MATHEW WAGNER - Monday, December 10, 2012
Two Americans might have played their last matches for their respective teams, with Conor O'Brien and SønderjyskE tying Brøndby and Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjælland losing to Copenhagen.
SønderjyskE 2 - 2 Brøndby IF
In perhaps his last game for SønderjyskE, Conor O'Brien and SønderjyskE came back twice against Clarence Goodson and Brøndby on Friday.
O'Brien started and played the full match in central midfield, while Goodson went the full 90 minutes in central defense for Brøndby. He also recorded his seventh yellow card of the season in the 75th minute.
Brøndby hit the ground running from the start, resulting in the match's first goal in the sixth minute. Quincy Antipas sent a through pass that put Dennis Rommedahl behind the defense, and Rommedahl slid the ball under goalkeeper Kenneth Stenild from the right wing.
The away team held on for quite some time, but SønderjyskE got an equalizer in the 35th minute. Following a foul in the box by Rommedahl, Brøndby goalkeeper Michael Tørnes stopped O'Brien's penalty kick, only to have the rebound head right back to the American midfielder. O'Brien didn't fail on his second attempt, sending the ball into the back of the net.
After going into halftime tied, the away team pushed for a lead, coming close shortly following the restart. Rommedahl hit a shot from distance that clattered off the cross bar before being cleared by a SønderjyskE defender.
Finally, in the 64th minute, Brøndby retook the lead. SønderjyskE cleared a long throw, only to have the clearance sent right back into the penalty box. Goodson eventually ended up with the ball and passed to Quincy Antipas, who turned and drilled the ball into the back of the net.
The lead didn't last long, however, with SønderjyskE finding a second equalizer in the 71st minute. On a counterattack, Eyjólfur Hédinsson picked up the ball around midfield and pulled up from just outside the 18-yard box before placing a curling shot into the top right corner of the net.
Neither team could find the match-winning goal in the final 20 minutes; thus the teams split the points.
With the point, SønderjyskE sits in ninth place with 21 points heading into the winter break. The team returns to action on March 3 against Midtjylland.
Brøndby goes into the winter break in the last relegation spot with 17 points, and the team will look to turn it around on March against Randers.
FC Copenhagen 4 - 1 FC Nordsjælland
Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjælland fell further behind leader Copenhagen with a big loss on Sunday.
Parkhurst played 72 minutes at center back in the losing effort.
The away team held on for 23 minutes, but it all came crashing down after that. In the 24th minute, Copenhagen's Thomas Delaney ended up with the ball following a long throw and the scrum between the goalkeeper Jesper Hansen and an attacker, and he hammered the ball into the wide-open net.
Copenhagen doubled its lead in the 38th minute on a counterattack. César Santín received a long through pass from Nicolai Jørgensen and placed the ball through a charging Hansen's legs for the goal.
After halftime, Santín added his second goal of the match. In the 52nd minute, a high header flew toward Hansen, only to bounce off his hands, and Santín was there to score the easy header.
In the 76th minute, Mikkel Beckmann pulled one back for Nordsjælland. Copenhagen's Kris Stadsgaard pulled down Mark Gundelach in the 18-yard box, and after a heated argument between the two players, Beckmann converted the penalty.
The away team left itself in too much of a hole, though, and couldn't put itself back into the match. Copenhagen, meanwhile, added another goal in the second minute of stoppage, when Andreas Cornelius rose up and met a Lars Jacobsen deep cross at the edge of the six-yard box.
With the loss, Nordsjælland falls to 12 points behind Copenhagen in the standings, and the team returns to action on March 3 against Horsens.
Charlie Davies didn't dress for Randers' 2-1 win over Esbjerg on Saturday.