DAVID SMITH - Saturday, April 21, 2012
Conor O'Brien played 90 minutes in SoenderjyskE's central midfield, as they overcame a bad start to remain alive in Danish Cup semifinal against Copenhagen.
FC Copenhagen 1 - 0 SønderjyskE
SønderjyskE were able to clamp down after an early goal from Copenhagen on Wednesday, keeping well within reach of next month's final in a one-goal first-leg loss.
As had been the case in recent weeks, O'Brien lined up as a holding midfielder for SønderjyskE from the start, and helped the team put in an overall strong performance that keeps them within reach a first-ever berth in the final.
A fourth minute corner from Christian Bolaños was headed on across goal to the far side, where Mustafa Abdellaoue was waiting to head in from short distance for the quick Copenhagen lead.
The visitors were entirely unfazed, and proceeded to apply pressure around the Copenhagen goal, running off a series of corners and chances - including an O'Brien header that was just wide - in the subsequent minutes.
They were close to equalizing in the 39th minute when Quincy Antipas broke free for a one-on-one with Copenhagen keeper Kim Christensen, but his shot was taken poorly and flew wide of the target.
The second half saw a back-and-forth contest, each team creating danger but unable to finish their multiple chances, with the clock eventually running out to set up a tight return leg for Wednesday in the Haderslev Fodboldstadion.
SønderjyskE will need an outright win in Wednesday's return leg to reach the final, but in the meantime must turn their gaze towards last-place Køge, who will pay a visit for league action on Sunday.
Brad Rusin was an unused substitute on Thursday afternoon as Køge drew 2-2 at home against AC Horsens in the first leg of their Danish Cup semifinal. They will play again in the second leg in Horsens next Thursday.