DENMARK: DANISH SUPERLIGA WEEKLY ROUND-UP

Esbjerg 3-0 Odense

SønderjyskE 0-2 Silkeborg

København 2-1 Nordsjælland

Aalborg 4-0 Randers

Brøndby 2-2 Horsens

AGF 3-2 Midtjylland

Friday’s only Superliga game saw Esbjerg finally pick up their first win of the season when they comfortably beat a mediocre Odense side 3-0 at home at Blue Water Arena. After heavy dominance from the home side, Martin Braithwaite scored two goals in four minutes in the latter part of the first half to give Esbjerg a 2-0 lead going into the half-time break. His first, arguably the best goal of the game, was a lovely back-heeled finish into the bottom left-hand corner of the net, with his second, a well-placed shot from the right hand side of the box, completing a fantastic Esbjerg counter-attack. Jesper Lange wrapped up all three points for the boys in blue and white sixteen minutes after the restart with a deft header from the edge of the six yard box from a great Jonas Knudsen cross from the left. Odense have now failed to win in their last three games after winning their previous three matches in a row, seeing them drop down to fifth position, whilst Esbjerg stay bottom but remain near to nearest rivals Silkeborg.

 

Silkeborg avoided dropping to the bottom of the table at the end of Round 9 when they picked up their first win since the opening day of the season thanks to a 2-0 victory away to a SønderjyskE side that have now lost their last four league games in a row, conceding twelve goals in the process. The home side almost held on for a draw though, both of Silkeborg’s goals coming in the dying moments of the game; German substitute Marvin Pourie opened the scoring after eighty-six minutes with a strike into the upper left-hand corner of the goal from the edge of the penalty area, before Icelandic midfielder Bjarni Viðarsson headed in to double their lead and secure the win with a diving header just two minutes later after coming on to the pitch only moments earlier.

 

København made sure that they stayed at the top of the Superliga table for yet another week when they beat Nordsjælland 2-1 in the capital on Saturday evening. They had to come from behind for the three points though after a strike from American Michael Parkhurst ricocheted off the post and unfortunately hit København goalkeeper Kim Christensen’s back before bouncing over the line just before the whistle blew for half time. The home side came out fighting in the second half, with Andreas Cornelius seeing his sixty-sixth minute shot hit the crossbar before Belgian substitute Igor Vetokele headed in just five minutes later. Cornelius then hit the back of the net himself and grabbed the winner with a headed effort from a beautifully-weighted cross from Swedish defender Pierre Bengtsson with just over ten minutes left to play. The win means that København remain the only unbeaten Superliga side, whilst Nordsjælland lie in third after suffering their first defeat since the Round 2.

 

Aalborg stretched their winning streak to four games with their third 4-0 victory in a row when they easily defeated seventh-place Randers at home on Sunday afternoon. Jeppe Curth scored the home side’s opening goal after twenty minutes when he poked the ball past Randers goalkeeper David Ousted, before Kasper Kusk doubled their lead seven minutes later when he finished off a great Aalborg attacking movement. Kusk then picked up his second after seventy-four minutes when Rasmus Würtz set him up after the great Dane forced his way through the tame Randers defence, and Brazilian substitute Kayke tapped in easily with three minutes left to play to wrap up yet another comfortable victory for Aalborg. The side now sit just one point behind leaders København, their last four victories taking them from sixth to second in the table in the last month.

 

Round 9’s only draw occurred on Sunday evening when neither Brøndby nor Horsens could muster up enough to claim all three points for themselves, the two sides drawing 2-2 in the end. After a goalless first half, Mike Jensen put Brøndby ahead from the penalty spot after Simon Makienok was brought down in front of goal twelve minutes after the restart. Jens Larsen then doubled the home side’s lead mere moments later when Makienok’s low cross from the left hand side of the box found his fellow Dane a few yards in front of goal for an easy tap in. However, the home side replied with a penalty of their own nine minutes later, Martin Spelmann converting after Nigerian substitute Jude Nworuh was tripped in the penalty area by Anders Randrup. And the comeback was completed five minutes before the end when Alexander Andersen fired in from close range after taking advantage of sloppy Brøndby defending. The draw means that Horsens finish Round 9 in sixth place, whilst Brøndby lie in tenth, equal on points with second-to-bottom-place Silkeborg after drawing their last four league games in a row and with only one win so far this Superliga season.

 

The round’s final game saw AGF pick up their third win in a row when they beat eighth-place Midtjylland 3-2 at NRGi Park on Monday evening. In-form Icelandic striker Aron Jóhansson opened the scoring early on when he found his shin on the end of Osarna Akharazz’s half-shot, half-cross attempt at the far post, but the away side equalised sixteen minutes later through Danny Olsen with a beautiful chip over AGF goalkeeper Steffen Rasmussen that could arguably be seen as the best goal of the weekend. The scores stayed level until Aron Jóhansson scored yet another goal, picking up his eighth in only three league games, with a similar chip to Olsen’s that left goalkeeper Jonas Lossl with no chance. Georgian substitute Davit Devdariani then made it 3-1 and wrapped up the win for AGF with four minutes left to play when he was able to tap the ball into an open net thanks to great skill and a well-placed ball across goal from Jóhansson. Midtjylland managed to pull a goal back deep into extra time through Rilwan Hassan but it was too little too late as AGF held on to record yet another impressive victory that sends them up to fourth in the table, one point behind third-place Nordsjælland.

 

At the end of Round 9, København still lead the way with twenty-one points but are now just one point ahead of an awfully impressive Aalborg side. Nordsjælland lie in third with fifteen points, whilst both AGF and Odense are in fourth and fifth, respectively, tied on fourteen points each. Sixth and seventh place Horsens and Randers are both two points behind and Midtjylland drop to eighth, one point behind, after their defeat. Four defeats in a row means that SønderjyskE are in ninth with ten points, whilst Brøndby are three points behind them in tenth, equal on points with second-to-bottom place Silkeborg who stay just one point ahead of bottom side Esbjerg.

 

BEN CULLIMORE

@TheNorseNetwork

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