BRIAN SCIARETTA - Monday, July 23, 2012
Josh Gatt scored before leaving injured after only five minutes in Molde's home loss, while Steve Clark and Hønefoss posted another shutout.
Molde FK 1 - 2 Viking Stavanger
Playing with 10 men for most of the second half, Molde dug itself too deep a hole against Viking Saturday.
American Josh Gatt made a five-minute cameo early in the second half before leaving with a strained thigh muscle.
The game was Molde's third game in eight days, and it showed on the field. The team was sluggish in both offense and defense, with Viking's defensive effort making matters difficult for the defending Norwegian champions.
Viking took the lead in the 28th minute. Yann-Erik de Lanlay flicked a ball over Magne Simonsen to give himself acres of space. He then sent a low cross that met Veton Berisha just outside the six-yard box and Berisha punished the slow defense.
Viking doubled its lead in the 41st minute off an own goal. Indridi Sigurdsson rose up and headed a free kick straight to Vegard Forren. It bounced off his foot and into the low left corner of the net.
Viking took the two-goal lead into halftime, but Molde coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made three changes at the break, including Gatt. Those changes paid dividends immediately. In the 46th minute, Daniel Chukwu Chima passed to Gatt, who slid the ball into the goal and got Molde back in the game.
Unfortunately for Molde, those changes did hurt when in the 50th minute, Gatt walked to tunnel because of his injury and did not return to the game.
Although Molde was down a man, the team threatened for the rest of the half to find the game-tying goal, but it didn't come.
Due to Strømsgodset's loss, Molde is still four points behind the league leaders. The team returns to action Tuesday against Ventspils in the second leg of Champions League qualfying.
Fredrikstad FK 0 - 2 Hønefoss BK
Hønefoss rekindled its defensive fortitude with an away win at Fredrikstad.
American Steve Clark played the full 90 minutes in net for Hønefoss, recording his seventh shutout of the season. Forward Kenneth di Vita Jensen made the bench but did not play.
Fredrikstad came out firing, but thanks to Clark and the Hønefoss defense, the home team came out empty. Hønefoss then scored in the 18th minute, when a corner kick went off two Fredrikstad defenders before meeting Tor-Øyvind Hovda at the line. He guided the ball into the net.
Hønefoss kept everything under control for the rest of the game, frustrating the Fredrikstad offense time and time again.
In the 72nd minute, Kevin Larsen put the game away off a counterattack. Arnor Sveinn Adalsteinsson sent a long cross that Larsen met and put into an empty net.
With the win, Hønefoss sits in sixth place with 24 points. The team returns to action Sunday against Haugesund.
Stabæk IF 1 - 3 Vålerenga Oslo
Another week, another loss for Stabæk as its season continues to tailspin toward relegation.
American defender Sean Cunningham played the entire game at center back for Stabæk.
Vålerenga struck first in the seventh minute. Simon Andreas Larsen left his defender in the dust off a Bojan Zajic corner and headed it home. Stabæk slowly brought itself back into the game after the goal, but the team couldn't tie before the end of the half.
The second half saw the game open up, but once again, it was Vålerenga who took advantage. In the 69th minute, Håvard Nielsen put Marcus Pedersen one-on-one win Stabæk goalkeeper Mande Sayouba, and Pedersen scored.
Minutes later, Fredrik Brustad gave Stabæk a chance to steal a point. Hermann Stengel passed a long through ball to Brustad who placed the ball into the net in the 74th minute.
That hope died quickly. In the 75th minute, Pedersen put the game away, when he outmuscled Bjarni Olafur Eirksson to meet a rebound.
This makes the fourth loss in a row for Stabæk. The team is 10 points behind the last safe spot in the Tippeligaen.
The team returns to action Sunday against Aalesund.
Mjøndalen IF 2 - 2 Notodden FK
Mjøndalen missed an opportunity to leapfrog into a promotion spot with its disappointing tie against Notodden.
American defender Rhett Bernstein played the full 90 minutes at center back for Mjøndalen, while Kyle Helton missed the game because of yellow card accumulation.
A flurry of action in the first half saw the teams tied going into halftime. In the second minute, Håvard Kleven stole the ball off of Knut Rønningene and passed to Jan Tore Amundsen, who crossed to Martin Holmen for a goal.
Mjøndalen answered in the 18th minute, when Pål Alexander Kirkevold converted a penalty. Mjøndalen took the lead only four minutes later, when Adrian Paul found the back of the net.
In the 34th minute, Holmen tied the game. A long throw went over the heads of everybody and to Holmen, who had plenty of time to score.
The second half lacked the fireworks of the first, despite Notodden going down to 10 players in the 71st minute with Paal Christian Alsaker's second yellow card of the game. Mjøndalen couldn't find the game-winner after that.
With the tie, Mjøndalen sits just two points behind second place HamKam. The team returns to action Sunday at Bodø/Glimt.
Bærum SK 1 - 3 Sandefjord Fotball
Bærum's two-game winning streak came to an end Sunday against Sandefjord.
American defender Sebastian Troupe started and played the full 90 minutes for Bærum. He picked up his first yellow card of the season in the 79th minute.
Bærum started the game like it had played the two weeks prior. In the eighth minute, Eirik Nervold gave the home team the early lead.
Things went downhill from there, though, as Bærum allowed three unanswered goals. In the 45th minute, the Bærum defense left Jo Sondre Aas alone off a free kick, and he made Bærum pay with the goal.
The two teams went back and forth from there until in the 75th minute, Bærum poisoned itself with an own goal.
Eirik André Lamøy put the game out of reach in the 90th minute, when he created space for himself in the box and fired into the net.
With the loss, Bærum dropped into last place in the Adeccoligaen. The team returns to action Sunday against Ranheim.