DAVID SMITH - Friday, April 30, 2010
Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjælland had little trouble to beat out Vejle for a place in the Danish Cup final while Jamil Fearrington and Roskilde pulled themselves further away from relegation threat.
Vejle BK 0 - 2 FC Nordsjælland
Michael Parkhurst anchored Nordsjælland's back line as the Wild Tigers secured their place in the Danish Cup semifinal with a convincing 2-0 win at Vejle.
Carrying a 2-0 lead from the home leg, Parkhurst and his teammates effectively wrapped matters up with the game barely underway when the team's top scorer Nicki Bille Nielsen netted a vital away goal in the fifth minute.
Vejle midfielder Philip Lund sent an unusually weak pass back to keeper Kristian Fæste, which Nielsen easily intercepted before rounding the keeper striking the ball into the net for the killer blow.
Despite playing in Vejle's home stadium, there was little question as to which was the better team as the Wild Tigers dominated the flow of the game and limited their hosts to the odd set-piece chance.
With the result in little doubt, Nielsen added another goal to his count two minutes past the break to give Nordsjælland a commanding 4-0 aggregate advantage; Bajram Fetai ran free on the right side of the field and sent a perfectly-placed pass to his teammate, who easily put away his second goal of the contest.
Having the team's advancement to the final secured, Nordsjælland coach pulled his top-scorer shortly thereafter in favor of Andreas Granskov-Hansen with the weekend's visit from Randers in mind.
The Wild Tigers continued to hold a firm control on the proceedings, keeping pressure on Vejle, although unable to further increase their tally before the final whistle.
Vejle defender Euan Holden did not take part in the game as he is recovering from recent surgery.
Nordsjælland is set to face Midtjylland in the May 13 final in Copenhagen, however they will try to continue carrying their momentum through league play, first testing wits with currently-hot Randers on Sunday.
A win in the Cup final would give Nordsjælland a place in the Europa League, their second-ever appearance in European competition, however qualifying through their league standing is also not entirely out of the question as currently lie a mere three points back from third place.
FC Roskilde 2 - 0 Kolding FC
Jamil Fearrington and Roskilde posted another strong defensive performance, shutting out Kolding while adding a pair of late goals of their own to move seven points clear of the relegation zone.
Even with their strong spring, Roskilde entered the game just four points clear of the drop zone, and were under pressure to take the full points at home against one of their main competitors for survival.
Kolding seemed the more dangerous of the two teams in the first half, with Roskilde keeper Martin Johnsen keeping his team in the running after 24 minute when he came out ahead from a one-on-one duel with Morten Christensen.
The hosts tightened down after the intermission, and finally netted the winning goal with seven minutes left, when Jeppe Kjær set up Jannick Larsen, who had just returned from injury.
Kolding lacked the initiative to come close to equalizing, and were dealt the final dagger when the diminutive forward again played provider, setting up teammate Christian Hansen in injury time for the final 2-0 scoreline.
The win pushes Roskilde past Skive and into 12th place, now with a comfortable seven-point pad above the drop zone. They can give themselves more breathing room on Sunday afternoon when second-from-bottom Frem pay a visit.