RECAP: WEEKEND NORWEGIAN ACTION
Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek played to a frustrating draw with Valerenga while Start's American duo of Hunter Freeman and Clarence Goodson split the points with Rosenborg.
Stabaek 1 - 1 Valerenga
Stabaek's home opener was an underwhelming one for the Telenor Arena faithful who saw their team play to a draw with Valerenga on Saturday night in Baerum.
Mikkel Diskerud started and went the distance on the right side of the Stabaek midfield.
Diskerud was active all match long in setting up teammates with various scoring chances including an 18th minute chance for Daniel Nannskog that was saved by Troy Perkins' replacement, Canadian goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld.
But it would be the nearby neighbors from Valerenga who struck first with a goal coming in the 25th minute.
Kristofer Hastad picked up a weak clearance by the Stabaek defense and fired in a shot from 25 yards out that initially appeared harmless.
However Stabaek defender Morten Skjønsberg allowed the ball to deflect off his leg which changed up Stabaek netminder Jon Knudsen who could only watch the ball slip inside the near post
The large contingent of Valerenga fans who had made the quick trip out from Oslo to the city's suburbs erupted in delight and had thoughts of an upset.
Hastad's goal held up until halftime but then five minutes after the break the hosts would equalize courtesy of Johan Andersson.
The Swedish midfielder was on the receiving end of a laser perfect pass into the penalty area by countryman Pontus Farnerud and from there it was easy for Andersson to poke the ball past Hirschfeld to level the match.
Several minutes later, Diskerud nearly put Stabaek ahead but his rocket from 25 meters out whistled past Hirschfeld's right post.
The match ended with a splitting of the points and Diskerud and company will look for another road win next weekend when they head west to take on Aalesund.
Rosenborg 3 - 3 Start
Americans Hunter Freeman and Clay Goodson nearly helped Start pull off another upset of reigning Eliteserien champions Rosenborg on Monday night in a scintillating affair at Lerkendahl Stadion in Trondheim.
Both Freeman and Goodson took their spots in head coach Knut Torum's starting lineup with Freeman at his customary right back and Goodson once again at center back.
Each would go the full distance. Goodson was shown a yellow card in the 93rd minute after a brief tussle with Rosenborg's Mikael Dorsin.
The hype leading up to the match centered around last year's incident between Rosenborg striker Rade Prica and Goodson when a Prica shove of the Virginia native warranted a penalty kick which ruined Rosneborg's unbeaten season.
Leading up to Monday night's affair, the Rosenborg players, lead by Prica, were very vocal that their contest with Start was all about revenge and in particular, against Goodson.
Prica and company seeming had the first laugh when a 20th minute penalty call was whistled in his favor after he was shoved in the back by Start defender Bård Borgersen.
Rosenborg's Steffen Iversen easily converted the penalty kick and the hosts were up a goal.
But then Start showed some of the pluck which they are reknown for when playing the top clubs in Norway and 11 minutes later Christer Kleiven netted the equalizer.
Cristian Bolanos sent a low skidding corner kick across to Kleiven who unleashed a bullet into the top right corner from 25 meters away.
The strike energized Torum's men who added a second goal just five minutes later when Bolanos slid a clever left-fotted pass into Espen Borufsen who beat the offside trap and poked it hom to put the visitors up heading into the break.
Rosenborg coach Erik Hamren's words for his squad at halftime evidently took hold as Rosenbrog were the better looking team to open the second half.
Just three minutes after the restart, the defending champions leveled the match when Prica's header rang off the crossbar and landed at the feet of Trond Olsen who then sent a pile-driving shot into the back of the net.
The goal woke up the Rosenborg fans who were still in shock following Start's two goal spurt to close out the first half, but then the Trondheim faithful were once again left speechless as Start raced out to another lead two minutes after Olsen's goal.
It was all set up by Borufsen who gathered in a pass outside the penalty area and did a 360 degree spin through the Rosenborg defense before dishing off to Ole Martin Arnst who slotted home the shot.
Olsen once again played the role of hero for Rosneborg in the 60th minute when he scored the game's sixth goal.
Iversen outmuscled Goodson to chest trap a free kick into the area but the Rosenborg striker's shot was deflected by Start goalkeeper Kenneth Høie right to Olsen who slammed it home.
Several late scoring chances by either club did not come to pass leaving both squads with a splitting of the points.
Freeman and Goodson will return to action next weekend when Start host Aalesund.
Kenneth Di Vita Jensen played the final minutes and Steve Clark sat on the bench as the backup goalkeeper in Honefoss' 0-2 loss to Aalesund.