RECAP: MIDWEEK NORWEGIAN ACTION
A trio of debuts were made by Yanks in Norway as the first round of the Norwegian Cup kicked off with Sarpsborg's Colin Burns, Stabaek's Erik Benjaminsen and Sogndal's Joseph Bednik all seeing the field for the first time.
Jerv 0 - 3 Start
Three first half goals paced Start to an easy victory over 3. Division club Jerv on Wednesday night at Levermyr Stadion in Grimstad.
Americans Hunter Freeman and Clay Goodson started for the Eliteserien club and played the first 45 minutes before yielding their spots at halftime.
With a crowd of over 5,000 spectators on hand to watch the first ever meeting between the clubs, Start began the match controlling the pace but were unable to break through in the first half hour.
Jerv's lone opportunity at goal came in the 29th when striker Steinar Bera was brought down in the area by Start defender Jesper Mathisen who was fortunate to not be whistled for the penalty.
Four minutes later, Jerv did themselves no favors and an own goal by Oyvind Johannessen gave the visiors a one goal lead.
Ole Martin Arst added a second just three minutes later when Cristian Bolanos' shot was deflected right back out to Arst who easily slotted it home.
Start effectively put the match away when Bolanos found Arst inside the area and the aging striker blasted a shot home from ten yards out.
Goodson and Freeman and company return to Eliteserien play on Sunday when they host Kongsvinger.
Høland 1 - 12 Stabaek
Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek took out their offensive frustration on hapless Høland netting a dozen goals and Norwegian-American Erik Benjaminsen made his senior team debut as Stabaek cruised to victory on Wednesday evening at Høland Stadion.
Diskerud started at central midfielder and went the distance in the win while Benjaminsen came on in the 64th minute for Bjarni Olafur Eiriksson and manned the left back position.
While the Baerum club has found it difficult finding the back of the net in Eliteserien play, there were no issues in creating goal-scoring opportunities against their 3. Division opponent.
Diskerud opened the scoring in just the fourth minute with a shot from 25 meters out that Høland goalkeeper Nikolay Torgeren could not contain, a harbringer of things to come for the hosts' netminder.
Jan Tømmernes added another in the 13th and then Espen Hoff scored in the 15th.
Bernt Hulsker, the recently acquired on-loan player from Start, returned to action with the Stabaek senior team since an injury befelled him last month and scored goals in the 18th and 32nd to give Stabaek a five goal lead at the break.
Diskerud scored again six minutes after halftime when his effort curled inside the far post.
Willy Zamble gave the home fans something to cheer about with a goal in the 62nd to cut the lead to just six, but Høland's feeble defense continued to crumble as the Stabaek goals poured in during the latter stages of the second half.
Hulsker scored again three minutes after Diskerud and then Kristian Flittie Onstad got into the act in the 72nd.
Tømmernes added another one for grins in the 84th which Hoff found amusing enough to then add a second goal for himself in the 86th.
A hat trick was evidently not enough for Hulsker who bagged a fourth in the 89th and recently rehabilitated Icelandic striker Veigar Páll Gunnarsson extended the lead to a healthy 11 with a goal in second half stoppage time.
Stabaek will look to continue their goal-scoring prowess on Sunday when they play at Stromsgodset.
Jevnaker 0 - 7 Honefoss
Kenneth Di Vita Jensen was a 90 minute man for Honefoss who delivered a thumping of 2. Division club Jevnaker in their Norwegian Cup first round contest.
Di Vita Jensen lined up at right midfielder in his first ever start for Honefoss. Ironically, it was Jevnaker where Di Vita Jensen played all of last season while on loan.
Compatriot and goalkeeper Steve Clark, who has been hampered by a quad injury, played the second half to help ensure the shutout.
The hosts held firm and played their Eliteserien foes evenly for the first 37th minutes but once the first Honefoss goal came, the Jevnaker resolve quickly dissipated.
Former FC Lyn man Davy Claude Agnan put to rest any fears of an upset with a goal in the 37th minute.
Abdou Darboe doubled the margin just seconds before halftime giving Honefoss a comfortable lead heading into the break.
Darboe inflicted damage again in the 58th with another goal to stretch the lead to three. Kamal Saaliti then got into the act in the 63 only to be outdone by Darboe who completed his hat trick three minutes later.
Umaru Bangura tallied a goal in the 84th before Saaliti did his best Abdou Darboe impression by adding a goal in stoppage time.
Honefoss will aim towards earning their third Eliteserien win of the season on Sunday when they face defending league champions Rosenborg.
Drøbak/Frogn 1 - 3 Sarpsborg
Goalkeeper Colin Burns made his long-awaited debut for 1. Division club Sarpsborg who advanced to the second round of the Norwegian club with a two goal win over pesky 2. Division club Drøbak/Frogn.
Burns, who is soon expected to assume the place of number one goalkeeper for Sarpsborg, got some early heklp from his teammates with two goals in the first ten minutes.
Joachim Jørgensen put the visitors up by a goal in the fifth minute when he scored off of Tom Erik Brieve's corner kick.
Just two minutes later, the Eliteserien aspirants added a second courtesy of Martin Wiig whose run into the Drøbak/Frogn area was capped off by a perfect lob over the goalkeeper and into the net.
Despite the early onslaught, the lower division club remained undeterred and halved the margin seven minutes later.
Leiva Ayala took advantage of an error by Sarpsborg right back Mathias Berge and curled in a shot that beat Burns from 15 meters out.
The goal fired up the home crowd but their hopes for a possible upset were extinguished in the 39th minute when Wiig scored his second after gathering in a pass from Kjetil Berge and poking in a shot fron four meters away.
Sarpsborg return to 1. Division action on Sunday when they head way up north to play Tromsdalen.
Ardal 0 - 4 Sogndal
Joseph Bednik's first start in goal for Sogndal proved to be a rousing success as the 1. Division club easily dispatched of lower division Ardal on Wednesday evebing at Jotun Stadion in Ardal.
Bednik started in goal and shutout the neighboring club who plays in the 3. Division, Norway's fourth level of professional soccer.
The former Clemson standout was never truly tested by the hosts while his teammates managed two goals in each half to send Sogndal to the second round of the Norwegian Cup.
Joakim Rudolfsen was first to score for the visitors when he fired in a shot from six meters out in the eighth minute.
Three minutes before halftime, Lars Grorud doubled the margin when he scored off a corner kick.
The Sogndal defense held firm in the second half and they would finally put the match away in the 81st when youngster Gustav Valsvik scored his first ever goal for the club's senior team.
The 1. Division team added one for grins in the 89th when Erik Bergum Skaasheim tickled the twine for a goal in his debut as well.
Bednik and company return to league action on Sunday when they visit Strommen.
Tyrel Lacey continues to be out with a knee injury and did not take part in Lyn's 0-2 victory over Sagene.