MATHEW WAGNER - Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Steve Clark and Hønefoss held on for another point against a quality opponent, while Ricardo Clark, Sean Cunningham and Stabæk recorded their first win of the season.
Hønefoss BK 1 - 1 Molde FK
Hønefoss picked up yet another point against one of the best in Norway, tying defending champion Molde at home.
American winger Joshua Gatt started and played 86 minutes on the right wing for Molde. Steve Clark started in net for Hønefoss, while forward Kenneth di Vita Jensen made the squad but did not make it off the bench.
Despite attacking Clark relentlessly in the opening, Hønefoss had the first chance. Molde goalkeeper Espen Bugge Pettersen saved a penalty in the 10th minute after Rune Bolseth was pushed over in the box.
In the 26th minute, Molde finally broke through Clark. Gatt centered to Davy Claude Angan, who from 11 yards put the ball past Clark and into the left side of the net.
Molde continued to control the match for much of the first half, but Bolseth pulled Hønefoss back into it in the 44th minute. He took a shot from outside the penalty area that curled into the top left corner of the net with Pettersen having no chance to stop it.
The second half saw Hønefoss have more possession than in the first half, as the game evened out more. Still, Molde looked the more dangerous team, forcing Clark to make a few saves.
Molde looked to take the lead in the 84th minute, when Angan shot twice, once blocked by Clark and the other hit the post- before slotted home. However, Gatt touched the ball on the second rebound and was ruled offside.
Molde probed the Hønefoss defense in the last five minutes and stoppage time, but Clark and company held up to earn a point.
This was the eighth point by Hønefoss in the last two weeks, which has seen the team beat Rosenborg and tied both Haugesund and Molde. All three of those teams sit above Hønefoss on the table.
Molde now occupies the top spot over Strømsgodset on goal differential, but Strømsgodset has a game in-hand. Hønefoss still sits in sixth place with 18 points.
Both teams return to action June 20th in the third round of the Norwegian Cup. Hønefoss travels to Mjøndalen, and Molde hosts Hamarkamaratene.
Stabæk IF 4 - 1 Lillestrøm SK
Stabæk pummeled Lillestrøm for its first win of the season Monday evening.
Americans Ricardo Clark and Sean Cunningham started in central midfield and central defense for Stabæk.
In the third minute, Stabæk took an early lead for only the second time this season. In the third minute, Torstein Andersen Aase received a centering pass from Fredrik Brustad. From 10 yards out, Aase barely squeezed a shot past a diving Sead Ramovic.
Lillestrøm struck back minutes later, though. Mathis Bolly found Erling Knudtzon open in the box, who drilled the volley into the net.
Stabæk didn't let that goal get to them, answering emphatically with three goals in a four-minute span.
In the 15th minute, Fredrik Brustad got behind the defense from a through ball by Christer Kleiven, and from eight yards out on the right side of the box, he scored to the goalkeeper's far side.
Less than a minute later, a nearly identical play ensued to give Stabek a two-goal lead. Brustad saw a pass from the opposite side of the field get him behind the defense on the right side of the box. He reared back and once again beat the goalkeeper to the far post.
The fireworks kept coming for Stabaek in the 18th minute. A 20-yard free kick by Vegar Eggen Hedenstad went over the wall and into the top left corner to give Stabæk four goals in the first 20 minutes.
From that point, Stabæk cruised to victory, with only a few chances scattered throughout the second half for both teams.
This win should be a morale booster for Stabæk heading into the summer break. The team had ridden a nine-game losing streak coming into Monday.
Despite the win, Stabæk sits in last place, seven points behind 14th place Lillestrøm. The team returns to action in the third round of the Norwegian Cup June 20th against third division team Asker.
American duo Kyle Helton and Rhett Bernstein started at left back and center back for Mjøndalen in its 1-1 tie with Hamarkamaratene.
American defender Sebastian Troupe was not in the lineup for Bærum in its 1-0 loss to Sarpsborg 08.