DAVID SMITH - Saturday, November 26, 2011
Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjaelland saw their hopes for a third straight Danish Cup title dashed in Copenhagen while both Conor O'Brien and Brad Rusin saw their respective teams reach the semifinal.
Næsby BK 5 - 1 SønderjyskE
Conor O'Brien played the full 90 minutes on the right side of SønderjyskE's midfield on Wednesday as an unsurprisingly lopsided victory at minnows Næsby put them through to the final four of the Danish Cup.
SønderjyskE needed until the half-hour mark to finally get their footing and take the lead, however from that point on there was no doubt as to who would come away as victors.
Tommy Bechmann opened the scoring in the 30th minute when he barely beat the offside trap to receive a pass from Daniel Christensen, and sent his tight angled shot just inside the near post for 1-0.
13 minutes later he added a second, with Mads Jessen picking him out with a long ball which pulled down, controlled and put past the keeper to double the lead.
Eight minutes after the halftime break Bechmann completed his hat-trick when he headed in a cross from Christensen, then Jessen added a fourth score for the team two minutes afterwards.
Midway through the half, Bjørn Paulsen brought the score to 5-0 when he chested down a long ball and struck it with the first touch into the net.
Næsby grabbed a consolation goal for the home fans with 11 minutes remaining in the contest as Patrick Naundrup headed in a corner, but it did little to dampen SønderjyskE's mood as the final whistle confirmed their spot in the final four of the competition.
The team has a five-month break until they take on FC Copenhagen in the two-legged semifinal. In the meantime they return focus to league play, where they will host Lyngby on Sunday.
FC Copenhagen 2 - 0 FC Nordsjælland
Michael Parkhurst played the full 90 minutes for Nordsjaelland, as a pair of late goals by Copenhagen ended their three-year undefeated streak in the Danish Cup.
Nordsjaelland came into the game having not lost in the competition since November 2008 while claiming the last two titles for their own.
It was perhaps a stroke of irony which saw their run finally come to an end on the very field where they had claimed victories in the previous two finals, and in nearly the same heartbreaking fashion by which they defeated FC Midtjylland on those two occasions.
Parkhurst returned to the center of the Wild Tigers' defense in place of injured Andreas Bjelland, and the back line did well to hold their hosts off the scoreboard for nearly the full 90 minutes.
Copenhagen clearly held the upper hand from the opening whistle, with Nordsjaelland having only one close chance at goal in the 18th minute when Søren Christensen hit a cross into the area which Mikkel Beckmann put on frame with a skillful volley, but was blocked off the line by a Copenhagen defender.
With the game approaching its final minutes and nearly all in the stadium fully expecting 30 minutes of overtime, Copenhagen found the winner in the 89th minute, as a corner from Costa Rican defender Bryan Oviedo was headed in by Solvi Ottesen for 1-0.
Nordsjaelland poured everthing forward as they searched for an equalizer, which ultimately left them vulnerable to a 90th-minute counter-attack, as Dame N'Doye sprang Pape Pate Diouf free on goal where he beat Nordsjaelland keeper Jesper Hansen for the final 2-0 score.
Nordsjaelland still have a successful league campaign to keep them occupied, where they will visit Silkeborg on Sunday.
Brad Rusin did not take the field for Køge on Thursday as they held on at Vejle BK Kolding for a 2-1 victory which put them in the semifinal.