DAVID SMITH - Sunday, November 3, 2013
Something was rotten in the state of Denmark for its contingent of American players, as both Conor O'Brien's Odense and Babajide Ogunbiyi's Viborg suffered losses over the weekend.
Aalborg BK 1 - 0 Odense BK
Conor O'Brien played the full 90 minutes for Odense BK on Saturday, as an otherwise heroic goalkeeping display by Mads Toppel was overshadowed by an untimely own-goal in the narrow loss.
While Aalborg did have Odense on the back foot for much of the game and were time and again thwarted by the fine play of their keeper, their winning goal four minutes after the halftime break did come thanks to a rather lucky break.
On one of their frequent attacks, the trio of Nicolaj Thomsen, Rasmus Jönsson and Anders K. Jacobsen combined to bring the ball into a dangerous position just inside the top of the area, where Jacobsen's attempted shot took a deflection off of Odense player Daniel Hoegh and left Toppel with no chance to adjust to keep it out of his net.
Odense attacker Mustafa Abdellaoue was in a dangerous position to threaten an equalizer two minutes later, but was stopped by Aalborg keeper Nicolai Larsen.
Aalborg returned to domination for the remainder of the game, albeit with no further goals to show for their efforts, and took the deserved three points at the final whistle.
Odense drop to sixth place with the loss, and will hope to regain momentum when they host stumbling Vestsjaelland Sunday.
AGF Aarhus 2 - 1 Viborg FF
Babajide Ogunbiyi and the Viborg defense were unable to keep their hosts AGF Aarhus at bay, as a pair of opposing goals left them empty-handed on Sunday afternoon.
Mike Grella was on Viborg's bench and is still awaiting his debut with the team.
The teams traded shots for much of the opening 45 minutes, but Aarhus took the lead just seconds into first-half injury time. Osama Akharraz received a pass 20 yards straight out with Ogunbiyi blocking his route to goal. Rather than look for a passing outlet, he made a juke to the left to create some space and launched a beautiful shot that flew in to the left side of goal.
The hosts effectively wrapped up the result in the 64th minute when David Devdariani's cross from the right flank slipped through the area and was put away with ease by Sören Larsen.
Viborg did earn a consolation goal in the final seconds when Anders Kure blatantly pulled Ogunbiyi down while defending a corner, giving Thomas Dalgaard the opportunity to make it 2-1 from the spot.
That was the last bit of excitement for the Greens, as Aarhus fully stifled their attack in the dying seconds to preserve the result.
The loss sees Viborg fall to fifth place, and they will have to make a quick recovery should they hope to take any positive result from their home game against first-place Midtjylland on Friday evening.