DAVID SMITH - Monday, August 16, 2010
Benny Feilhaber and AGF flew past Brønshøj for their first win of the season while Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjælland were blanked in Copenhagen for their third straight loss.
FC Copenhagen 2 - 0 FC Nordsjælland
Michael Parkhurst and the Wild Tigers were unable to show their teeth, giving up a pair of goals to Copenhagen's Dame N'Doye in a tough loss to their crosstown rivals.
The relatively tight scoreline through the first 80 minutes of the game hardly reflected the flow of the game, as the hosts could have won by far more than their two-goal margin.
With central defender Andreas Bjelland already out of the game with an injury, the Nordsjælland defense suffered another blow 18 minutes into the game when Henrik Kildentoft was also forced out of the game with a back problem.
They nevertheless held the game scoreless through nearly the entire half, thanks in large part to a number of clutch saves from Jesper Hansen, until N'Doye had a lucky deflection on a shot from the edge of the area go into goal after first bouncing off of Parkhurst's knee.
Morten Wieghorst's men showed a bit more fight after the break in their attempts to move toward Copenhagen's goal, but were still badly outplayed by their hosts with little true danger created on their part.
With the game nearly in hand, N'Doye added an insurance goal with nine minutes remaining, first evading defender Daniel Jensen before rounding Hansen and putting his shot over the line for the final 2-0.
The loss drops Nordsjælland into eighth place on six points, and leaves them in a tough position when they visit third-place Midtjylland in the next weekend's round of games.
AGF 3 - 1 Brønshøj BK
Benny Feilhaber played the first 81 minutes for Aarhus on Sunday, picking up a yellow card as the Whites came back from an early Brønshøj goal to get three points in their home opener.
The game began poorly for Aarhus, as their guests first came close on a header off the cross bar early on, then took the lead in the fifth minute when Lasse Fosgaard weaved through the right side of the defense towards Steffen Rassmussen's goal and pushed his short shot over the line.
Aarhus nevertheless kept their composure and tied it on the half-hour mark when Davit Devdariani chested down a cross into the area and sent it into goal, then took the lead six minutes after a free kick from Feilhaber was headed off the crossbar by Mark Howard before the subsequent rebound-header was put into the net by Peter Graulund.
Feilhaber picked up his first yellow card of the new season in the 68th minutes and was eventually subbed out with nine minutes left in favor of Jens Gjesing.
Graulund then made the three points a certainty three minutes into injury time as he added his second of the game, combining with Caspar Sloth on a breakaway and giving keeper Kim Turn no chance with his blast of a shot.
The three points leaves Aarhus in fifth place, with their next game on the road on Friday against Jamil Fearrington and struggling Roskilde.
Hjørring 2 - 1 FC Roskilde
Jamil Fearrington and Roskilde were unable to put away newly-promoted Hjørring, giving up a pair of goals in the second half to drop their third straight game in the span of one week.
The Roskilde defense kept their hosts without any real chances for the first half, dominating the majority of possession, but also unable to do much with the ball themselves.
The defense which had dominated so well in the first half was the architect of their demise in the minutes following the break, as a pair of defensive miscues first allowed Lasse Strandberg to net five minutes in, then Dennis Ramonn Olsen to add a second Hjørring goal two minutes later.
Head coach Carsten Broe quickly changed his approach to the game with three subs over the next 20 minutes, which paid off, however far too late as Tobias Perch-Nielsen's consolation goal in added time was only enough prevent the shut-out, while still leaving them without a point on the afternoon.
Roskilde remain without a point and will need to be on their very best behavior next Friday when they host Benny Feilhaber and pre-season promotion favorites Aarhus.
Viborg FF 1 - 2 FC Vestsjælland
Babajide Ogunbiyi went the distance in Viborg's central defense, however the team was unable to hang on to an early lead, giving up a pair of goals in the final 30 minutes to give away the points at home to Vestsjælland.
Viborg started out the game looking in charge but less than dangerous in front of goal, but slowly began to apply more pressure on their opponents.
Their big breakthrough, and first tally of the new season, finally came with five minutes left in the first half Jesper Kjærulff was quick to react after a free kick blunder by Vestsjælland, with the forward needing only to beat the opposing keeper before striking the ball in for the home lead.
The lead should have been increased on the hour mark when Eldin Karisik just missed the corner of goal after dangerous setup from Kjærulff, then Vestsjælland drew even moments later as Anders Nielsen scored off of a corner on the subsequent attack.
The even-again scoreline brought both teams back to life as each desperately pushed for the three points, but it was Vestsjælland who would finally be successful, as Sladan Peric made the home fans suffer, heading in a corner with eight minutes left to earn his team the important road win.
Viborg, who have only a single point so far on the season, are in 11th place, and need to take all three points on Friday when they host firsts-place Skive should they hope to keep close to the promotion-hunting pack at the top of the standings.
Marcus Tracy and Chris Rolfe are still recovering from injuries, and neither is on the Aalborg roster for their Monday night game at Midtjylland.