DAVID SMITH - Thursday, October 4, 2012
Shawn Nicklaw returned to Køge's starting lineup on Wednesday evening, but their trip to Hellerup IK ended in disappointment as they twice threw away leads to end their Danish Cup run.
Køge central defender Brad Rusin is out for several weeks with a leg injury.
The starting lineup of Køge coach Per Frandsen featured five new players compared to the squad that had smashed Fredericia three days before, and the gambit paid off as two of them combined for the opening goal.
In the 14th minute, Lars Brøgger headed Køge in front when he connected with a corner from Nikola Saric, however the hosts equalized three minutes later as they capitalized on a lost ball in the Køge midfield, with Delphin Tshiembe putting away the final shot.
Then in the 26th minute, a near repeat of their opening goal - only with Anders Kaagh heading in Saric's corner - saw them regain the lead, but Hellerup once again pulled even four minutes after the break when Mathias Thrane beat backup keeper Anders Due for the tying score.
With the clock winding down and the hosts pushing for the winner, Køge was victim of sloppy defending in the middle of the park, as Casper Offenberg struck the decisive goal in the 74th minute.
Usual starting striker Jeppe was immediately brought into the game after the goal to try to pull Køge back even, but it was to no avail, with the hosts holding the lead through the final whistle.
The loss ends Køge's cup run, allowing them to concentrate on what has been a difficult league campaign in the First Division. They will try to grab only their third win of the season on Sunday when they pay a visit to local rivals AB Copenhagen.