DAVID SMITH - Monday, August 1, 2011
Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjaelland suffered a difficult road loss to local rivals Copenhagen while Brad Rusin's eye-popping golazo was the lone bright spot for Køge in their loss at Lyngby.
FC Copenhagen 2 - 0 FC Nordsjaelland
Michael Parkhurst went the distance in Nordsjaelland's backfield on Saturday afternoon, however it was another rough outing for the team as they were shut out by Copenhagen.
After stumbling out of the blocks and picking up only a single point from their opening two games, Nordsjaelland were faced with the difficult task of visiting their neighbors FC Copenhagen, winners of the last three Danish league titles and a team widely expected to cruise to a fourth in the new season.
They did create some early moments of excitement including a tenth-minute shot from distance by midfielder Tobias Mikkelsen which forced Copenhagen keeper Johan Wiland into a leaping save, however the hosts struck first shortly thereafter.
A 16th minute corner from Christian Bolanos was headed off the right post by Dame N'Doye, however the rebound was straight to the head of Morten Nordstrand, who put it away for the early lead.
The Wild Tigers regained their composure and prevented any further damage for the rest of the half, however their hosts were firmly in control and in no danger of giving up an equalizer.
The introduction of Mikkel Beckmann into Nordsjaelland's lineup in the 55th minute gave them a bit more attacking push, although ultimately with no real results on the scoreboard to show for it.
With the game winding down and the visitors desperate to create an equalizer, Copenhagen put the final nail in with only moments left in regulation, as Thomas Delaney received a nice cross-field pass from Claudemir on a counter-attack, and nailed his acute-angled shot from the right, giving his team the final 2-0 win.
The loss, Nordsjaelland's second in their first three, leaves the Wild Tigers with just a single point and sole possession of 11th place with only Køge below. They will try to get a handle on things on Sunday when they host Silkeborg.
Lyngby BK 3 - 1 HB Køge
Brad Rusin's momentary flash of attacking brilliance helped Køge pull even against Lyngby on Sunday, however the team's defense once again failed them as they dropped their third straight to open the season.
In addition to his goal, Rusin picked up his first yellow card of the season in the 62nd minute.
Lyngby took the lead in the 36th minute, as a free kick by Patrick Mortensen from the right side passed through the defense and in front of goal, where Mathias Tauber lunged in to poke it on-target for 1-0.
Køge pulled even six minutes later in spectacular fashion thanks to their American center back. Rusin received the ball near the halfway line and stormed straight ahead towards the Lyngby goal, powering by several defenders on his way into the area, where he finally beat keeper Rune Pedersen with a shot from the right edge of the six-yard box, which bounced off the far upright and over the line for the equalizer.
The score only held up for a few scant minutes, with Mortensen again providing the difference, serving up a cross from the right which Tauber headed in to retake the lead moments before the half.
Lyngby secured the win with 18 minutes left in the game, this time with Emil Larsen receiving the ball in the right flank from Jeppe Brandrup and cutting inside through several Køge defenders before striking his low shot for 3-1.
With the game in no doubt, Køge defender Stefan Hansen was shown a straight red moments before full time as he tripped up forward Bajram Fetai as he was clear through on goal, leaving Køge short-handed in the back for their next game.
The result leaves Køge at the foot of the Superliga standings with no points, and a difficult visit from three-time reigning champs Copenhagen awaits on Sunday.
Aalborg BK 1 - 0 FC Midtjylland
Chris Rolfe started and played the first 80 minutes in the midfield for Aalborg as they held on for a tight one-goal victory at home to beat Midtjylland.
An intensely-played first half saw both teams pushing to take the lead, but both defenses did a good job to stifle any real danger from their opponents.
On the stroke of halftime, Aalborg took a surprise lead, as Nicklas Helenius won a header in Midtjylland's area, dropping the ball over to his teammate Jeppe Curth, who sent a short pass back to Helenius at the edge of the box for a shot which rolled between the legs of keeper Kasper Jensen.
The Wolves attempted to fight back from their deficit and looked in control for large portions of the second half, but couldn't break through, thanks in part to their own wastefulness, but also largely to the stout Aalborg defense.
The result puts Aalborg into a three-way tie with Copenhagen and Horsens atop the Superliga standings, with each of the other teams holding only an advantage on goal differential. Rolfe will almost certainly continue his run in the team's starting lineup when they visit Horsens on Saturday.
Clarence Goodson was unavailable due to illness, and did not take the field as Brøndby were blown out at home by a 4-1 score at the hands of surprise league leaders AC Horsens on Sunday.
Conor O'Brien has finally obtained his Danish work permit and was in uniform for SønderjyskE's 1-1 draw on the road against Silkeborg IF, however watched the entirety of the game from the bench as an unused substitute.