MEGHAN BRENNAN - Sunday, April 11, 2010
Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek played to a frustrating draw with Lillestrom while Hunter Freeman and Clay Goodson's Start gave their fans another heartpounding victory in Eliteserien action.
Lillestrom 0 - 0 Stabaek
Stabaek and midfielder Mikkel Diskerud go winless since week one, as they tie fifth ranked Lillestrom away at Arasen Stadion.
Stabaek's season opening 2-3 away win against Odd Grenland seems like a distant memory, although it was just four weeks ago.
With three draws, the 2009 Eliteserien's third place finishers have failed to secure the three points that accompanies a win, and thus haven't exceeded sixth in the rankings.
Jan Jonsson's offense was without Icelandic striker Veigar Gunnarsson who is out for three months with an ankle injury.
While Stabaek was able to hold possession for the majority of the game, Gunnarsson's presence was missed as they created only a few scoring opportunities early in the first half.
Adding to their front line struggles were bumpy field conditions that favored Lillestrom's solid defensive effort.
Jonsson watched Stabaek match Lillestrom's strong defense with a shut out by keeper Jan Knudsen, his first of the season.
After Jonsson's suspension appeal to the Norwegian Fotball Association was denied earlier this week, he saw the game through the eyes of a spectator in the grandstands.
Diskerud started and played another consistent match at right midfield. He received a yellow card in he 29th minute for a late tackle and was subbed out for IK Start loan Bernt Hulsker with three minutes left to play.
Stabaek looks to earn three points and win number two, next week as they host 15th ranked Kongsvinger at Telenor Arena.
Honefoss 1 - 2 Kongsvinger
Despite a solid effort by goalkeeper Steve Clark and second half substitute Kenneth Di Vita Jensen, Honefoss fell to Konsvinger and has now lost five straight in their debut Eliteserien season.
Clark, who was voted man of the match by the Honefoss supporters, came up with a handful of big saves early on to keep the game scoreless at the half.
Honefoss was the first to get on the board with a goal by Umaru Bangura in the 48th minute. Davy Angan, who came in for an injured Madiou Konate in the 17th minute, dropped a perfect pass back to Bangura waiting patiently just outside the 18.
A first time finish by Bangura bent the ball near post around an outstretched Thomas Myhre to give Honefoss a one goal lead.
Eighteen minutes later, Kongsvinger responded when Olav Johannesen stole the ball from right back Christian Traore at midfield, beat three Honefoss defenders and laced the ball near post, just below Clark's right hand.
With a goal and the momentum, Kongsvinger was awarded a free kick at the top of the box, just four minutes later, on a controversial foul by captain Frode Lafton.
Johannesen drove the ball along the ground, just wide of the five-man wall hitting the far post. The rebound landed at the feet of Adem Guven at the six yard line, who easily tapped it in past Clark, still on the ground.
The second goal sealed the deal for the visiting squad, and put an end to Honefoss' hopes of securing their first win at home.
Di Vita Jensen played the majority of the second half, as a sub, five minutes in, for an injured Kamal Saaliti. He received a yellow card in the 71st minute.
Honefoss play eleven ranked Viking FK next Saturday at home.
Brann 3 - 4 Start
Start's American duo Hunter Freeman and Clay Goodson helped secure a vital three points playing on a mud-riddled field versus Brann on Sunday in Bergen.
Freeman started at his customary right back position while head coach Knut Torum moved Goodson back to the center back position on the left side of his four man defense.
Things got off to an inauspicious start for the visitors when Brann tallied the game's first goal in just the second minute when Erik Huseklepp raced down the left side and crossed to Diego Guastavino who tapped in.
Goodson had the play defended and thought he had Guastavino offsides, but the lineman saw otherwise and the goal stood.
Nine minutes later Start drew level when Mads Stokkelein blazed a shot that stung the right post and landed at the feet of Ole Martin Årst who had a wide open net to shoot at for the goal.
Twelve minutes later Christian Bolanos gave Start the lead when Solomon James Owello led a counter attack and eventually passed off to the Costan Rican on the right side who then squeezed in a shot between Brann goalkeeper Hakon Opdal and the right post.
But back and forth they went and only five minutes later the hosts equalized when Jay Needham's old teammate at Alta, Yaw Ihle Amankwah, gathered in a free kick and headed across to Erik Mjelde who had an open header of his own for the goal.
Start were able to take the lead for good in the 39th minute with another goal by Arst.
The ageless striker managed to take young pup Christer Kleiven's pass from the left side and split two Brann defenders with a volley into the net.
Twelve minutes after the break, the 35 year old Arst played provider for his young counterpart by laying off a pass that Kleiven struck with his right foot and rifled into goal.
Kleiven's goal doubled the margin and that would hold up until the waning moments of stoppage time when Brann pulled one back when Eirik Bakke scored from just outside the six yard line.
The victory keeps Start locked in at fourth place in the league standings at 11 points with a midweek affair at home versus Odd next up for Freeman and Goodson.
Colin Burns sat on the bench as the backup goalkeeper in sarpsborg's 3-0 win over Fredrikstad.
Tyrel Lacey was replaced in goal prior to Lyn's 1-1 draw with Nybergsund after reaggravating his knee in last week's defeat at Bodo/Glimt.