DAVID SMITH - Thursday, October 31, 2013
Conor O'Brien started in midfield for Odense on Wednesday night, as their Danish Cup dreams ended in a high-scoring affair at Copenhagen's Parken Stadium.
Odense were the brighter of the two teams in the early going, and the tenacity of American midfielder helped to set up their opening goal in ninth minute.
An Odense corner from the right side flew through the area and looked headed out for a throw-in to the hosts near the opposite side, however O'Brien streaked in to keep possession for Odense. His well-placed cross to the edge of the six-yard box forced the Copenhagen defense into a poor clearance, allowing Jacob Schoop to recover the ball just outside the area and aim a 20-yard shot just inside the right upright for the 1-0 lead.
Nine minutes later, Odense looked well on their way to victory, as Rasmus Falk sent Martin Spelmann in behind the defense with a smart through-ball, with the latter adeptly burying his shot for the two-goal lead.
Copenhagen recovered well and roared back, putting the game on even terms within a mere 12 minutes.
First, Cesar Santin took advantage of an awful attempt at a clearance in the Odense box to poke in from short range in the 23rd minute, then Pierre Bengtsson equalized at the half-hour mark when he pounced upon a loose ball just inside of the area for a low shot that evaded Mads Toppel's grasp.
Seven minutes after the break, Odense did momentarily restore their lead, as Spelmann fooled both the Copenhagen defense and keeper with a low free kick from 25 yards out, however Santin was on-target with a fine header two minutes later to once again pull the hosts even.
Unfortunately for Odense, the last statement would be made by Copenhagen, as Marvin Pourie fired home a 67th-minute winner, finishing off a quick break with a low shot from the right side of the box to the lower left corner.
Odense was unable to recover from the blow, and the referee's final whistle confirmed the win, and a place in the quarterfinals for Copenhagen.
Odense can now concentrate on building momentum in their domestic campaign, beginning with a trip to second-place Aalborg on Saturday.