RECAP: WEEKEND NORWEGIAN ACTION
Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek kept pace with the league leaders with a come-from-behind win over Start while Jonathan Borrajo and Ham-Kam notched their second win of the season with a blow-out win at Alta.
FK Haugesund 5 - 0 Molde FK
Josh Gatt saw 45 minutes of action, coming in after a dismal first-half showing by Molde as the team were blown out of the water on their trip to FK Haugesund on Sunday.
Gatt's fellow American defender Sean Cunningham was not included on the bench for Molde.
The hosts quickly opened the scoring after just seven minutes after Nikola Djurdjic was left with room to roam on the right side and hit a diagonal pass which Alexander Søderlund stylishly slammed into goal on the run.
Haugesund went up by two in the 22nd minute when Pape Pate Diouf accidentally headed a corner by the hosts into his own net, then they netted a third unanswered goal five minutes before the half after Djurdjic flicked the ball over the Molde keeper and in perfect position for Thomas Sørum to head into his own net.
Gatt was brought on Nigerian striker Daniel Chima Chukwu at the half as part of a desperate double-substitution by Molde coach Ole Gunnar Solskjær, but this hardly improved matters for the visitors.
Sørum netted his second of the afternoon six minutes after the break when he was played free on the right side and easily beat Molde keeper Espen Brugge Pettersen in the one-on-one.
The final blow to Molde's confidence then came one minute before the hour mark as Pettersen clumsily brought down Djurdjic in the 18-yard box, allowing the Serbian forward to slot away the resulting spot kick for the final 5-0 score.
Molde only drop one spot to fifth place despite the painful loss, and will have until June 13 to regroup when they host 12th-place Start.
Start Kristiansand 2 - 4 Stabaek IF
Mikkel Diskerud played the full 90 minutes for Stabaek on Sunday as they reversed an early deficit to Start Kristiansand, and rode an explosive second-half to an easy victory.
Stabaek were put into a difficult position just past the half-hour in very unfortunate circumstances, as a shot by Petter Bruer Hansen took a lucky deflection off of Stabaek defender Jørgen Hammer, and landed in perfect position for Espen Hoff to put away with an uncontested shot.
While Start's lead would last through the break, Diskerud and his teammates were quick to reverse their fortunes almost immediately after the resumption of play.
First, Vegar Eggen Hedenstad slotted a pass from the right to the unmarked Palmi Rafn Palmason for a simple shot in the 46th minute, then Alain Junior Ollé Ollé put the visitors ahead two minutes before the hour with a hard shot from the edge of the area which flew past Start keeper Kenneth Høie.
The lead was increased three minutes later thanks to loose play by the start defense, who allowed Palmason to run freely onto a through-ball from Ollé Ollé for an easy score.
Start did momentarily cut the lead to one goal in the 64th minute when Ole Martin Årst was on target, however any hopes of a come-back were squashed literally within seconds, as Gunnarsson flicked a cross from Bjarni Olafur Eiriksson over Høie barely one minute later for their fourth and final goal.
With both teams ahead of Stabaek also winning in the afternoon, they remain in third place, one point behind both Stromsgodset IF and Tromsø IL. They have a two-week break until facing fourth-place Aalesunds FK on June 13.
Alta IF 1 - 5 Ham-Kam
Jonathan Borrajo and Ham-Kam pulled themselves clear of the Adeccoligaen's relegation zone in style, putting a slew of goals past their hosts Alta IF on the way to their second straight win.
Ham-Kam needed just three minutes to jump ahead as John Anders Rise pounced on a poor clearance and put it past Faris Efendic for the third-minute 1-0 lead.
The team was relentless on the attack, and doubled the lead just six minutes later as Thomas Lehne Olsen chested down a long ball from Vegar Bjerke, turned and fired into goal, then made it 3-0 only three minutes after that as Rise served up a corner that Tore Andreas Gundersen headed out of Efendic's reach.
Alta were handed a lifeline in the 18th minute when the referee awarded a penalty to the hosts, however, as Alta Vegard Braaten's spot kick to the left side was saved by Ham-Kam keeper Ivar Rønningen.
They did successfully pull one back at the half-hour, when Christian Reginiussen collected a pass from Christian Gauseth at the edge of the 18-yard box and fired it just inside the left corner for 3-1.
That would be all the Ham-Kam defense allowed, with the attacking adding another pair after the half.
Olsen made it 4-1 just before the hour mark, as he poked the ball past Efendic, then Gundersen added his second of the game in the 71st minute when his tight-angled shot was barely touched by the keeper's outstretched arm on its way into goal.
The three points pulls Ham-Kam up to 11th place. The Adeccoligaen will continue play through the upcoming international break, with their next game at home on Sunday against Nybergsund IL.
Hønefoss BK 1 - 2 Strømmen IF
Steve Clark put in his usual 90-minute shift in Hønefoss's goal on Sunday, however had a rough day in the office as they fell thanks to a pair of first-half goals by visiting Strømmen IF.
Hønefoss attacker Kenneth Di Vita Jensen played 45 minutes as a second-half substitute for the hosts.
The visitors opened the scoring in the 17th minute when Abdurahim Laajab was given too much room in the midfield for his approach to the penalty area, which allowed him to launch a 25-yard blast which was just inside the upper left corner.
Strømmen doubled the lead three minutes past the half-hour, as Andreas Moen fired a free kick from the corner of the 18-yard box, which inexplicably rolled in past several defenders for 2-0.
Hønefoss settled down and held the scoreline, taking one back with 13 minutes remaining when Rune Bolseth sent in a cross from near the endline which Kristjan Örn Sigurdsson directed into goal at the near post.
They were unable to pull even despite all their better efforts in the final minutes, with Strømmen going home with all three points.
The result drops Hønefoss to the edge of the relegation zone, now above the line only on goal differential. They will have little time to lick their wounds, as they pay a visit to division leaders Bryne on Sunday.
Mjøndalen IF 0 - 0 Løv-Ham
Kyle Helton was involved for the final half-hour on Sunday, and despite the team's best effort, Mjøndalen was unable to break a scoreless deadlock at home against Løv-Ham.
Mjøndalen came out with a greater fire and applied some pressure in the opening 15 minutes, however the game quickly settled down to a lifeless affair for most of the first half.
Helton entered the game in the 61st minute as the team tried to up their creativity and push for a winner, and made his presence almost immediately known when he sprung Bajram Ajeti into a dangerous one-on-one with Løv-Ham's keeper, however his shot was just wide of the mark.
In the end, neither team could break down their opponent's defense, with the points being shared by both.
Mjøndalen will hope for an easier time in their next game when they pay a visit to last-place Randaberg IL on Sunday.
Joseph Bendik watched from the bench on Sunday for Sogndal's 1-0 loss at home to Valerenga Oslo.
Colin Burns was an unused substitute for Sandefjord on Sunday in their 4-0 thrashing of Randaberg IL in front of the home crowd.