DAVID SMITH - Saturday, November 26, 2011
The semifinal round of the Danish Cup was set on Friday, with the teams of the two remaining Americans in the competition once again avoiding a direct showdown.
The most notable result of the round was the end of Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjaelland's long run in the Cup competition, as they were knocked out in a 2-0 loss to FC Copenhagen to end their chance at a third straight title.
As now the undisputed favorites to eventually lift the trophy, the victors in that game will face off against Conor O'Brien and SønderjyskE in April's two-legged semifinal.
Even though playing time in league games has been increasingly hard to come by for O'Brien, he played the full 90 minutes for the team on Wednesday as they smashed lower-division team Naesby by a 5-1 margin to reach the round.
Copenhagen have owned the recent games between these two teams, boasting a record of seven wins, two draws and no losses in the nine Superligaen meetings since SønderjyskE's most recent promotion, however will clearly recall the most recent Cup clash two years ago with some trepidation.
These teams met in October 2009 in the fourth round of that year's competition, and SønderjyskE pulled off a shocking 5-0 win to send the giants packing.
In the other semifinal series, Brad Rusin and current Superligaen last-place team Køge have an feasible chance to reach the final, as they will take on relatively unfancied team AC Horsens.
Køge overcame First Division team Vejle BK Kolding in their quarterfinal game with a 2-1 road win, putting them in the position of being two games away from the final - a stark contrast to their poor fortunes in the league.
For their part, Horsens defeated another First Division team FC Fredericia by an identical margin, and are looking to reach their first-ever final.
The semifinal will be played over two legs in a home-and-home format, the first on April 18 or 19, and the second one week later.
Danish Cup semifinal draw
FC Copenhagen - SønderjyskE
HB Køge - AC Horsens