DAVID SMITH - Friday, April 2, 2010
Benny Feilhaber returned to action for Aarhus as they picked up their first win of 2010 while Michael Parkhurst also made a return to Nordsjælland's back line as they fell on the road to Midtjylland.
Esbjerg fB 0 - 4 AGF Aarhus
Benny Feilhaber made his first appearance after recovering from an ankle injury, seeing the final 20 minutes of action for Aarhus as they blew out reeling Esbjerg on Wednesday evening.
Aarhus confirmed Feilhaber's place in the gameday roster in he days before the game, a much-needed boost to a squad which had only managed to earn one point through their first five games of the spring.
Team coach Erik Rassmussen still took the cautious route by saving the American midfielder for the latter stages of the game rather than pushing him back into the starting lineup.
The hosts were fresh off a 4-0 embarrassment to Randers and had lost three straight prior to Wednesday's contest, and so were understandably cautious in their approach, taking a defensive stance more designed to limit chances of the Aarhus rather than create any for themselves.
While they were successful for the first hour of the game, Aarhus were finally able to break through for the opening goal in the 65th minute.
A turnover by Esbjerg in the attacking half led to a quick counter-attack by Aarhus, with Caspar Sloth feeding Stephan Petersen on the right with a terrific long through pass. Petersen beat the defenders and closed in on Lars Winde's goal, powering his shot over the keeper and into the net for the lead.
Feilhaber took the field five minutes later and almost immediately earned a corner for the visitors, which David Devdariani headed down into goal for the 2-0 lead in the 72nd minute.
Dennis Høegh added a third for the team two minutes later, capping off a nice team effort with some trickery of his own before firing into goal, before Esbjerg blew a chance at a consolation goal with one minutes in regulation as Aarhus keeper Steffen Rassmussen got one hand on Jesper Jørgensen's penalty kick.
Petersen then added the exclamation point on the night, producing a nice solo effort to make it 4-0 in the game's closing seconds.
Aarhus remain in ninth place with 31 points after the win, but have the opportunity to jump up to as high as seventh and make up for last week's disappointment when they host the league's current hot team Randers on Sunday.
FC Midtjylland 1 - 0 FC Nordsjælland
Michael Parkhurst found his way back onto the field for Nordsjælland on Thursday night, going the distance in defense as they fell by a single goal on the road to Midtjylland.
Parkhurst was given the starting nod in his accustomed central defense role to cover for the suspended Benjamin Kibebe and acquitted himself well, however the continual press by the Wolves in the first half was enough to overcome the Wild Tigers.
Despite holding on through the first 25 minutes of heavy attacking fortitude by the hosts, Nordsjælland finally conceded the opening goal in the 28th minute.
A set-piece delivery by Midtjylland captain Mikkel Thygesen into Nordsjælland's box was headed towards goal by Erik Sviatchenko, and while his shot was initially blocked, the rebound fell at the feet of Christian Sivebæk to put away for the lead.
A second-half change in tactics by Nordsjælland coach Morten Wieghorst of bringing in the trickery Sibusiso Zuma for the ineffective Rawez Lawan livened up the team's attack, however they still lacked the final shot needed to equalize.
Parkhurst's central defense partner Andreas Bjelland was moved up to a target-man role in the final ten minutes and caused some problems for the hosts, but the team was unable to put away several chances in the final minutes, with the all points ultimately going to Midtjylland.
Nordsjælland remain in eighth place after the loss. They will try to pull off an unprecedented third victory in three tries over neighbors Copenhagen on Monday when the league leaders visit Farum Park.
Viborg FF 1 - 1 FC Fredericia
Babajide Ogunbiyi went the full 90 minutes in Viborg's defense as they split the points with relegation-hunting Fredericia on Thursday.
The game started off on a high note, with Fredericia opening the scoring before the ten minute mark when a set piece from Kenneth Møller Pedersen setting up Mikkel Rask to give his team the lead in the ninth minute.
Ogunbiyi looked to have given Viborg the equalizer two minutes later on a free kick situation on the opposite end of the field, but the goal was disallowed as the referee had judged a Viborg player to have committed a foul on the play.
Fredericia continued to look dangerous on set piece opportunities while Viborg continued their attack on the ground, but the equalizer would finally come on a disputed penalty call just past the hour mark.
With Ghanian international Razak Pimpong breaking towards the Fredericia goal, the referee judged a foul by Jes Bekke to have occurred inside the penalty area - much to the discontent of the visitors - and Viborg's Søren Ulrik Vestergaard put away the spot kick to bring the teams even.
Viborg jump one place to sixth with the point, still seven points off the second promotion spot. They have a four-day break before returning to action on Monday afternoon when they visit Naestved BK.
Brabrand IF 0 - 2 FC Roskilde
Jamil Fearrington and Roskilde got their spring campaign off to a good start, shutting out league cellar case Brabrand to pull temporarily out of the relegation zone.
With both teams having their first two games of the spring canceled due to poor field conditions and Brabrand's home field still failing to be up to standards for Thursday's game, team officials opted to hold the encounter on a nearby training field rather than further delay the season re-start any further.
Roskilde immediately proved to be the better of the two teams in front of the crowd of 75 spectators, and needed only 25 minutes to earn their way onto the scoreboard.
A poorly defended corner saw the ball rattle around in Brabrand's area, with Casper Grønn Larsen finally putting away the short-range shot.
Faroe international Atli Danielsen then helped put Roskilde two goals up seven minutes later, sending a ball into the area for Anders Dahl Simonsen to put away for the 2-0 scoreline.
Brabrand limited their visitors' chances thereafter, but were themselves unable to apply any pressure on goal, and were ultimately dealt yet another loss, running their season record to 16 games without a win.
The vital three points takes Roskilde just above the surface on 15 points, three ahead of Kolding. They will have their first real test of the spring on Monday evening when they host eighth-place Vejle, hoping to give themselves further breathing room.
Euan Holden picked up a slight injury during the week and did not suit up for Vejle's 2-0 loss at home to Thisted FC on Thursday.