DAVID SMITH - Monday, October 25, 2010
Benny Feilhaber and Aarhus recorded yet another win to continue their run at promotion while Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjaelland were dealt an embarrassing blow by last-place Aalborg.
Aalborg BK 2 - 0 FC Nordsjaelland
Michael Parkhurst once again went the distance at right back for Nordsjaelland, picking up his first yellow card of the season as the Wild Tigers fell on the road to Aalborg.
Both Marcus Tracy and Chris Rolfe are out recovering from long-term injuries and did not suit up for the game.
Aalborg came into the weekend as easily the worst team in the Danish top flight over the first three months of the season, having managed just nine points through their first 12 games and showing no signs of an impending turnaround.
They were quick to take advantage of a fairly flat opening by the Wild Tigers, and jumped to the lead after 18 minutes as forward Jeppe Curth was left clear by the defense to hit a header from close to goal.
Aalborg were happy to sit on their lead for the rest of the first half, doing a fine job to negate their visitors' usual attacking mentality and taking a well-deserved lead into the halftime break.
Nordsjaelland coach Morten Wieghorst shifted his lineup heading into the second half, moving Parkhurst into central defense, and pushing Canadian striker Patrice Bernier further to the top of the attack.
Bernier should have equalized at the hour mark when Christian Gytkjær freed him into a one-on-one with Aalborg keeper Karim Zaza, but his shot was poorly aimed well within reach of the Moroccan keeper.
They were made to regret their wastefulness 13 minutes later as Parkhurst barely missed in his lunge towards a pass into the box towards Aalborg forward Nicklas Helenius, who put away his chance to give Aalborg the 2-0 victory.
With the loss, Nordsjaelland drop to eighth place in the standings. They have a tough Danish Cup visit to fellow Superliga team Odense BK on Thursday before playing host to the team in league play four days later.
Aalborg are still in last place with the three points, but now are just two points down in the relegation zone. They visit Babajide Ogunbiyi and Viborg in the fourth round of the Danish Cup on Wednesday, then visit fellow relegation strugglers Randers in a huge six-pointer on Saturday afternoon.
Viborg FF 1 - 2 HB Køge
Babajide Ogunbiyi and Viborg fought back from an early goal by visiting Køge to pull even on Friday evening, however were beaten in the second half to suffer their second straight loss in First Division play.
The Greens had ended their short turnaround one week before with a tough loss on the road to championship-chasing Vejle, and were looking to Friday's home game with Køge as an opportunity to regain momentum with a strong win against a tough, but beatable opponent.
Their hopes quickly took a hit after just one-quarter hour, as Køge, who had clearly dominated in the early-going took the lead on a strike from young Danish-Algerian striker Adda Djeziri.
This was seemingly the wake-up call they needed, as they succeeded to push the the visitors' defense in the subsequent minutes, equalizing in the 24th minute as Philip Rasmussen hit from close range just seconds after the defenders were unable to successfully clear a free kick he had put into the area.
Køge took the initiative in the second half, keeping the Greens on their back heel and regaining the lead when their sustained pressure forced their hosts into an error.
George Popkhadze was judged by the referee to have fouled Fabinho in the area thus leaving Lasse Kronborg with the opportunity to secure the win from the spot. While his first attempt was successfully saved by Viborg keeper Robert Veselovsky, the referee ordered a re-take due to several players jumping too quickly, which Kronborg successfully netted to take all three points for Køge.
Their second straight weekend with no points drops the Greens back to the edge of the relegation zone, now only one point ahead of Naevsted. They will temporarily turn their attention towards the Danish Cup where they host Aalborg on Wednesday, then will try to get a grip on their league campaign on Sunday when visiting Naevsted in desperate need of a result.
Skive IK 0 - 2 AGF Aarhus
Benny Feilhaber got the start for Aarhus on Sunday, however was forced out early in the second half with a sprained ankle as the Whites racked up yet another win on their visit to Skive IK.
Despite entering the game 14 points and eight places below the First Division leaders, Skive showed little fear in the early going and made their attacking intentions clear.
Andreas Albers was just off target from a tight angle in the opening moments, then Thomas Dalgaard was close to beating keeper Steffen Rassmussen shortly after.
Their offensive was just short-lived, as Aarhus took the lead in the 36th minute thanks to a swift move and fine shot to the far corner by Stephan Petersen.
Feilhaber was forced to leave the game early in the second half after a slight ankle knock suffered earlier in the game proved to be too much to allow him to continue, however the team does nevertheless expect him to be back in time for their midweek Danish Cup clash.
Skive fought to stay in the match, however their chances of stealing a point for the home crowd were put to rest with just over 20 minutes remaining, as Davit Devderiani received the ball on the edge of the penalty area and left his defender in the dust before calmly burying his shot.
Aarhus remain at the head of the First Division, with their closest competitors Vejle still nipping at their heels three points behind.
They should have no problems to blow past lower division Varde IF on Wednesday in Danish Cup play, then have a potentially tough league match on Sunday when they host third-place AB Copenhagen.
Jamel Johnson did not suit up for FC Fyn, who stayed in the First Division's bottom three with their scoreless draw at AB Copenhagen on Sunday.