Clay Goodson's return to Eliteserien action following the World Cup was one to forget against Haugesund while Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek pulled out a thrilling victory over Molde.
Haugesund 4 - 2 Start
Clay Goodson first match back from the World Cup ended in bitter disappointment as newly promoted Haugesund doubled up Start on Sunday evening at Haugesund Stadion.
Goodson started at center back and went the full 90 minutes in the defeat. He also received a yellow card in the 74th minute.
Fellow defender and compatriot Hunter Freeman was forced to sit this one out due to an accumulation of yellow cards.
The match started inauspiciously for Start who allowed the 2009 1. Division champions to get on the board early and stay ahead when Jacob Sørensen unleased a rocket from 20 meters out that went by several Start defenders and just inside the near post for the goal.
The hosts doubled the margin just five minutes later as Nikola Djurdjic managed to elude Goodson on the left side of the penalty box and freed himself enough room to play a chip over the head of Start goalkeeper Kenneth Hoie allowing Haugesund's Thomas Sorum to head it in.
Goodson almost was able to pull one back for Start in the 27th minute but his effort off a rebounded shot just missed.
Six minutes into the second half, Start would get that first goal when Solomon James Owello played a ball into Espen Borufsen who spun and sent in a beautiful curling shot that found the upper left corner of the net.
Start then caught a bad break in the 71st minute when they fell victim to a questionable call by the referee who ruled that Borifsen pushed Haugesund forward Nikola Djurdjic in the back in the area leading to a penalty kick. Eirik Vespestad Mæland easily converted the penalty to restore the two goal advantage.
Four minutes later, Haugesund essentially put the match away when some sloppy passing by Start in the midfield allowed Sorensen to make a run towards goal before passing to Sorum who nodded home the fourth of the day for the home team.
A missed penalty kick in second half stoppage time by Costa Rican attacker Cristian Bolanos put a capper on the match for Start although a goal in the final seconds by Geir Ludvig Fevang did make the final score slightly more respectable for the visitors.
Goodson, Freeman and the rest of Start will have to put this one behind them as a date at Fredrikstad on Wednesday in the fourth round of the Norwegian Cup is up next.
Stabaek - Molde
Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek staved off a late furious rally by Molde to hang on for the three points in Eliteserien action on Monday evening at Telenor Arena in Baerum.
Diskerud started at central midfielder and went the full 90 minutes in the victory.
Stabaek got things rolling early with a goal in the 13th minute after Veigar Páll Gunnarsson converted a penalty kick following a takedown of Espen Hoff in the area.
But Molde were undeterred and answered back three minutes later when Daniel Berg Hestad got the best of Diskerud on a corner kick, outjumping the dual citizen to head home the equalizer.
However four minutes after that, Gunnarsson notched his second of the game with another bit of help from Molde goalkeeper Jan Kjell Larsen. A cross into the box should have been easily corralled by Larsen but the netminder let the ball squirt loose and the Icelandic striker was there to slam it home.
Diskerud would make up for his first half defensive lapse in the 61st minute when his run deep into the Molde area set up a penalty kick which was again converted by Gunnarsson.
Molde's Vegard Forren reached out and tripped Diskerud who had the defender beat with a spin move.
With his hat trick completed, Gunnarsson then decided to play the role as setup man when he fed Espen Hoff with a pass outside the area that Hoff then curled into the top right corner of the net in the 63rd minute.
The three goal deficit evidently woke up Molde who then had their best moments of the match including scores in the 84th and 87th minutes.
Aksel Berget Skjølsvik managed to poke in a loose ball just inside the six yard line while Baye Djibi Fall gathered in a long ball in the area, turned and fired past Stabaek goalkeeper Jon Knudsen to make it a one goal game.
Late efforts by Fall and Hestad for a miraculous equalizer fell short as Diskerud and company made the home fans happy by claiming the three points.
Next up for Stabaek is a home contest on Saturday versus Viking.
Kenneth Di Vita Jensen did not make it off the bench as a substitute and Steve Clark watched on as the reserve goalkeeper as Honefoss battled to a 1-1 draw with Stromsgodset.
Colin Burns sat as the reserve goalkeeper for 1. Division Sarpsborg who pulled out a 2-3 win at Nybergsund.
Sogndal won impressively at Moss 1-4 with Joseph Bendik looking on as the backup goalkeeper in 1. Division action.
FC Lyn filed for bankruptcy in midweek ending goalkeeper Tyrel Lacey's tenure with the Oslo club. Lyn's season is cancelled effective last Thursday.