DAVID SMITH - Thursday, October 27, 2011
Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjaelland took one step closer to a third Danish Cup final berth with a win over old foes Midtjylland while Brad Rusin and Køge beat Roskilde in overtime to reach the quarterfinal.
Hobro IK 0 - 2 SønderjyskE
Second-half substitute Conor O'Brien and SønderjyskE saved the fireworks until late in their win at Hobro on Wednesday, hitting twice in the second overtime period to reach the final eight of the Danish Cup.
Neither team was able to find their way into the net in a back-and-forth 90 minutes of regulation, ultimately forcing both exhausted teams to play a further 30 minutes of added time.
O'Brien was close to netting an opener in the 104th minute when he connected with a cross from Quincy Antipas, sending his header barely off-target.
Antipas was responsible for the first and ultimate winning goal for the visitors after 110 minutes, when the Hobro defense was unable to clear the ball from a crowd in the area, allowing the Zimbabwean international to poke it from short range.
Daniel Christensen added a second for good measure two minutes before the final whistle, running onto a long pass and beating the Hobro keeper to bring the final score to 2-0.
SønderjyskE will find out their quarterfinal opponent with Friday afternoon's draw, then will pay a visit to third-place Midtjylland in league action on Monday evening.
FC Nordsjaelland 1 - 0 FC Midtjylland
Michael Parkhurst played the full 90 minutes in Nordsjaelland's defense, helping them to continue their Danish Cup dominance over Midtjylland with a narrow shut-out win.
With Nordsjaelland having beaten the Wolves in each of the previous two Cup finals, they know their guests would be out for revenge, and did a fine job to thwart their opponents' hopes for a third straight year.
Nordsjaelland had reason to complain after 12 minutes when Tobias Mikkeklson was sent through the defense on goal, but was knocked over from behind in what should have been an early red card.
The referee did whistle for a foul, but ignored the fact that the perpetrator was the last defender, mercifully leaving Midtjylland with 11 players on the field.
There was no controversy when the Wild Tigers struck their opening goal in the 37th minute, as Parkhurst sent a cross into the area from the right side which Søren Christensen looped over Midtjylland keeper Kasper Jensen for the lead.
The hosts missed several opportunities to increase their lead before the break, however did a fine job in the second half to thwart the increasingly desperate Midtjylland attack, eventually holding on heroically for the win.
The game extended Nordsjaelland's current red-hot streak in all competitions, where they have won eight of their last nine. They will look to add another in the win column on Sunday when they host a dismal Lyngby squad.
FC Roskilde 1 - 2 HB Køge
Brad Rusin played the full 120 minutes for Køge on Wednesday night, as they locked horns with their First Division hosts Roskilde in an intense overtime win.
Køge caught a lucky break when Roskilde's Caspar Grønn Larsen was sent off with a straight red just past the half-hour mark, giving the visitors an advantage on the field for the remainder of the game.
They were unable to capitalize on the opportunity over the next hour, forcing 30 minutes of overtime and putting the team in a potentially embarrassing situation should they not even be able to beat a team playing a full division below.
Their fears were quickly put to rest, however when Martin Christensen chested down the ball in the area and adeptly put it away for the 94th-minute lead, then Simon Christoffersen made it two for the visitors with a strike in the 113th.
While Roskilde did manage to pull one back with three minutes left off the foot of former Aarhus player Ole Budtz, it was too little, too late, and Køge were able to escape with the victory.
The win is a rare bright spot in an otherwise disastrous season, although Køge will hope to keep some momentum going when they return to league action on Sunday with a trip to Aarhus.
Brøndby IF 0 - 3 FC Copenhagen
Clarence Goodson and Brøndby presented little opposition for Copenhagen on Thursday night, allowing a trio of goals in a rough 15-minute span to come crashing out of the Cup.
With Copenhagen entering the game on a rare three-game winless streak, the best hope that the continually struggling Brøndby squad had was to take advantage of any residual desolation on the part of their visitors.
Brøndby had fired former head coach Henrik Jensen earlier in the week after a run of poor results left them on the edge of the drop zone, with assistant Auri Skarbalius taking the reigns on a permanent basis.
With his first task a daunting visit from powerhouse Copenhagen, the former Lithuanian player saw his team effectively lose the game in a relatively short span of beginning several minutes before the break.
A 37th-minue was left to fall into the area by the Brøndby defense, and Pape Pate Diouf rushed in to send it over the line for 1-0.
The struck again one minute before the half, as Cesar Santin found Dame N'Doye with a nifty back-heel, allowing the Senegalese striker to hit a low shot for the two-goal lead.
Goodson picked up a yellow card shortly after the two teams returned to the field after halftime, then Copenhagen put it out of reach in the 52nd minute as Sölvi Ottesen rose high to head in a corner.
The silver lining of the loss is that it will allow Brøndby to focus on their increasingly troublesome league campaign, where they will host Chris Rolfe and Aalborg on Sunday.
Babajide Ogunbiyi is recovering from knee injury and did not suit up on Tuesday as Viborg were knocked out of the Cup on penalties for a second straight season, this time losing in a shoot-out by a 6-5 score at FC Fredericia.