DAVID SMITH - Sunday, July 18, 2010
Michael Parkhurst played the duration in Nordsjælland's central defense on Sunday afternoon as the Wild Tigers started their season out in style with a blowout win over Silkeborg.
FC Nordsjælland 4 - 1 Silkeborg IF
Nordsjælland opened the 2010-11 season with a strong victory against visiting Silkeborg, posting four goals in a dominating offensive display while seeing Parkhurst and his fellow defenders limit their opponents to a single tally.
The hosts came out of the gates firing on all cylinders, having a multitude of chances within the opening minutes. 22 year-old midfielder Matti Lund Nielsen gave them the well-deserved lead after 11 minutes, taking advantage of a cross that bounced off a Silkeborg defender and landed at his feet just in front of goal for the point-blank shot.
His fellow Danish U21 youth international Nicki Bille Nielsen extended the lead on the half hour mark, rising high to head in a corner from Swedish defender Pierre Bengston.
Silkeborg's Jesper Mikkelsen temporarily brought his team back into the game three minutes later with a fine long-range shot, but the start of the second half saw Nordsjælland once again take hold of the game and leave little question as to the eventual victor.
They were again the beneficiaries of a well executed set piece in the 56th minute, this time with Henrik Kildentoft sending a long free kick into the area, where Nicolai Stockholm had broken free of the defending players to the left of goal and made easy work of his long header to the far post.
The rout was completed with 20 minutes remaining in regulation, with Søren Christensen playing Matti Lund Nielsen free on the right side of the field, who subsequently placed a perfect centering pass to the feet of Nicki Bille Nielsen for his low shot past the keeper marking the team's fourth and final goal.
The win sees Nordsjælland jump to the top of the league with one game in the books, tied on points and goal differential with second-place Odense, but leading on total goals scored.
They will next host SønderjyskE on Sunday in Superliga action before turning their gaze temporarily towards their Europa League date with Sporting CP.
Both Marcus Tracy and Chris Rolfe are injured and will miss Aalborg's opening game on Monday night at newly-promoted Lyngby BK.