DAVID SMITH - Monday, November 21, 2011
Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjaelland continued their strong run with a victory over SønderjyskE while Clarence Goodson netted Brøndby's opening goal as they surged past league leaders Copenhagen.
Brøndby IF 2 - 1 FC Copenhagen
Clarence Goodson scored his first goal of the season on Sunday to help Brøndby push past Superligaen leaders FC Copenhagen.
While Brøndby entered the game needing a result to avoid slipping closer to the drop zone, a win seemed like a tall order against the team which was predictably running full-steam towards yet another league championship.
The visitors were forced to shuffle their lineup almost immediately when Swedish defender Peter Larsson was forced out of the game in the 12th minute with a large gash in his leg, and the effect was almost immediate as Brøndby jumped to the lead six minutes later.
Jan Frederiksen teed up a long free kick from the right flank towards the far side of the six-yard box, and Goodson rose above several defenders to head it into goal past the helpless Johan Wiland.
Copenhagen earned an equalizer four minutes before the half thanks in part to the individual tenacity of Cristian Bolaños, whose initial shot and scrappy follow-up were blocked by Michael Tørnes, however the second save left the ball at Dame N'Doye's feet for a powerful 18-yard blast for 1-1.
Brøndby held the reigning champions at bay throughout the second half, and sensing the chance for a victory, new head coach Aurelijus Skarbalius brought in promising youngster Dario Dumic, which proved to be a good choice.
Seconds after entering the game, the Bosnian-born defender slipped a fine through-ball to spring Thomas Rasmussen into the box, where he evaded a pair of defenders and placed a low shot just inside the lower left corner for the 81st-minute winner.
The result leaves Brøndby in tenth place, although they now have a more comfortable five-point cushion above the drop zone. They will next host AC Horsens on Monday, November 28.
FC Nordsjaelland 2 - 0 SønderjyskE
Michael Parkhurst played the full 90 minutes at right back for Nordsjaelland, setting up the team's second goal in their shut-out win over SønderjyskE.
Conor O'Brien was in uniform for the visitors, however was not called into action.
The Wild Tigers were confident on continuing their steam-roll through the league, and were well on their way when Mikkel Beckmann scored the first of his two goals in the 26th minute.
A SønderjyskE foul on Søren Christensen just outside the area set up a dangerously-placed free kick for the hosts, and Beckmann curled it just inside the left post to give his team the lead.
They kept a tight defense to prevent any rally from their visitors, then wrapped up the win in the 69th minute, with Parkhurst lifting in a cross from the right side to the center of the area, which Beckmann put away a stylish volley for 2-0.
The win gives Nordsjaelland a five-point advantage in second place over both Midtjylland and Aalborg, and more surprisingly leaves them with only a four-point deficit behind first-place Copenhagen. They will hope their momentum will carry through the week, as they will visit Copenhagen on Wednesday in the quarterfinal of the Danish Cup.
SønderjyskE remain ninth with the loss, and will visit minnows Naesby in Cup action on Wednesday afternoon.
Lyngby BK 2 - 2 HB Køge
Brad Rusin and Køge put on one of their better performances of the season, but were forced to settle for a point on the road thanks to a late goal by their hosts Lyngby BK.
While Køge defended well and limited their hosts' scoring chances throughout most of the first half, they were careless to allow Emil Larsen too much space to slip through and beat keeper Morten H. Jensen with a well-placed shot just inside the upper corner in the 42nd minute.
They regrouped during the halftime break, and equalized in the 57th minute when Simon Christoffersen headed in a fine cross from Bo Storm, then grabbed the advantage ten minutes later as Storm curled a perfectly-hit free kick over the wall and into goal for the 2-1 advantage.
With the clock winding down and the visitors confident of picking up only their second win of the season, they had their hearts broken with eight minutes on the clock. Larsen again was the catalyst for Lyngby, working hard to beat a pair of defenders before firing home a short shot to the near post to earn his team their share of the points.
Køge remain in last place, now with an 11-point gap to safety. They are back in action relatively quickly, as they will visit First Division team Vejle BK Kolding in their Danish Cup quarterfinal on Thursday.
FC Midtjylland 1 - 3 Aalborg BK
Chris Rolfe was on the field for 85 minutes on Sunday, helping Aalborg surge to an impressive win over Midtjylland to move into third place.
The early action happened in rapid succession, with Aalborg first jumping into the lead just past the half-hour mark after Thomas Augustinussen connected on a diagonal ball into the box from Anders Due, and Midtjylland pulling even two minutes later when Danny Olsen was sprung free into the area for a low shot past keeper Nicolai Larsen.
The even result held up until the final 20 minutes when Nicklas Helenius connected in midair with a short pass into the area from Due to give Aalborg the win.
They proceeded to add an insurance goal in the fourth minute of added time when the Midtjylland defense lost their bearing in the thickening fog, and allowed Jeepe Curth to streak unimpeded into the area for an emphatic shot to bring the final score to 3-1.
The victory lifts Aalborg into third place, ahead of Midtjylland on goal differential but still trailing second-place Nordsjaelland by five points. They will next take the field on Sunday when they welcome Aarhus.