DAVID SMITH - Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Benny Feilhaber and Aarhus saw their hopes of an undefeated season crushed in a close loss to Brønshøj while Babajide Ogunbiyi netted yet another goal in a losing effort to Vestsjælland.
FC Copenhagen 2 - 1 FC Nordsjaelland
Michael Parkhurst played the entirety in Nordsjaelland's backfield on Sunday as they were unable to make a dent in Copenhagen's record.
The Wild Tigers looked fit to pull an unlikely upset out of their hat, doing well to control the tempo and create chances in the opening half hour, until they were done in over a two-minute span in embarrassing fashion.
After a long throw into the Nordsjaelland box by Claudemir in which it appeared Matt Lund had been plowed over by several Copenhagen players, Andreas Bjelland inexplicably picked up the ball anticipating the foul which the referee never intended to whistle, giving no other choice than for him to point to the spot.
While Cesar Santin's penalty shot was saved by keeper Jepser Hansen, Claudemir was in perfect position to put the rebound away, giving Copenhagen the 1-0 advantage in the 30th minute.
Matters became worse just two minutes later when Enock Adu was judged to have tripped up Zdenek Pospech on a counter-attack, again sending Santin to the spot, where this time he was successful to give Copenhagen the 2-0 lead.
The Wild Tigers did manage to cut the lead to one goal with 15 minutes left in regulation when Anders Due sent in a cross for youngster Christian Gytkjaer to head past keeper Johan Wiland with style, however the hosts held strong for the final quarter-hour, maintaining their undefeated record and sending Nordsjaelland home empty-handed.
The Wild Tigers drop down into tenth place with the loss, now two points ahead of Esbjerg and the drop zone. The team has two more home games before the winter break, first hosting SønderjyskE on Sunday then Horsens one week later.
Brønshøj BK 1 - 0 AGF Aarhus
Benny Feilhaber was unable to repeat his heroics of one week before, seeing his late spot kick saved as Brønshøj handed Aarhus their first loss of the season to close out the fall term on Sunday afternoon.
Feilhaber was also shown a late yellow card in the closing moments of the game.
Aarhus thoroughly dominated the proceedings from the start, with Peter Graulund at the center of things before the game eventually settled midway through the half into a drab affair devoid of any real style or substance.
Brønshøj took a more obstructionist approach throughout both halves, and were rewarded on the hour mark when Stefan Schmidt sent off a rare cross towards Aarhus' goal, which Danni König headed in past Steffen Rassmussen much to the surprise of the visitors.
Aarhus were given the perfect chance to pull even with seven minutes left when Feilhaber was taken down in the area by defender Peter Ørbæk Larsen, however his resulting spot kick was well-saved by keeper Kim Drejs, guaranteeing the three points to the hosts.
Feilhaber and Aarhus enter the winter break at the head of the First Division, although their gap ahead of Vejle is now cut to just five points with the loss. They will continue their run towards promotion once again in late-March at home against Hobro IK.
FC Vestsjælland 3 - 2 Viborg FF
Babajide Ogunbiyi scored a late goal for Viborg to put them within reach of a comeback against Vestsjælland on Sunday, however their rally fell short as they enter the long winter break just outside of the relegation zone.
Viborg got off to an awful start when a foul by Philip Rasmussen in the box led to Rasmus Festersen putting Vestsjælland ahead in the eighth minute, then Festersen headed in a cross four minutes later to give them a daunting two-goal lead.
The hosts added a third with five minutes left in the half when Lasse Vibe headed in a cross to complete a counter-attack, before Viborg made the game interesting in the second half.
Nicolai Melchiorsen first brought one back ten minutes after the break with a stunning free kick, then Ogunbiyi added a second with 12 minutes remaining, receiving the ball at his feet in the box before turning his defender and blasting into the net.
The hosts however prevented any further damage, preserving their win and sending Viborg away empty-handed.
Viborg end the first half of the season one point out of the relegation zone in 13th place, and have a four-month winter break ahead until they resume play again in late March against Roskilde.
Chris Rolfe and Marcus Tracy are both injured through the end of the calendar year and will miss Aalborg's 2-1 loss at home on Sunday to Brøndby.
Jamel Johnson did not participate in Fyn's 4-2 loss at Vejle on Saturday.