Sunday, November 12, 2006
Aalborg BK fought the good fight, but came up short as they lost Sunday evening's home game 1-0 against league-leaders FC Copenhagen.

Danny Califf played the full 90 minutes in central defense and delivered a good performance in front of 11,769 spectators at Aalborg Stadion. FC Copenhagen talent Jamil Fearrington was not named for the squad and is still waiting for his league debut for the Lions.

The initial battle was fought mainly in midfield, with neither side able to establish dominance or create chances against two well-organized defensive line-ups.

It was 15 minutes before the first shot was sent toward the Aalborg goal.

A free kick from Hjalte Bo Nørregaard on the left was fisted away by keeper Jimmy Nielsen, but the rebound fell to former AaB midfielder Michael Silberbauer, whose shot was deflected off Jens Kristian Sørensen and went out of Nielsen's reach for the opening goal.

Despite the goal, the game continued to be a midfield battle with few chances to speak of.

After 20 minutes, Nørregaard tried his luck on another free kick, but the shot was straight at Nielsen, who made the save with little effort.

Five minutes later, Califf received his third yellow card of the season, when he pulled down FCK striker Fredrik Berglund, who was on his way through the AaB defense.

"I was skipping over him from the back side and I put my hand on his left shoulder," Califf explained to YA. "I didn't even pull, but he went down like he was shot and the ref bought it."

Califf's booking would remain the only one of the game.

The visitors began to put some more pressure on, and after 33 minutes, a chip shot from Martin Bergvold almost defeated Nielsen, who just managed to put it over the bar for a corner.

The increased pressure from FC Copenhagen also allowed Aalborg BK to do what they do best, namely counterattacks, and while they still failed to produce any major chances, they were the threat that indicated that the game was still wide open.

In the final minute of the half, an Aalborg attack created by Siyabonga Nomvethe ended with the South African wide open in front of goal. Nomvethe was pulled down, but appeals for a penalty were waived off by referee Nicolai Vollquartz.

The visitors came out for the second half looking to increase their lead, but after an acrobatic save from Nielsen in the first minute after the restart, the home side took over.

Five minutes into the half, Brazilian forward Cacá sent off the home side's first shot on target, but it was straight at FCK keeper Jesper Christiansen.

Seven minutes later, a cross from Allan Olesen on the right went to Nomvethe but his shot was blocked for a corner.

After 23 minutes of the half, it was Mattias Lindström's turn to send a powerful shot at the Copenhagen goal from the left side of the penalty area, but once again, the shot was deflected and went just wide of the right post.

Two shots from William Kvist and Marcus Allbäck in the 77th and 79th minutes went just wide left and right of Nielsen's goal, and marked the end of the home side's second half dominance.

The game lost its intensity, and it looked as if the remaining minutes would go by without further ado.

Two minutes into injury time, however, Jesper Grønkjær, who had replaced Berglund at half time, took the ball across the field, but his shot from the edge of the box rattled the left post.

"It's just really disappointing when you create enough good quality chances to at least tie the match, if not win it, and don't capitalize on it," said Califf.

"It doesn't matter who you're playing, if it's Vejle or FCK, it doesn't make a difference, when you create that many quality chances, just as many or more than the other team and you don't finish it, it's just a disappointing way to walk off the field."

Aalborg travel to Vejle next weekend, before the league heads into the four-month winter break.

"We need to get the points from Vejle," said Califf. "When you look at a season, you don't necessarily need to get the points against teams like FCK and OB."

"You want to do well and stay competitive and steal points when you can, but the games against Vejle and Viborg and the teams at the bottom of the table, you have to get points there," he explained.

"It doesn't matter if it's home or away, you have to get points if you want to stay in the top half of the table."

FC Copenhagen consolidate their top position in the league, while Aalborg remain in fourth place, two points behind Odense BK.