DAVID SMITH - Sunday, September 30, 2012
Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjaelland warmed up for the Champions League with an easy win, while neither Clarence Goodson nor Charlie Davies got on the field in Randers' win over Brøndby.
FC Nordsjaelland 3 - 0 Esbjerg fB
Michael Parkhurst lined up in Nordsjaelland's central defense in Friday night action, as they made things look easy in a win over Esbjerg.
After needing a pair of extra-time goals to avoid complete embarrassment in their midweek cup win over Svebølle, the Wild Tigers made things look easy against the recently-promoted and struggling Esbjerg.
Dutch striker Joshua John added his eighth goal of the season two minutes past the half-hour on misdirected counter-attack, advancing the ball to the edge of the penalty area, and not liking any of his passing options, firing a low shot just inside the left post that took a fortunate deflection off of a defender on its way in.
Esbjerg forward Youssef Toutouh was fairly given his marching orders in the 49th minute for kicking out at Andreas Laudrup, and Kasper Lorentzen quickly took full advantage, hitting a finesse shot from the edge of the six yard box past two defenders and the Esbjerg keeper into the right side of goal for 2-0.
With the game already in the bag, Nicolai Stockholm added a third for good measure, storming in from the midfield stripe, holding up just outside of the 18-yard box, and looping the ball over the keeper for the 89th-minute exclamation point.
The Wild Tigers stay in third place with the win, one point behind second-place Aalborg and one ahead of Aarhus. They will have to be on their best behavior on Tuesday, as they play their first-ever Champions League home game against reigning European crown-holders Chelsea.
Conor O'Brien will be in SønderjyskE's starting lineup on Monday as they try to break free of their long winless streak with a trip to Midtjylland.
Clarence Goodson's presence in Brøndby's defense was sorely missed on Sunday, as the team gave up three goals to Randers in a 3-2 loss. Goodson was forced to sit out on yellow card suspension, while Randers striker Charlie Davies was in uniform for the hosts, but not called into action.
Mike Jones did not take the field for Hjørring, who suffered a 4-1 road loss to Viborg on Friday.
Neither Shawn Nicklaw nor the injured Brad Rusin were on the field for Køge on Sunday, as they continue their slow climb out of the first Divison's cellar with a 3-1 home win over Fredericia.