DAVID SMITH - Monday, March 12, 2012
Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjaelland added yet another win to their season total at Odense while Clarence Goodson and Brøndby were forced to settle for a scoreless draw against AGF Aarhus.
Odense BK 1 - 0 FC Nordsjaelland
Michael Parkhurst went the distance as usual at right back for Nordsjaelland, as a close win at Odense allowed them to further tighten their grip on the league's second Champions League spot.
Parkhurst was frustratingly close to giving Nordsjaelland the lead at the half-hour, storming into the right side of the box to pick up a pass from Kasper Lorentzen, however sending his tight-angled shot just wide of the far post.
An unnecessary giveaway by Odense near the midfield stripe opened the door to the Wild Tigers' ultimate winning goal two minutes past the hour mark with Andreas Bjelland advancing the ball straight ahead and shifting it out to Tobias Mikkelsen on the left side for a low curler that sneaked in just inside the left upright.
The final 20 minutes saw a constant forward barrage by Odense, with keeper Jesper Hansen saving the win in the 86th minute when he deflected a breakaway shot by Morten Skuobo with his foot.
With leaders Copenhagen also winning on Sunday, the Wild Tigers are still four points off the top spot, although more importantly they maintain a hefty gap above the pack of teams in the hunt for Champions League qualification.
They will return to action on Sunday when they host Brøndby.
Brøndby IF 0 - 0 AGF Aarhus
Clarence Goodson and Brøndby did well to shut out their visitors AGF Aarhus on Sunday evening, however a misfiring attack left them with only a share of the points.
Aarhus had a far better run of chances throughout the first half, with Stephan Petersen coming close after 10 minutes, Søren Berg at the half-hour then again five minutes when he wasted a free header with a shot straight at Brøndby keeper Michael Tørnes five minutes later.
Brøndby attacker Nicolaj Agger did his part early in the second half to try to turn matters around for the hosts, hitting the side netting in the 54th minute, then forcing AGF keeper Steffen Rassmussen into a save five minutes later.
The momentum did eventually shift back to Aarhus for the remainder of the the final half-hour, although Goodson and his fellow Brøndby defenders did a fine job to hold the line and hold onto an otherwise stale draw.
The point now gives Brøndby a seven-point gap ahead of the relegation zone. The next face Michael Parkhurst and neighboring Nordsjaelland in a derby matchup on Sunday.
Brad Rusin is recovering from an injury and did not suit up for last-place Køge's 1-0 road win over Silkeborg IF.
Conor O'Brien was not included in SønderjyskE's gameday roster for their 2-0 road loss at FC Copenhagen.
Chris Rolfe is recovering from an ankle injury, and did not take part on Sunday afternoon in Aalborg's important 1-0 home win over bottom-feeders Lyngby BK.