DAVID SMITH - Thursday, April 12, 2012
A trio of draws was the order of the day for all Americans playing in the Danish top flight, with Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjaelland keeping their narrow title hopes alive after fighting back at Midtjylland.
FC Midtjylland 1 - 1 FC Nordsjaelland
Michael Parkhurst put in a 90-minute shift on the right side of Nordsjaelland's defense as they snatched a crucial last-minute point at Midtjylland.
After a tightly-fought scoreless first hour of play in which Midtjylland looked the more dangerous of the two, they gave themselves the advantage they so desperately needed, as Sylvester Igboun worked his way in from the right and teed the ball up for Jakob Poulsen for a rocket that flew just inside the upper left corner.
The game looked for an important win for the hosts in their quest to overtake the Wild Tigers for Champions League qualification, however Nordsjaelland found a late equalizer to protect their lead in the standings.
Patrick Mtiliga stole the ball in the defensive end of the field to start a counter-attack, then 70 yards upfield ran onto a through ball from Tobias Mikkelsen, and hit a perfect cross to the far side of goal which Rawez Lawan headed in just grazing the upright for the equalizer.
The point maintains the Wild Tigers' seven-point gap ahead of the Wolves although now leaves them with just a four-point advantage over third-place Horsens in the race for Denmark's second Champions League spot with eight games remaining.
They next host fifth-place Silkeborg on Sunday.
Odense BK 1 - 1 SønderjyskE
Conor O'Brien was a 90-minute man in SønderjyskE's three-man midfield on Monday, helping the team come closer to assuring their survival with a point on the road at Odense.
Also sitting not yet safe from relegation, the hosts jumped into the lead six minutes before the half when a turnover close to the SønderjyskE goal proved costly. Mohamed Kalilou Traoré fed Andreas Johansson just outside the box on the left, and the Swedish veteran sent a high looping shot back to the far upper corner for the opening goal.
SønderjyskE kept up the fight, and secured their share of the points on the hour mark, as Bjørn Paulsen dropped the ball off for Henrik Hansen, whose shot took a deflection off an opposing defender, bouncing up high and to the right side of goal where Stefan Wessels could only watch it cross the line for the equalizer.
SønderjyskE remain in ninth place, still with a nine-point cushion above the relegation places. They return to action on Sunday, when they pay a visit to Lyngby, with the opportunity to expand their safety net to 12 points.
Brøndby IF 1 - 1 HB Køge
Clarence Goodson played the full game in Brøndby's defense on Monday, picking up a second-half yellow card as they team could only manage to draw even with last-place Køge.
Køge central defender Brad Rusin sat as an unused substitute for the visitors.
All the action happened within the first 40 minutes, with Brøndby taking a deserved lead in the 27th when Nicolaj Agger ran onto a botched clearance by Køge defender Stefan Hansen and clinically put his shot away.
Then six minutes before the half, Køge battled to the equalizing goal, with Adeola Runsewe charging up the right side and hitting a low diagonal cross to the near edge of the six-yard box, which Nicolaj Madsen put away with a lunging shot.
With the result, Brøndby maintain a ten-point lead ahead of the relegation places, and are seven points out of European qualification. They next suit up on Sunday to visit AC Horsens.
Køge remain in last place, and will hope for the best when they host FC Copenhagen on Sunday.
Chris Rolfe is serving the second of a two-game suspension and was not a part of Aalborg's roster on Sunday as they lost 3-1 at home to Silkeborg IF.
Babajide Ogunbiyi was not in Viborg's starting lineup on Monday for their 4-0 road win over FC Roskilde.