DENMARK: Superliga Week 1 Review


The Danish Superliga returns, bringing with it new faces and plenty of goals

The Danish Superliga returned to action this weekend, kicking off what proves to be a truly exciting 2013-14 season! The 2011-12 champions and runners-up last year Nordsjælland started the new season in the poorest fashion when they were thrashed 4-0 away from home by Esbjerg on Monday evening, sending them straight to the bottom of the table and surely not doing any wonders for their confidence ahead of their Champions League clash with Zenit St. Petersburg next week. Esbjerg’s (who finished fourth in the league last season, despite only being promoted back into the Superliga at the end of the 2011-12 season) goals were shared between Martin Braithwaite and newly-signed Dutch youngster Mick van Buren, with the latter completing his double in just four minutes in the first-half to put the hosts 3-0 ahead after only twenty-five minutes, whilst the former opened the scoring after just six minutes and completed his brace on the hour mark.

It wasn’t a good opening day for reigning champions København either, after they were beaten 2-1 by Aalborg. Jeppe Curth scored his first league goal in almost a year to open the scoring shortly after the start of the second-half, before Swedish international Pierre Bengtsson scored only his second goal for the club to equalise just two minutes later. Aalborg, who finished fifth last season, despite a poor end to the campaign, fought back, however, and Søren Frederiksen, a former København player, scored the winner with little under twenty minutes left to play.

Viborg and Vestsjælland are the two new faces in the Superliga after they were promoted from the 1st Division last season, with both sides finishing equal on sixty-two points, but with Viborg claiming the crown thanks to a superior goal difference, after scoring the most goals (60) of any side that season. Viborg return to the top-flight for the first time since their relegation at the end of the 2007-08 season, whilst Vestsjælland, who were founded in 2008, are playing in the Superliga for the first time this season. Both sides were able to avoid defeat and pick up draws in their opening games, with Viborg coming from behind twice (with their second goal from Ousmane Sarr being scored in the dying moments of the game) to draw 2-2 at home to Randers, whilst Vestsjælland drew 1-1 away from home against Brøndby.

Odense and SønderjyskE also drew 1-1 when they met at TRE-FOR Park on Sunday afternoon, with Krisztián Vadócz opening the scoring for the former just nine minutes into the game, before Nicolaj Madsen rescued a point for SønderjyskE with his second goal for the club shortly after the hour mark.

And in the final game of the opening round, Midtjylland got off to winning ways with a 2-0 victory away against AGF. Both goals were scored within half-an-hour of kick-off, with a Mikkel Kirkeskov own-goal opening the scoring after twelve minutes, before Pione Sisto scored Midtjylland’s first real goal of the season fifteen minutes later. Any chance of an AGF comeback was made even harder midway through the second half when twenty-year-old Frans Dhia Putros was given his marching orders after receiving two yellow cards in five minutes, and Midtjylland, who finished one place ahead of AGF in sixth last season, held on comfortably to start the new season with three well-earned points.

Ben Cullimore

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