RECAP: WEEKEND NORWEGIAN ACTION
Clarence Goodson netted for Start as they finally got back into the win column while Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek suffered an embarrassing collapse to fall at home to Viking.
Sandefjord 1 - 2 Start
American defender Clarence Goodson helped Start secure their first win in roughly a month, contributing a goal in the 34th minute of their hard fought victory over Sandefjord, Saturday.
While their first win since the May 16th, 3-0 victory over Kongsvinger was welcomed, there is no doubt Knut Tørum's squad expected it to come with more ease. Yet what they found upon arrival at Komplet Arena was a last placed but well prepared Sandefjord team ready to defend their home turf.
Ironically it was Start's defense, which included Hunter Freeman at right back and Goodson at center, that Tørum can credit for the win.
Goodson found himself working double duty by contributing to the offensive effort with a game-tying goal. The header off Petter Bruer Hanssen's corner was his first goal of the 2010 Eliteserien season.
Just six minutes earlier Sandefjord striker Malick Mane put the home team on the board first when he rifled a picture perfect goal into the upper 90 from 20 yards out.
Following half-time, Start would again capitalize on a corner kick, this time from Christian Bolanos in the 57th minute. Bolanos' ball found the head of another Start defender, Rolf Daniel Vikstøl, at the near post whom deflected it back and past a stunned Espen Bugge Pettersen.
The victory at Komplet Arena was only Start's third of the season and second away win. They currently sit in eighth place in the rankings and will face Aalesund next weekend at Sør Arena.
Stabæk 2 - 3 Viking
Stabæk's winning streak came to and end Saturday after Mikkel Diskerud and company watched a determined Viking come back from a 0-2 deficit and steal three points at Telenor Arena.
Diskerud started at center midfield and played without the assistance of strikers Pontus Farnerud and Danniel Nannskog, due to injury.
Stabæk got off to an early lead with Jan Tømmernes goal in the seventh minute. A through ball from midfielder Henning Hauger found Tømmernes in the position to rip a straight-on, low shot from atop the eighteen yard box and into the back of the net.
The early goal set the tone for a half controlled heavily by Stabæk's offense. Jan Jonsson's team would produce several more goal scoring opportunities before the whistle, including a 25-yard shot by Diskerud that ended up just wide of net.
The beginning of the second half looked similar to the first, as the home squad created four chances in as many minutes.
Stabæk's constant peppering of keeper Rune Jarstein produced results in the 52nd minute with another goal from Tømmernes. An advancing Tømmernes beat Jarstein, whom left his net for the challenge, with a easy flick of his foot from six yards out.
What looked like an assured victory at this point, was just the beginning of Stabæk's second-half collapse.
Beginning in the 72nd minute and lasting a mere ten longer, Viking secured a hattrick of goals to come from behind and stun an unsuspecting Stabæk.
A corner-like cross from Trond Erik Bertelsen set off the series of goals when it found the feet of Tommy Høiland and trickled past keeper Jon Knudsen, whom vehemently protested the goal as off sides.
The same Bertlesen - Høiland combo came into play in the 76th minute when Høiland chested in a cross for his second goal in a matter of minutes.
But it was a close range volley from Vidar Nisja that sealed Viking's win when it sailed in far post beyond the reach of Knudsen.
Stabæk hits the road next weekend as they face a 12th-ranked Brann on Norway's west coast.
Steve Clark watched from the bench as the reserve keeper and Kenneth DiVita Jensen did not see any playing time during Hønefoss' 2-2 tie with Tromsø.
Joe Bednik too watched as the reserve keeper in 1. Division action as his team, Sogndal, defeated Bryne 5-2.