DAVID SMITH - Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Josh Gatt had an injury-shortened evening in Molde's scoreless draw against Odd, while Hønefoss forward Kenneth Di Vita Jensen put away a pair of goals to help keep them in the promotion hunt.
Lillestrøm SK 1 - 1 Stabaek IF
Mikkel Diskerud played the full game in Stabaek's midfield on Saturday, as they fought back from an early deficit at Lillestrøm to earn their share of the spoils.
Lillestrøm were first to strike, after a shot by Ohi Omoijuanfo from the right side was blocked by keeper Jan Kjell Larsen in the 26th minute, however it fell directly into the pat of Maathis Bolly for an easy tap-in into the open net.
16 minutes into the second half, Stabaek head coach Jörgen Lennartsson increased his team's attacking firepower by bringing on attackers Gilles Mbang Ondo and Alain Junior Ollé Ollé in a double-substitution, and his gambit paid off barely ten minutes later.
Ollé Ollé made a smart move to lose his marking defender and bring the ball from the left to the edge of the area. He dropped a short pass to Pontus Farnerud who immediately tapped it back, allowing the Cameroonian the space for a tight-angled shot from the left edge of the six-yard box that beat keeper Stefán Magnússon
Stabaek remain in ninth place with the point, and will do their best to hold off Molde's march to the title for one more week when Josh Gatt and his teammates pay a visit on Friday.
Molde FK 0 - 0 Odd Grenland
Josh Gatt earned another start at right back for Molde on Sunday, however was forced out of the game in the 13th minute with a hamstring pull in the team's scoreless draw at home against Odd Grenland.
Molde controlled the match throughout the 90 minutes, however were continually pushed back by the wall-like defense of Odd.
Gatt went down just 13 minutes into the game with an apparent minor hamstring strain, and was pulled as a precautionary measure by Ole Gunnar Solskjær to prevent any further irritation.
The game ended drawn at zero goals apiece, thus extending Molde's unbeaten streak to an impressive seven games.
Molde's lead atop the Tippeligaen standings is now cut to eight points, however with only four games remaining, a win on Friday's trip to Stabaek could be enough to see their first-ever league title confirmed by the end of the weekend.
Mjøndalen IF 4 - 3 Asker
Kyle Helton netted his first goal for Mjøndalen on Sunday, helping them to build an early lead over Asker as they finally held on for victory in a wild contest.
In addition to his goal, Helton also picked up his second yellow card of the game during the second half in a 90-minute shift.
Mjøndalen were first on the board after 15 minutes when a poor clearance fell to Petar Rnkovic inside the area for a quick opening goal, however Asker pulled even six minutes later as Atli Heimisson scored with an impressive volley from the edge of the box.
Helton then netted his first goal for Mjøndalen two minutes past the half-hour, when a header by Stian Ohr was cleared by defender Chris Joyce, but fell into the path of the American to slam it past keeper Fredrik Purser for the lead.
They succeeded in further increasing their advantage five minutes before the half, as Ohr's cross from the right side was headed in by Rnkovic for his second goal of the game.
Rather than back down, Asker came out of the break with fury, and needed just 16 minutes to mount a successful rally.
Heimisson's second goal of the afternoon on a rebound from 11 yards out in the 48th minute pulled the team to within one, then Kristoffer Tollås set up Anders Nedrebø for a blast outside the area that pulled them even at three goals each.
Mjøndalen avoided too much embarrassment, however, as central defender Ulrik Arneberg knocked over Bjarne Ingebretsen in the area on a breakaway, resulting in a red card to the Asker player and a penalty for Mjøndalen.
Rnkovic made no mistake with his spot kick, completing his hat-trick with a shot to the left corner, earning his team the thrilling win.
Mjøndalen remain in tenth place after the win, and face a tough visit to promotion-seeking Hønefoss on Sunday.
Nybergsund 0 - 5 Hønefoss
Kenneth Di Vita Jensen had a career day for Hønefoss on Sunday, netting their first and third goals in a blowout win that kept them in the promotion race.
Steve Clark also played the full game in goal for Hønefoss, putting in a strong performance to rack up yet another shut-out.
Jensen struck his team into the lead with just nine minutes gone by, quickly pouncing on the ball after Nybergsund defender Eggen Persgård lost control of it at the edge of his own penalty area, and striking it inside the right corner.
The lead was extended two goals in the 20th minute, when Kevin Larsen lined up to take a corner from the right side, and hit his looping inswinger off the far post and over the line for the surprise score.
Seven minutes later, Jensen netted his second of the afternoon. Remond Mendy did fine work to dribble through several defenders and dropped a short pass off to Lennart Steffensen on the left side, who immediately crossed to Jensen to tap in to an open net.
With the game essentially won for Hønefoss, the scoreline stayed at 3-0 until the visitors added a pair more late in the game to turn it into a blowout.
In the 73rd minute, Steffensen's corner was headed in by Kristjan Örn Sigurdsson for a fourth goal, then four minutes later, Steffensen finally added a goal to his two assists, receiving the ball on the left side of the area and coolly slotting to the far post for 5-0.
The win leaves Hønefoss in fourth place on 48 points, however as they hold a game in hand over all of the teams above them in the standings, they could move into one of the league's two promotion spots on Wednesday when they visit Asker.
Joseph Bendik watched from the bench as Sogndal's backup keeper on Sunday in their 1-1 draw at home against Strømsgodset IF.
Jonathan Borrajo is out for the time being with an ankle injury, and did not take the field for Ham-Kam on Sunday as they moved closer to promotion to the Tippeligaen with a 3-1 win on the road over Randaberg IL.
Colin Burns was an unused substitute for Sandefjord on Sunday in their 1-1 draw at home against league leaders Sandnes Ulf.