di Vita Jensen was back in the Hønefoss starting lineup, rewarding his coach by serving up the assist on the tying goal as the team fought back to split the points with Kongsvinger IL.
American keeper Steve Clark was in his usual spot, manning the nets for Hønefoss for the duration of the game.
Hønefoss were quickly up and running in a fairly open affair from both teams, needing just 17 minutes to take the lead when a long cross by Arnor Sveinn Adalsteinsson found Stian Sortevik at the far post for low header that left the Kongsvinger keeper no chance.
Two minutes later the hosts pulled even on a well-hit set piece by Samir Fazlagic which Morten Hæstad headed in free from the edge of the six-yard box.
Kongsvinger then took the lead six minutes into the second half after Clark initially blocked a blazing long-range shot, only to see Kim Holmen run onto the ball and connect on an improbable shot from a tight angle for 2-1.
Both teams had multiple chances throughout the second half, but Hønefoss eventually earned a hard-fought point 11 minutes from full time, as Jensen lofted in a floating cross from the right side which Kevin Larsen headed down just inside the far post.
While the win does drop Hønefoss out of the Adeccoligaen's first-place spot, they still occupy one of the division's two automatic promotion places. Their next outing sees them involved in one of the major deciders of the final push, as they will host Jonathan Borrajo and third-place Ham-Kam on Sunday afternoon.
Sogndal backup keeper Joseph Bendik did not appear on Sunday for the team's 1-0 home win over Brann.
Colin Burns sat on the Sandefjord bench as backup keeper during the team's 2-1 road loss to Bryne on Sunday.