DAVID SMITH - Saturday, October 29, 2011
The quarterfinal round of the Danish Cup was drawn on Friday, giving the respective teams of Brad Rusin and Conor O'Brien a relatively straightforward path to the final four.
Three of the four Americans left in the competition survived their round of 16 tests during the midweek round of games, and the luck of the draw once again prevented any all-Yank encounters.
The undisputed highlight of the round will be a visit of reigning two-time Cup holders Nordsjaelland to three-time league champions FC Copenhagen, in a game derby which would normally be fitting for the final.
The Wild Tigers progressed to the quarterfinal matchup by once again ending Midtjylland's run in the competition, and they will meet a Copenhagen team which made easy work of dispatching Brøndby in a shut-out win.
These teams have already met twice in the current season, both times in Copenhagen's Parken Stadium, with each taking a win.
Should the current league standings hold, the late-November game could be another first-versus-second battle, with the winner having a huge leg up to reach the final with a relatively weak group of teams comprising the rest of the field.
Conor O'Brien and SønderjyskE lucked out with the easiest game of the round, being served a trip to third-tier Næsby BK on a silver platter.
They gained entry into the round by winning an exciting overtime game at Hobro, and while Næsby did pull a major upset over top-flight Silkeborg, any failure by SønderjyskE to beat the relative minnows in the coming match would be a huge surprise.
Brad Rusin and Køge have found respite from their tough season in a strong run in the competition, and were also fortunate to draw an opponent from a lower division in Vejle BK Kolding.
Køge also came out overtime winners against First Division Roskilde, although Vejle, who are currently third place in that division, will surely provide a more difficult test.
All games in this round will be played either on Thursday, November 24 or the following Tuesday, November 29, with exact dates yet to be set.
Danish Cup quarterfinal draw
Vejle-Kolding - HB Køge
FC Copenhagen - FC Nordsjælland
Næsby BK - SønderjyskE