DAVID SMITH - Monday, November 9, 2009
Marcus Tracy netted the winning goal for Aalborg over reigning champs Copenhagen while Michael Parkhurst got a rare start at right back in Nordsjælland's shut-out of SønderjyskE.
Aalborg BK 1 - 0 FC Copenhagen
Marcus Tracy had his best day of the season, earning his first league start and netting the game's only goal as Aalborg finally snapped their six-game streak without a victory with an impressive home win over FC Copenhagen on Sunday evening.
After seeing substantial sub minutes in Aalborg's previous game - a goalless draw in Odense - Tracy was handed his first league start of the 2009-10 season and almost immediately rewarded his coach's confidence.
Taking a pass on the run from Andreas Johansson in the fifth minute, Tracy smartly cut inwards towards the middle of the area losing defender Ulrik Laursen, and launched a shot towards the middle of goal which the outstretched Johan Wiland was lucky to deflect to safety.
Tracy remained pesky to the Copenhagen defenders, coming close in the 26th minute with a difficult tight-angled shot that found the side netting, then finally left his mark on the scoresheet 13 minutes into the second half.
Patrick Kristensen was the recipient of a long free kick from near the center stripe and stormed his way just to the left side of the area, then sent a high cross goalwards which the onrushing Tracy headed just inside the right post at the apex of a towering leap for the 1-0 lead.
Tracy left the game in the 74th minute for midfielder Anders Due as coach Magnus Pehrsson sought to hold back their visitors' final push for an equalizer.
The teams both had ample opportunities in the energetic final half-hour of the game, but in the end the final whistle blew awarding the victory to Aalborg.
Aalborg jump past Aarhus into sixth place with the win, trailing Silkeborg only by total goals scored. After the break for international games, Tracy will hope to see further time on the field when the team hosts Aarhus on the 22nd.
HB Køge 1 - 1 AGF Aarhus
Benny Feilhaber and Jeremiah White both started in Aarhus's midfield, as the team had their hearts broken for the second week in a row thanks to another last-minute own-goal by defender Jens Gjesing to settle for a draw with Køge on Saturday.
After the previous weekend's letdown against Midtjylland, Aarhus coach Erik Rassmussen was hoping his squad would produce the necessary play to take home three points from relegation favorites Køge and put a halt to their disastrous run in the last two months.
He received a good sign one minute before the half-hour mark, when young defender Frederik Krabbe stooped low to awkwardly head a Jakob Poulsen free kick to give Aarhus the lead.
Peter Graulund nearly doubled the lead minutes after the break when he quickly found himself free on goal, but was unable to direct his shot on frame.
The visitors defended the late press by Køge for the equalizer well and looked to be headed to only their second win in their last seven games, but were cruelly robbed in the final minutes when Lithuanian midfielder whipped a cross in front of Steffen Rassmussen's goal, which Gjesing headed into his own goal, costing his team vital points for the second weekend in a row.
Feilhaber went the distance for Aarhus while White was substituted in favor of David Devdariani in the 75th minute.
The draw coupled with Aalborg's win one day later drops Aarhus into the lower half of the standings for the first time this season one point below Aalborg, against whom they will play on Sunday following the international break.
SønderjyskE 0 - 1 FC Nordsjælland
Michael Parkhurst got the start for Nordsjælland, slotting in at right back for the Wild Tigers as they picked up a narrow win on their trip to SønderjyskE on Sunday.
One week after falling in a close contest to Brøndby, Parkhurst and his teammates were looking to quickly bounce back against fellow lower-half team SønderjyskE.
After regaining his spot in the center of defense in the team's recent few games, Parkhurst was shifted to right back in place of the injured Henrik Kildentoft as the team was successful in effectively limiting the SønderjyskE attack to set pieces and the occasional excursion by Johnny Thomsen down the left flank.
While the Wild Tigers were more in control for the majority of the contest, both teams lacked the crispness to generate many substantial chances in front of goal.
Their first real opportunity came in the 68th minute, as youngster Andreas Laudrup beat midfielder Andrei Sidorenkov and sent a beauty of pass into the box directly to the feet of Sibusiso Zuma, who didn't waste the chance to put his team up 1-0.
The goal woke up the hosts with an attempt from Soren Frederiksen hitting the post minutes later, but Nordsjælland held on to secure the win, their third in four games across all competitions.
The victory moves Nordsjælland ahead of SønderjyskE in the standings into ninth place, and they will hope to make it two in a row when they visit Køge in two weeks.
BK Frem 2 - 2 FC Roskilde
Jamil Fearrington was back in Roskilde's defense on Sunday, picking up a second-half yellow card as the team twice wasted leads over BK Frem and were forced to settle for one point against their relegation competitors.
The visitors opened the scoring in the 21st minute, as Frem defender Thomas Krause fouled Rasmus Tangvig in the box, with Jeppe Kjær converting from the spot past keeper Jakob Køhler Hansen.
Frem equalized 18 minutes later, as a poor clearance from the Roskilde defense on a throw-in into the box landed at the feet of Tim Ilsø, who blasted his long shot into the netting.
Kjær scored his second goal of the afternoon, opportunistically taking advantage of a poorly-aimed headed pass by defender Joachim Bjerg back towards goal, and poking it into goal for the 67th minute lead.
Roskilde's hopes for taking all three points was crushed ten minutes later, as Frem's Edin Cekovic connecting with a cross from Søren Weibel to secure the draw.
The sharing of the points keeps Roskilde still one point above Frem and, more importantly, just out of the bottom three. They will hope to mark the season's midway point with a victory when they host 12th-place Fyn on Sunday afternoon.
Danny Califf did not suit up on Sunday as Midtjylland kept last-place Randers winless with a 2-1 win at home.