DAVID SMITH - Sunday, August 5, 2012
Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjaelland earned a draw at Aalborg in dramatic fashion while Shawn Nicklaw played the full 90 for Køge as they could only manage a share of the points at Fyn.
Aalborg BK 1 - 1 FC Nordsjaelland
Michael Parkhurst took up his usual spot in Nordsjaelland's backfield on Saturday, as they snatched a point out of the jaws of defeat thanks a last-second equalizer by new acquisition Joshua John.
The American also picked up his second yellow card of the season in the 73rd minute.
The Wild Tigers did look the better of the two teams throughout the first half, although a resilient Aalborg squad which suffered losses in all three of the meetings between the teams last season did a fine job to snuff out any real danger.
Their fortitude paid off when, after 85 minutes played, the Nordsjaelland defense missed several opportunities to clear a corner, with Lasse Nielsen finally connecting at the edge of the six-yard box for a rocketing shot which gave Aalborg the lead.
The hosts had barely any time to celebrate when the Dutch forward John, who was making his debut with the Wild Tigers after his 83rd-minute substitution into the game, earned them the point in dramatic fashion.
With two minutes remaining on the clock, John snuck undetected into the left side of the penalty area on a counter-attack, and was picked out by Kasper Lorentzen in free space. The 23 year-old former youth international took two touches to settle the ball, then looped his shot past the Aalborg keeper into the far side of goal.
The Wild Tigers drop to sixth after their second straight draw, but should be confident of picking up the win on Saturday afternoon when they host second-bottom Silkeborg IF.
FC Midtjylland 2 - 1 Randers FC
Charlie Davies saw a half of action for his longest appearance thus far in Denmark, but was unable to provide a spark to help them come back from a halftime deficit in their loss at Midtjylland.
An open affair saw both teams carve out chances in the opening half, but it was the hosts that successfully struck home three minutes past the half-hour.
Sylvester Igboun did well to create his own chance from out of nowhere, forcing Randers keeper David Ousted to deflect his long-range blast out for a corner. Jesper Juelsgård took the ensuing set piece, and Igboun rose high to head the ball over the line for the 1-0.
Davies entered the fray immediately following the break to offer a change of pace, but Midtjylland nevertheless struck next to secure the result with just over a quarter-hour left to play.
The damage was once again on a poorly defended corner, which ended up at the foot of Mads Albaek, whose shot took a slight deflection off of a Randers defender on its way into goal.
Randers did succeed to cut the lead to a single goal with four minutes left in regulation thanks to a curling shot to the upper corner by Tidiane Sane, however they had no further late heroics and slumped to their first loss since opening day.
The defeat drops Randers down to fifth place, but they will like their chances to climb back into the upper echelons of the league when they host still-winless Esbjerg in one week from Monday.
AGF Aarhus 3 - 1 Brøndby IF
Clarence Goodson and Brøndby's short-lived momentum was put down on Sunday evening, with AGF Aarhus easily claiming the home win.
The Brøndby captain also picked up his third yellow card of the season in the first half, which will likely see him suspended for their home game next Sunday against SønderjyskE.
Aarhus took the lead after 35 minutes at the end of a counter-attack, after Stephan Petersen outran Goodson after being sent deep by David Devdariani and fired a shot towards goal. Brøndby keeper Michael Tørnes was able to get a hand on the initial shot to keep it out, but deflected it into the path of Devdariani to easily put away for the lead.
Just before the hour, Brøndby were denied an equalizer, as Dennis Rommeahl managed to beat defender Anders Kure to find an angle for a chipped shot over keeper Steffen Rassmussen, however the referee questionably whistled for an offensive foul, maintaining the lead for the hosts.
The effect of the call was amplified moments later, as Kure hit Aron Johannsson on the run into space with a long headed pass, and the Icelandic winger made no mistake to beat the isolated Tørnes for 2-0.
Then they put the game on ice in the 66th minute, adding a third after Soama Akharraz beat Goodson in an awkward position and was able to hit a tight-angled shot.
Brøndby did pull one back with four minutes left as Nigerian forward Oke Akpoveta hit a cross to the center, allowing Simon Makienok to take advantage of an already tuned-out defense, but they had no more gas in the tank, with the final whistle confirming their third loss of the season.
The result drops Brøndby back into the relegation zone, although even after four games a win in next weekend's game against SønderjyskE would vault them upwards several places.
FC Fyn 2 - 2 HB Køge
Shawn Nicklaw played the full 90 minutes in Køge's defense, as the team had an afternoon to forget, twice wasting second-half leads at Fyn to be forced to settle for a draw.
Brad Rusin was unable to take up his usual spot in the center of Køge's defense, as he was a late scratch from the squad due to a minor injury.
Køge were hampered from the beginning with an entirely new pairing in central defense, with Rusin forced to the stands with injury and Thomas G. Christensen sold to Hammarby earlier in the week.
They did show their quality in the opening half as the clearly dominant team, and were first on the board at the hour mark as Anders Kaagh followed up a shot from Martin Christensen for the 1-0.
Unfortunately, their advantage was erased five minutes later when Kenneth Larsen headed in a corner to pull Fyn even.
With 13 minutes left, Lars Bragger Hansen looked to have them once again headed to victory when the halftime substitute was on-target from the edge of the area.
Much to their disappointment, they were once again forced to settle for a familiar result, as Mads Overgaard brought the score to 2-2 with an injury-time header, forcing Køge to once again rue their wastefulness.
The result leaves Køge in the middle of the pack in the 1. Division, however with only two games played so far, they can jump considerably towards the top should they defeat visiting AB Copenhagen on Wednesday in midweek action.
Conor O'Brien will be in SønderjyskE's starting lineup on Monday, as they will look to regain the Superliga top spot with a win over visiting AC Horsens.
Mike Jones did not appear for FC Hjørring on Friday evening in their 2-0 home win over Hobro IK.