RECAP: MONDAY NORWEGIAN ACTION
Hunter Freeman and Clay Goodson led Start to a heartpounding victory over Valerenga while Steve Clark's Eliteserien debut with Honefoss ended in disappointment.
Start 5 - 3 Valerenga
The fans at Sor Arena were treated to a festival of goals as Start downed Valerenga in a thriller on Monday evening in Kristiansand.
Freeman and Goodson anchored the right side of the Start back line and each went the distance in the victory. Freeman also managed to pick up his second assist on the season.
Costa Rican Cristian Bolanos kicked off the scoring in the 15th minute when his free kick from 30 yards out glanced off the back of a Valerenga defender and curled inside the top right corner of the Valerenga goal.
But Bolanos would then help Valerenga equalize six minutes after halftime when he was stripped of possession leading to Morten Gladhaug Berre's pinpoint pass to Mohammed Abdellaoue who buried the shot past Start goalkeeper Kenneth Hoie.
The pace of the match clearly picked up after Abdellaoue's goal and Start were able to regain the lead three minutes later with some playmaking by Freeman.
The native Texan showcased his speed when he streaked down the right side, gathered in a pass by Bolanos and then sent a cutting pass back into the middle of the penalty area destined for Christer Kleiven.
With the Valerenga defense sunk in towards goal, Kleiven had an open look and fired in a no-doubter.
Kleiven was back at it again in the 59th minute this time when veteran Ole Martin Arst found Kleiven with some space outside the penalty who then deftly chipped a shot over the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld.
Start added a fourth in the 65th minute after some horrid goalkeeping by Hirschfeld who replaced American Troy Perkins during the offseason.
What looked like a harmless ball into the area bounced off the hands of the Canadian netminder and Arst was there to poke home the easy goal.
The error seemed to wake up Valerenga who then mounted a strirring comeback beginning in the 67th minute when André Muri took in a corner kick and headed it across to Stefan Strandberg who right-footed the shot past Hoie.
The visitors' comeback effort gathered more momentum just five minutes later when Freddy dos Santos sent a pass towards goal with his back foot and Mostafa Abdellaoue was able to outrace Goodson to the ball before slotting it in to cut the lead to one.
Valerenga continued pressing for the equalizing goal as Start head coach Knut Torum hurriedly made several defensive substitutions to stave off the improbable comeback.
The hosts were finally able to wrap uo the match in the final minute of second half stoppage time when Hoie sent a long punt upfield which Arst played perfectly by spinning around a Valerenga defender and sending a shot that trickled past Hirschfeld and into the goal.
With the win, Start now sit in third place with eight points and next travel to Bergen to do battle with Brann this weekend.
Stabaek 0 - 1 Tromso
Stabaek coach Jan Jonsson was shown red as Mikkel Diskerud and the rest of the squad came up empty-handed in a home turf loss to Tromso.
Diskerud, who earned his first goal of the season last week at Aalesund, wasn't the only member of the team or coaching staff who couldn't contribute for a win.
Jonsson was sent to the stands, for the first time in his career, following a disagreement with Tromso coach Per-Mathias Hogmo.
The lone goal of the game came from Tromso's Finnish defenseman, Miika Koppinen who headed in a 35 yard, free kick from Tommy Knarvik in the 23rd minute. Koppinen deflected the kick from the top of the 6 yard box to the right of Norway's national team keeper Jon Knudsen.
This week's win propelled Tromso into second place in the Eliteserien. Only one point keeps them out of first and behind Aalesund who has ten thus far on the young campaign.
Both teams will stay close to home next week as Tromso hosts west coasters Haugesund and Stabaek makes the short trip to meet fifth place Lillestrom at Arasen Stadion.
Haugesund 5 - 1 Honefoss
Steve Clark's Eliteserien debut was one to forget as Honefoss were drilled by Haugesund on Monday evening at Haugesund Stadion in Haugesund.
Clark was started in goal and went the distance for the visitors who continue to occupy last place in the league standings.
Compatriot Kenneth Di Vita Jensen was a 75th minute substitution for Leo Olsen but the attacking midfielder was unable to muster any offensive opportunities for the visitors.
Playing on field conditions better suited for a cowpatch, Haugesund shook off the elements and tallied their first goal just three minutes in when Tor Arne Andreassen headed in Eirik Vespestad Mæland's corner kick.
Honefoss would answer eleven minutes later to score their first goal of the season when Christian Traoré sent in a long ball into the area that Kamal Saaliti managed to poke in by swinging his leg around Haugesund defender Vegard Skjerve who was waiting for his own goalkeeper to scoop up the ball.
The jubilation on the Honefoss end would not last long though as Haugesund took the lead for good in the 24th minute.
A dangerous ball in prompted Clark to come out near the top of the penalty area only to see Thomas Sorum cooly tee up a shot for Trygve Nygaard who banged it home from 15 yards out.
The visitors would then hang tough the rest of the first half and a large stretch of the second half before an avalanche of late goals ended hopes of a draw.
In the 84th minute, Sorum was able to slip past the Honefoss defense and had a one on one with Clark before chipping past the Michigan native to put the match out of reach.
The hosts added two stoppage time goals, one coming off a Nikola Djurdjic glancing header inside the left post and the other a solo effort by Jarle Steinsland who gathered his own deflection and slipped a shot past an onrushing Clark.
Honefoss will aim to do better next weekend when they return home to face Kongsvinger.
Bodo/Glimt 4 - 1 Lyn
Lyn's 1. Division 2010 debut got off to a rocky start as they fell to Bodo/Glimt at Aspmyra Stadion on Monday evening in Bodo.
Tyrel Lacey started in between the pipes for the visitors and went the distance in the defeat.
Bodo/Glimt's Thiago Martins did the bulk of the damage with his three goals, the first coming in just the eighth minute of play when he tapped in a shot from five yards out.
Lacey contended that Martins had interfered with him on the previous shot but the referee ruled differently and the hosts were on the board.
Lyn equalized seven minutes before the break when Chukwu Daniel Chima took advantage of a lapse in the Bodo/Glimt defense and sent in a shot from the left side of the box.
The hosts regained the lead in the 49th minute when Anders Ågnes Konradsen volleyed home a shot from 16 yards out after a failed clearance by the Lyn defense.
Martins notched his second of the evening in the 61st first as a Mounir Hamoud cross from the right side trickled through the Lyn defense giving the Brazilian attacker an open look from close in.
Bodo/Glimt put the match on ice in the 81st when Stephen Johansen fed Martins who had another easy look from five yards out and calmly stroked it into the back of the net to ensure the three points for the home team.
Next up for Lacey and company is their home debut in Oslo versus Nybergsund.
Colin Burns watched from the sidelines as the backup goalkeeper for Sarpsborg who fell to 2-1 to Lov-Ham.