RECAP: WEEKEND NORWEGIAN ACTION
Hunter Freeman and Clay Goodson powered Start to a win over beleaguered Brann while Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek's troubles continue after falling to Strømsgodset at home.
Start 3 - 1 Brann
Back from their yellow card suspensions last weekend, American defensemen Hunter Freeman and Clarence Goodson aided Start in their win over Brann Sunday at Sør Arena.
Freeman started at right back while Goodson started at center back and both played a full 90 minutes. Freeman alaso picked up a yellow card in the 68th minute.
Despite an early chance by Brann in the sixth minute, it was the home squad who took to the scoreboard first with a goal by striker Mads Stokkelien.
Start was rewarded a penalty kick after Brann keeper Håkon Opdal took down Espen Hoff in attempt to stop a breakaway goal.
Stokkelien fired the ball just inside the left post and out of the reach of a diving Opdal.
Two minutes later, before the celebration of Stokkelien's goal was even complete, Rolf Daniel Vikstøl carried the ball up the left field and sent a perfect pass along the 18 yard line to Christian Bolanos who one-timed it far post for the 2-0 lead.
Start's offense never let up as Hoff produced two more chances and Stokkelien one, before a second Bolanos goal in the 65th minute.
Beating both Hassan El Fakiri and Jan Gunnar Solli inside the box, Bolanos split the two players and rifled a far post shot to widen Start's lead.
It wasn't until the 87th minute that Brann secured their only goal of the game, a penalty kick by Erik Huseklepp. The call was made after Oladapu Olufemi took down Petter Vaagan Moen from behind.
In two weekends Start travels to meet a fourth placed Viking whom they tied on the 7th of June.
Stabæk 1 - 2 Strømsgodset
Despite a full squad of healthy players, Stabæk and Mikkel Diskerud were unable to overcome Strømsgodset at home on Sunday evening, losing their third game in a row.
Diskerud started at right midfielder and played a full 90 minutes, but was unable to contribute to the low scoring and relatively uneventful match versus the Eliteserien's fourth ranked team.
Despite two goal scoring opportunities by Daniel Nannskog in the first half, the visitors scored first in the 34th minute. From just outside the six yard box Lars Sætra headed an Øyvind Storflor corner far post past Stabæk keeper Jon Knudson who didn't have time to react.
The remainder of the half was quiet offensively on both sides of the field with a single chance by Strømsgodset's midfielder Fredrik Nordkvelle in the 45th minute.
Strømsgodset opened up the second half by widening the lead with a goal by Muhamed Keita in the 52nd minute.
A give-and-go between Keita and Ola Williams Kamara landed Keita inside the 18 and in a one-on-one situation with Knudson.
Knudson left his line for the challenge and was successful in the initial save but the rebounded deflected back and into the goal, giving Strømsgodset the 2-0 lead.
Once Stabæk responded in the 75th and 89th minutes with a respective chance by Pontus Farnerud and goal by Jan Tømmernes it was too late.
The goal was initiated by Diskerud who carried the ball until 12 yards out where he was taken down by Strømsgodset keeper Lars Stubhaug.
Luckily for the hosts Tømmernes was there to capitlize on the loose ball and sent it in near post to put Stabæk on the board.
Minutes later the whistle blew, marking another loss for Stabæk who now sit in 11th place with 24 points in the Eliteserien.
In two weeks they travel to Hønefoss to face off against American's Steve Clark and Kenneth Di Vita Jensen.
Kongsvinger 3 - 3 Hønefoss
Kenneith Di Vita Jensen made his fourth start for Hønefoss in their tie with Kongsvinger at Gjemselund Stadion Sunday.
Di Vita Jensen played a full game at right midfield for Hønefoss in the high scoring, action filled game. Fellow American Steve Clark watched from the bench as the reserve goalkeeper.
Konsvinger opened up the festivities with a goal by Roger Risholt in the 11th minute. A corner by Olav Tuelo Johannesen was batted out by Hønefoss keeper Thomas Solvoll to the feet of Risholt on the 18 yard line who one timed a low ball, near post.
Despite an offside protest by a stunned Solvoll, the goal stood.
It was minute before the half time whistle blew that Hønefoss' offense came to life with two goals in as many minutes.
Lennart Steffensen's corner initiated the first goal which was punched out by Kongsvinger keeper Thomas Myhre. Aleksander Dmitrijev capitilized on the loose ball in the box and fired a shot near post that deflected off defender Bobby Friberg da Cruz and into the net.
With the game tied a one goal a piece Hønefoss did not let up as Davy Angan danced around several Kongsvinger defenders, settled the ball 20 yards out and sent it in near post with ease.
Both teams came roaring out of the gates at the start of the second half but the home team tied it up in the 48th minute with a goal by Kai Risholt.
A throw in by da Cruz was punched out by Solvoll back to da Cruz who then chipped the ball back in where Risholt headed it near post for the goal.
But Hønefoss was not willing to give up the lead that easily and immediately responded with a goal by Lennart Steffensen just one minute later.
A free kick by Steffensen from 30 yards out bounced once inside the box and bent inside the far post and just out of Myhre's reach for the 3-2 lead.
Although Hønefoss had the lead, it was Kongsvinger that controlled the final 30 minutes of the game, with constant possession and offensive pressure.
Following seven shots on net, the home team came through with a last minute, game-tying goal by Kim Kristian Holmen.
An enormous flipping throw in from 35 yards out landed on top of a swarm of players in the six yard box and deflected off the mob for the far post goal.
The threat of relegation looms for both teams as Hønefoss sits in 14th with 20 points and Kongsvinger remains in 15th with 14.
Two weeks from now Hønefoss hosts Norwegian American Mikkel Diskerud and Stabæk at AKA Arena.
Neither American keepers, Colin Burns or Joe Bednik saw any action in Sarpsborgs 4-0 1. Division defeat over Sogndal.