DAVID SMITH - Monday, June 22, 2009
Troy Perkins notched up another shut-out for Valerenga while Hunter Freeman and IK Start got roughed up by Stabaek.
Sandefjord 0 - 2 Valerenga
Troy Perkins took up his usual post in Valerenga's goal, as they jumped into the top four with a shut-out on the road over Sandefjord.
The chances were few and far between in the early going, but the visitors jumped out in front in the 37th minute when Mostafa Abdellaoue wiggled free near the end line on the right and sent in perfect cross towards the far post, which Bengt Sæternes easily headed in for the 1-0 lead.
Sæternes looked to have wrapped up the three points with 14 minutes remaining with what he thought was his second goal on the day and his 100th all-time in league play, however he was ruled offside, keeping the game tight for the remainder.
Abdellaoue however once again provided Valerenga with a way to the scoreboard, this time feeding his older brother Mohammed from midfield with one minute remaining for an impressive long-range blast for the final 2-0 scoreline.
Sandefjord backup keeper Matthew Allen did not take the field for the hosts.
The win pushed Perkins and his teammates into fourth, tied on points with Odd Grenland however trailing by goal differential. They will try to make it two in a row when they host FK Bodø/Glimt on Wednesday night.
Stabaek 5 - 0 IK Start
Hunter Freeman went the distance in an evening to forget for Start, as they were blasted 5-0 on the road by Stabaek on Sunday afternoon.
With Start looking to hang on to their top-three placement and reigning champions Stabaek hoping to shake off their so far underwhelming start to the season, the hosts left no question from the opening minutes that they were in control on the field.
Fredrik Berglund opened the scoring for Stabaek after 21 minutes when he struck in a corner from Swedish international Daniel Nannskog, however Start managed to keep their deficit at a single goal for the remainder of the half despite a clear show of dominance by the hosts.
This wouldn't last for long, however, as the floodgates opened shortly after the break.
J-League import Daigo Kobayashi continued his outstanding debut season in Norway with his fourth goal of the season in the 51st minute for the 2-0 lead, then added another for good measure ten minutes later to effectively put matters out of reach.
The feeding frenzy was not yet over, however, as Start found themselves "Quattro'd" at the hands of Nannskog in the 67th minute when he found himself on the receiving end of a return favor from Berglund.
The high-flying Swede finally added his second on the afternoon with six minutes left in regulation to complete the demolition of their shellshocked visitors.
Mikkel Diskerud entered the game with 11 minutes remaining and his team already up by four goals while Clarence Goodson reported ill and did not suit up for Start.
The loss drops Start down to fifth place, with the surging Stabaek trailing in sixth by only a single point.
Diskerud and Stabaek face a tough test to continue their upwards swing when they pay a visit to runaway league leaders Rosenborg on Wednesday, while Start will try to lick their wounds when they host Sandefjord also on Wednesday.
Alta IF 0 - 1 Hønefoss BK
Jay Needham went the distance in Alta's midfield, however a mid-second half goal by visitors Hønefoss BK saw their short winning run snapped.
The hosts were looking to solidify their place in the top five spots in the league, however their largely ineffective play in front of goal assured they would not find their way onto the scoresheet.
While managing to hold off their opponents for most of the game, they were caught sleeping in the 65th minute, when Lars Lafton was able to loft the ball over Alta keeper Mikko Vilmunen from long range for the lone goal of the game.
The loss drops Alta all the way down to eighth place. They will have several days to regroup before taking to the road to face 11th place Mjöndalen IF on Sunday.
Brian Waltrip did not take the field as Molde FK solidified their hold on second place with a 2-0 home victory over Fredrikstad FK on Sunday.
Adin Brown is recovering from surgery and was unable to help guard Aalesunds FK's goal from the 3-0 onslaught from league leaders Rosenborg on Sunday.
Chris Rodd did not take part in Bryne's 1-1 road draw with Sogndal on Sunday.
Connor Tobin will likely start in Nybergsund's defense when they go on the road to face Notodden FK on Tuesday.