RECAP: WEEKEND NORWEGIAN ACTION
Josh Gatt's return to Molde's starting lineup ended in victory, while Kyle Helton, Rhett Bernstein and Mjøndalen's hopes of automatic promotion continued to fade.
Molde FK 3 - 2 Sandnes Ulf
After allowing a two-goal lead to disappear, Josh Gatt and Molde needed a late goal to record the win against Sandnes Ulf Sunday.
Gatt played the first 45 minutes for Molde in his first action in over a month.
In a wet game played on a drenched field, the defending Norwegian champions jumped all over the visitors in the first half, starting in the third minute. Mattias Moström got between two defenders and slammed the ball from close range to give his team the lead.
In the 21st minute, Gatt went down in the box and forced the referee to call a penalty, which Jo Inge Berget converted by sending the goalkeeper the wrong way.
Molde continued to try and use the aerial game for the rest of the half, but it couldn't build on its lead before halftime. Molde held onto that for most the second half, only to collapse in the 84th minute.
First, Tommy Høiland headed a goal in the 84th minute off a Bjørnar Holmvik corner; then, in the 85th minute, Anel Raskaj scored off a Steinthor Freyr Thorsteinsson corner to tie it up.
Molde didn't wait to retake the lead, scoring a minute later. Vegard Forren lined up and drilled a free kick with perfection to give his team the three points.
With the win and Strømsgodset tie, Molde increased its lead on top of the Tippeligaen standings to two points over Rosenborg. The team returns to action Oct. 21 against Strømsgodset.
Start Kristiansand 3 - 1 Mjøndalen IF
Kyle Helton, Rhett Bernstein and Mjøndalen allowed three unanswered goals to league leader Start Sunday, seeing its automatic promotion hopes start to slip away.
Helton and Bernstein played the full 90 minutes at center back for Mjøndalen, with Helton recording his fifth yellow card of the season in the 61st minute. Start's Villyan Bijev did not come off the bench.
In an open first 45 minutes, Mjøndalen found the back of the net first. Bjarne Kortgaard flicked a cleared corner to Erik Midtgarden, who scored from close range in the 23rd minute.
Mjøndalen held onto that lead until right before halftime, when Solomen James Owello played through Espen Hoff on net in the 45th minute. From 11 yards out, Hoff put the ball past goalkeeper Ivar Andreas Forn.
Although disheartened by allowing the goal right before halftime, the visiting team kept itself in the game, but after giving up a penalty in the 63rd minute to Hoff, Start found its rhythm.
The Norwegian second division leaders controlled much of the rest of the game, putting away the game in 86th minute with Gudmundur Kristjánsson getting behind the defense and scoring from 18 yards out.
Despite the loss, Mjøndalen still occupies fourth place with 45 points. The team returns to action Sunday against Strømmen.
Strømmen IF 2 - 1 Ullensaker/Kisa IL
Two goals early in the second half sunk Kenneth di Vita Jensen and Ullensaker/Kisa against Strømmen Sunday.
The American forward played 61 minutes in the losing effort.
After a scoreless first half with little drama, Strømmen took care of business early in the second 45 minutes. It started in the 52nd minute, with Stamsø Møller receiving a pass right in front of goal from Armin Sistek and scoring with the goalkeeper going the wrong way on the shot.
Eight minutes later, the home team doubled its lead. Kristoffer Tokstad picked up a rebound from a Stian Rasch shot and put it past Ullensaker/Kisa goalkeeper Arnold Origi Otiend.
From there, Strømmen took its foot off the gas, holding on for the final whistle. Ullensaker/Kisa managed to score a consolation goal in the first minute of stoppage time, thanks to Tom Kristoffersen, but it was too late to complete a comeback.
With the loss, Ullensaker/Kisa sits in ninth place. The team returns to action next Sunday against Bærum.
Bærum SK 1 - 1 Alta IF
Sebastian Troupe and Bærum squandered two points, giving up a late penalty to Alta Sunday.
The American defender played the full 90 minutes at right back for Bærum.
With little of consequence occurring in the first half, both teams came out looking for much needed three points. Bærum struck first in the 60th minute, when Andreas Aalbu put Amahl Pellegrino alone on net. Pellegrino easily tapped the ball into the goal.
Bærum was successful at keeping Alta at bay after that, but when it seemed that Bærum would earn the three points, Magnus Nikolaisen was taken down in the box in the final minute of stoppage time. Nikolaisen then converted the penalty, and the game ended in a tie.
With the tie, Bærum still occupies last place in the Adeccoligaen and would need a miracle to stay in the Norwegian second division. The team returns to action next Sunday against Ullensaker/Kisa.
American midfielder Mikkel Diskerud missed Rosenborg's 1-0 over Odd Grenland Sunday because of a thigh injury.
Goalkeeper Steve Clark should start in net for Hønefoss, when the team takes on Brann Bergen Monday.
Forward Chad Barrett was an unused substitute for Vålerenga in the team's 1-1 to Strømsgodset Friday.
Defender Sean Cunningahm's season is over for Stabæk because of a hip injury.