MEGHAN BRENNAN - Monday, November 8, 2010
Graham Dugoni found the back of the net as 1. Division Mjøndalen escaped relegation while Clarence Goodson bid adieu to the Start fans during a draw with Haugesund as the 2010 season concluded in Norway.
Molde 1 - 0 Stabæk
Mikkel Diskerud and Stabæk finish the 2010 season with a loss to Molde and a slip to 12th in the rankings on Sunday.
Diskerud started the game at left midfield and played a full 90 minutes.
Molde put on the offensive pressure early with several near misses in the first half. Thanks to superb play by Norwegian national team goalkeeer Jon Knudson, the first 45 remained scoreless.
Shortly after the halftime whistle however, Knudson let in a penalty by Baye Djiby Fall due to a Bjarni Ólafur Eiríksson handball.
This was Jan Jonsson's final game as head coach after six seasons. He leaves Stabæk to coach the 2010 Eliteserien champions, Rosenborg, next year.
Sandefjord 6 - 1 Hønefoss
Kenneth Di Vita Jensen and Hønefoss ended the 2010 season with an abysmal loss to the Eliteserien's last placed Sandefjord on Sunday.
Di Vita Jensen started at left midfield and played a full 90 minutes. Fellow American Steve Clark watched from the bench as the backup goalkeeper.
It was bad news for the visitors from the beginning as goalkeeper Thomas Solvoll allowed a Malick Mane header in the fourth minute. Mane headed the ball far post off defender Martin Jensen's 35 yard free kick.
Goal number two came in the 45th minute from another long ball to header combo. Jensen dished another 35 yard cross, this time from the left side of the field, to Eirik André Lamøy who lobbed a header over Solvoll for the far post goal.
The guests responded six minutes later when Davy Claude Angan crossed a low ball to Kevin Beugre who one-timed it from inside the six.
Sandefjord midfielder Panojotis Dimitriadis was responsible for goals number three and four in the 59th and 75th minutes respectively. Both of Dimitriadis' goals were assisted by Lamøy.
The 78th minute saw Mane carry the ball into the 18, beat Hønefoss defender and captain Frode Lafton and score near post from atop the six.
Mane was also responsible for the final goal of the game, a perfect shot from the 18 that just dipped under the cross bar and out of Solvoll's reach.
Hønefoss will begin relegation playoffs next week as they meet the 1. Division's fifth placed team, Ranheim, in a winner-take-all round.
Start 3 - 3 Haugesund
Clarence Goodson played his final game for IK Start without fellow American defender Hunter Freeman in the tie Sunday against Haugesund.
Goodson started in his usual center back stop for the last time as he recently singed a three year deal with Danish club Brøndby.
Freeman sat out his fourth consecutive game due to a knee injury.
Twenty minutes into the game Haugesund defender Chris Pozniak was shown red after shoving Start defender Rolf Daniel Vikstøl.
Start was able to capitilize on the man down situation and scored three minutes later with a give-and-go between Espen Hoff and Espen Børufsen that left Hoff open atop the six for the goal.
Haugesund responded in the 36th minute when Tor Arne Andreassen dished to Nikola Djurdjic just inside the corner of the 18 who fired a far post goal.
Despite being a man down, the visitors did not let up the pressure when Jacob V. Sørensen chipped his shot over keeper Kenneth Høie for the 42nd minute go-ahead goal.
In the second half Haugesund continued to increase the gap with another Djurdjic goal in the 75th minute.
Start responded just one minute later when Børufsen one timed a Vistøl cross from 15 yards out that snuck in near post.
The game tying goal came in the 79th minute when Goodson rebounded a Start free kick and dished it to Bernt Hulsker for the tap in.
Start finished the 2010 season at eighth in the Eliteserien.
Mjøndalen 3 - 1 NIL-Trysil
Graham Dugoni scored as Mjøndalen avoided an early scare to defeat Nybergsund on Sunday in their 1. Division finale.
The win lifted Mjøndalen four points above the drop zone and ensured another season in Norway's second level.
Dugoni started for the hosts in defense and went the distance. In addition to his goal, he also picked up a yellow card.
Remond Mendy gave Nybergsund the early lead with a goal in the 35th minute but Mjøndalen evened things up three minutes later courtesy of Abdou Darboe.
Four minutes after the halftime break, Christian Smerud put the hosts ahead for good and then Dugoni drilled the nail in the coffin using his brawn to muscle through the Nybergsund defense and head a corner kick into the back of the net.
Mjøndalen conclude their season in 10th place with 35 points.
Ranheim 2 - 2 Sogndal
Eliteserien-bound Sogndal allowed a two goal lead slip away to a very motivated Ranheim on Sunday afternoon.
American goalkeeper Joseph Bendik started and went the distance in net for the visitors.
With their ticket to Norway's premier level already booked, Sogndal fielded a team mostly of reserves, including Bendik, against Ranheim who were desperate to get a point.
The team that was promoted last season from the 2. Division were improbably in the hunt for a playoff berth but needed a result to clinch that all-important fifth position.
But Sogndal showed their class early stringing together two goals in two minutes. The first coming in the 20th from Ole Jorgen Halvorsen and then in the 22nd via Ulrik Flo.
Things looked bleak for Ranheim but then eight minutes before the break, Espen Sodahl injected some life into his team with a goal.
Sixteen minutes into the second half, Daniel Krogstad set off near-pandemonium at Ranheim's home stadium with an equalizer that beat Bendik.
Despite the draw, Bendik and Sogndal will head into the offseason all smiles knowing they will play in the Eliteserien next season while Ranheim will be busily preparing for their playoff showdown versus Kenneth Di Vita Jensen, Steve Clark and Eliteserien 14th placed club Honefoss.
American Keeper Colin Burns did not play in Sarpsborg's 4 - 0 win against Alta. As the 1. Division's second place finishers Sarpsborg will be promoted to the Eliteserien next season.