DAVID SMITH - Monday, April 1, 2013
Conor O'Brien and Nordsjaelland continued their run with a convincing win over Midtjylland while RJ Allen and Skive were lucky to come out ahead at the end of a wild game with Fredericia.
SønderjyskE 0 - 2 Randers FC
Charlie Davies saw a half of action for Randers on Sunday, playing the first 45 minutes as they remained in the two-team race for Champions League qualification thanks to their road win over SønderjyskE.
After putting in a solid shift in Randers' previous outing, a scoreless draw at Odense, Davies was rewarded with a second straight start, although he was limited to just a half of action as leading team scorer Ronnie Schwartz was eventually brought back into the fold.
22 minutes after kickoff, Randers took the lead as Jonas Borring was left with too much space in front of goal to head in a fine cross form Alexander Fischer.
Davies was close on several occasions, troubling the SønderjyskE keeper on a breakaway in the early going, connecting on a corner shortly after the opening goal, and coming close on a shot from distance after the half hour, but ultimately luck was not on his side.
Schwartz's introduction for Davies at the half did little to alter the character of the game, with Randers continuing to show more on the attack while holding solid defensively against their opponents.
With the clock winding down, they removed any question of a lucky comeback by their hosts, with Borring rising to connect for his second headed goal of the game, this time from a corner delivery by Jonas Kamper in the 90th minute.
With the victory, Randers remain in third place, one point behind Nordsjaelland in the quest for second, although they have played one game more than their rivals.
They return to action on Sunday when relegation-threatened Brøndby pay a visit.
FC Nordsjaelland 3 - 1 FC Midtjylland
Conor O'Brien put in another solid 90 minutes for Nordsjaelland, manning the left side of their midfield in the team's workmanlike win over Midtjylland on Monday afternoon.
It looked to be a rough day for the defending champions, as Midtjylland opened the scoring less than three minutes after kickoff. Defender Kristijan Ipa easily cut through on the left side and hit Petter Andersson near the penalty spot for a competent finish and early shock for the hosts.
The Wild Tigers quickly regrouped, and canceled out the opening setback when Ivan Runje found Morten Nordstrand with a long ball out of the back, and the veteran striker poked his shot past Jonas Lössl for the equalizer.
Nordsjaelland then cook control two minutes after the break, this time with Nordstrand as the set-up man, whipping in a cross which Uffe Bech easily put away for 2-1.
Lössl then served up the insurance goal for his opponents, losing grip of a corner in the wind with 18 minutes left, dropping the ball at the foot of Jores Okore to clean up for the final 3-1 score.
The victory leaves Nordsjaelland with a one-point lead over third-place Randers, although they do have one game in hand. They will make up that extra game on Thursday when they visit Aalborg, then will have little rest as they must pay a visit to Horsens three days later.
Vejle BK Kolding 2 - 0 FC Hjørring
Babajide Ogunbiyi and Hjørring suffered a setback to their survival hopes, giving up a pair of goals while failing to get onto the scoreboard in a tough loss at Vejle.
Vejle opened the scoring after just 10 minutes, after a long free kick by Henrik Bødker was headed on by Azer Busuladzic, directly to the head of Niels Bisp Rasmussen for the go-ahead goal.
The hosts wrapped up the win five minutes after the halftime break, netting their second goal in similar fashion to their first. A fine free kick delivery by David Vidarsson found its way to the head of Bedi Buval, who knocked it past keeper Karim Zaza for the 2-0 advantage.
Hjørring drop into the bottom two with the result, and will be under pressure to get a result on Thursday when they visit fourth-place Brønshøj.
Skive IK 4 - 3 FC Fredericia
RJ Allen and Skive were fortunate to come out on the right end of a wild encounter with Fredericia, with former American youth international Dustin Corea saving the day for Skive with an injury-time goal.
Fredericia gifted Skive the opening goal in the fifth minute when midfielder Andreas Moos hit a weak pass from the backfield, which Morten Andersen intercepted and put away for his 11th goal of the season.
Moos equalized in the 32nd minute with a shot from the edge of the area, but Skive were back on top 11 minutes into the second half as Anderson netted his second of the day after beating Fredericia defenders Daniel Jensen and Mads Greve on his way towards goal.
Fredericia remained testy, once again equalizing in the 64th minute as Christian Nielsen hit a short shot, and taking the lead two minutes later when Anders Jacobsen headed in a cross from Jesper Christiansen.
Skive still had some fight left, pulling even with 15 minutes remaining as Jesper Henriksen was allowed too much space to roam.
With the game looking headed towards a fair drawn result, the Salvadoran international Corea gave Skive the dramatic injury-time winner in only his second game on the roster, taking advantage of a passive defense and easily putting away his finish for the final 4-3 result.
The victory gives Skive a three-point cushion ahead of the relegation places. They will be back in action on Thursday when they host league leaders FC Vestsjælland.
Clarence Goodson was left off Brøndby's gameday roster as they came back from a two-goal deficit to record a 3-2 home win over Aarhus and stay just clear of the bottom two.