Posted by: Christian Wulff | August 14, 2012

Round 19 summary and highlights

All the action from week 19 in Norway, with highlights from the excellent altomfotball website.

Updated league table here

Vålerenga – Odd Grenland 3-1

On his 37th birthday, Morten Berre scored the quintessential Morten Berre goal – scrappy header into empty net at the back post – to give Vålerenga the lead. Mohammed Fellah’s finish after an elegant 1-2 with home debutant Chad Barrett extended the lead five minutes later, the win never in doubt from that point. Odd’s 20-year-old striker Torgeir Børven (8 goals this season) has been heavily linked with Vålerenga over the last week, but having turned down Aalesund before the season will he trust Martin Andresen with his future development in an often tactically confused set-up?

Brann – Haugesund 3-2

Nikola Djurdjic has undoubtedly been the best striker in Tippeligaen this season, an assessment which is not only down to him being the leading goal-scorer, but equally to his impressive all-round play. His two goals against Brann put him on 12 for the season, the total he reached in each of the last two years at Haugesund. At 26, he will need to move soon if he wants to make an impact in a bigger league, and with his quality and relatively low price-tag he’d make an excellent buy. This time his goals were not enough to gain Haugesund a point, with Brann already 3-0 up through a brace from Armin Askar and Fredrik Nordkvelle’s first for the club, the home team holding out for the three points that took them past Haugesund and up to fifth.

Tromsø – Strømsgodset 4-0

The wheels haven’t quite come off for Strømsgodset yet, but they might want to tighten them up a bit. After Ruben Kristiansen’s fluky opener the home team were in full control and easily brushed aside the league leaders. With one win in the last four games, Strømsgodset’s lead has shrunk from 6 to 1 in just over a week. They are getting a well-timed break next weekend for their cup quarterfinal clash with Brann, their next league game against Lillestrøm perhaps their most crucial so far this season.

Lillestrøm – Hønefoss 2-2

It’s a sign of how good Hønefoss’ season has been (and how average Lillestrøm now are) that the promoted side can now go to places such as Åråsen and come away genuinely disappointed with a draw. Two rather scrappy goals for both teams had them level until just after the hour-mark when Riku Riski’s tremendous swirling shot put the guests ahead. They should have secured the win long before injury time, when Johan Andersson saved a point for Lillestrøm with a delightfully controlled volley from outside the area.

Stabæk – Sandnes Ulf 2-1

A loss here and Stabæk would have been 13 points away from a play-off spot, and virtually assigned to the faith that had been looking more and more likely for them. But for once they converted their early chances and they held on to their lead even after Elfar Helgason’s late goal. To claw back seven points in 11 games still seem a tall order for Petter Belsvik’s young and inconsistent team, but now there is hope for a few more weeks at least.

Viking – Fredrikstad 3-0

Kjell Jonevret and Viking seems like the perfect fit so far. A cup-winner with the club in 1989, the Swede lead Molde to promotion to Tippeligaen and then a second place finish during his time there before being fired in the middle of a disastrous 2010 season. He’s certainly put a fire in the belly of Viking’s young and talented squad (not to mention their dedicated fan base), the 3-0 steamrolling of struggling Fredrikstad their fifth win in a row,  a combined score line of 16-3 showing their dominance in a sequence of results that also saw them beat Molde away. Makthar Thioune had been one of the lynchpins of Joneveret ‘s Molde side and he wasted no time in bringing him to Viking when the opportunity arouse this month. Thioune wasted no time either when he was given his debut against Fredrikstad 17 minutes from time. First he was heavily involved in the build up to Trond Olsen’s goal, before he set up Vidar Nisja with a surging run and beautifully timed pass. Viking is now up at fourth, a position finally reflecting the team’s inherent ability.

Sogndal – Rosenborg 0-3

As Tippeligaen took a break for the European Championship earlier this summer, Sogndal used the time to dig up their grass pitch, becoming the sixth team in the league with an artificial pitch. Having lost only one of their first five home games, they’ve now lost 3 out of 4 on the new surface. They should have gone ahead against a resurgent Rosenborg, but two penalties from Borek Dockal set the away team on their way to another win which means they are now only three points behind leaders Strømsgodset.

Aalesund – Molde 0-1

You know what? Forget the highlights, just watch Etzaz Hussain’s first ever goal for Molde over and over again.

 

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