DENMARK: SUPERLIGA WEEKLY ROUND-UP

 

AGF 2-2 SønderjyskE

Nordsjælland 1-1 Randers

Horsens 2-2 Odense

Midtjylland 1-1 Brøndby

København 5-0 Silkeborg

Aalborg 0-2 Esbjerg

Round 10 of the Danish Superliga proved to be one of the closest yet as four of the weekend’s six games ended in draws, the first of which was AGF’s 2-2 draw with SønderjyskE on Friday evening. After three league wins in a row and going 2-0 up after forty-eight minutes, it was definitely a case of two points lost rather than a point gained for AGF after a Tommy Bechmann last minute goal secured SønderjyskE’s first point since the first half of last month. After dominating from the off, the home side went ahead after thirty-one minutes when Osama Akharraz’s toe-poked shot rolled into the back of the net after hitting the post then the back of SønderjyskE goalkeeper Kenneth Stenlid’s head in quick succession. AGF’s lead was then doubled three minutes after the restart when Aron Jóhansson turned well in front of goal and finished even better to grab his ninth goal in four games and his tenth overall this season. SønderjyskE hit back seventeen minutes later through American Conor O’Brien before Bechmann rescued his side a point with one of the last attacking movements of the match when he headed in from six yards out from a wonderfully-weighted cross from O’Brien on the left.

After losing their last three games in a row, Randers picked up their first point in over a month when they beat reigning champions Nordsjælland 1-1 away at Farum Park on Saturday afternoon. After losing 2-0 to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League the Wednesday before and with their DBU Pokalen 3rd Round tie against Svebølle scheduled for next Tuesday, Nordsjælland’s fixture list is looking busier than ever, so when it comes to the Superliga, every point counts. They went ahead through Joshua John just after the half-hour mark when the on-loan Dutch striker and crowd-favourite fired in low from the edge of the six-yard box after connecting perfectly with a cross from Andreas Laudrup. Their lead was to last only twelve minutes though thanks to a wonderful thirty-yard strike from Randers striker Ronnie Schwartz just before half time, and, despite a strong second half performance that saw Randers goalkeeper David Ousted regularly threatened, Schwartz’s goal meant that the travelling side secured their first point since the 18th of August, whilst Nordsjælland are now without a win in their last three league games.

Sunday’s early kick-off between Horsens and Odense ended in a 2-2 draw after an eighty-first minute own-goal by Horsens’ Lasse Kryger meant that the latter side picked up a much-needed point after last weekend’s 3-0 defeat to Esbjerg. It only took Horsens six minutes to go ahead after Thomas Kortegaard’s free kick found itself bouncing through the Odense defence and past an outstretched Jesper Christiansen at the far post. However, the away side were back on level terms only ten minutes later when Krisztian Vadócz rose high and headed in from a looping Espen Ruud corner. Two yellow cards in just fourteen minutes for Horsens defender Morten Rasmussen in the first half meant that the hosts entered the field after the break with only ten men, but that didn’t stop them from going ahead once again as Alexander Juel Andersen scored his second goal in two games when he curled the ball in to the top left-hand corner of the goal from the edge of the penalty area. Odense responded quickly though and created a multitude of chances, the best of which fell for Rasmus Falk Jensen just seven minutes later when he broke through the disjointed Horsens defence before clearing both Odense goalkeeper Christiansen and the Odense goal at close range. Both Morten Skoubo and Marcus Pedersen saw their headed efforts go agonisingly close before Odense were rewarded for their efforts when Skoubo’s header from yet another dangerous corner bounced off the face of Horsens’ Kryger and into the back of the net with just under ten minutes left to play, rescuing a point for an Odense side who’s strong start to the season seems to be stalling as the season progresses…

Brøndby, who started Round 10 in tenth place, picked up their fifth draw in a row when they travelled to MCH Arena in Herning to take on Midtjylland. The away side hit the back of the net first through a Mike Jensen penalty after Franck Semou’s determined run forward was brought to an abrupt end by the shoulder of Midtjylland’s Erik Sviatchenko. The home side arguably dominated from then onwards until they finally got their equaliser through a fiercely struck half volley from Mads Albæk after sixty-seven minutes. Brøndby attempted to find a winner but were denied on several occasions by a strong performance from Jonas Lossl in the Midtjylland goal, and all hopes off a comeback were arguably ruined when their American defender Clarence Goodson was shown a straight red one minute into injury time when he lashed out at Morten Rasmussen with a David Beckham-esque kick to the back of the legs.

After four draws in a row this weekend, København broke the mould in world-class fashion when they thrashed struggling Silkeborg 5-0 at home with ease. Andreas Cornelius put them ahead after only twelve minutes with a bullet header before doubling his side’s lead just six minutes later with a thumping effort from the edge of the penalty area that hit the crossbar and bounced over the line past a stationary Lasse Heinze in the Silkeborg goalmouth. Nicolai Jørgensen, who’s deft back-heel had set up Cornelius’ second goal, scored himself only two minutes later after a defensive error from Silkeborg defender Simon Jakobsen allowed him to plough through the poorly-organised defence and curl a shot into the right-hand side of the net. He then made it 4-0 thirteen minutes later when yet another poor Silkeborg defensive display allowed him to skip past Jakobsen before placing it past Heinze with his left foot. After the fourth was scored, the goals stopped coming in as thick and fast as they had been before, but substitute Martin Vingaard left his mark on the game when he scored København’s fifth and wrapped up the win after seventy-five minutes with a beautifully curled low shot from just outside the box.

After a poor start, newly-promoted Esbjerg picked up their second win of the season and their second win in their last two games when they beat Aalborg 2-0 away at Nordjyske Arena on Monday evening. After comfortably winning their last five games in a row and only conceding one goal in the process, the odds were heavily in favour of yet another Aalborg victory against a struggling Esbjerg side. However, the away side battled hard and went ahead on the hour mark through Martin Braithwaite after he was set up by a lovely through-ball from Jakob Ankersen. Aalborg almost equalised soon after through good chances from both Jeppe Curth and Nicklas Helenius, but Braithwaite doubled Esbjerg’s lead and secured the all-important win seventeen minutes later when he took advantage of a high Aalborg defensive line, breaking through the frail defence and embarking on a ferocious run before cheekily chipping the ball over the outstretched hand of Nicolai Larsen. The win means that Esbjerg end the weekend outside of the dreaded relegation zone for the first time since the start of the season.

At the end of Round 10, København remain unbeaten at the top of the table with an impressive twenty-four points out of a possible thirty, whilst Aalborg stay in second with twenty despite suffering their second defeat of the season. Nordsjælland are four points behind in third, with AGF and Odense tied on fifteen points each in fourth and fifth place, respectively. Horsens and Randers are also tied on points with thirteen each in sixth and seventh, whilst Midtjylland lie in eighth, one point ahead of ninth-place SønderjyskE. Two wins in two games means that Esbjerg climb out of the relegation zone and end Round 10 in tenth place with nine points, whilst Brøndby slip down into the relegation zone for the second time this season with eight points, one point ahead of bottom-of-the-table Silkeborg.

BEN CULLIMORE

@TheNorseNetwork

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