Stromsgodset went down 2-1 to Red Bull New York in a friendly in Spain yesterday. Both teams are preparing for the forthcoming seasons in La Manga.
Stromsgodset finished 12th in the Tippeligaen in 2009 and will be looking to do better this time around. They faced a fresh Red Bull side that is starting to gather pace under the Swedish coach Hans Backe and Norwegian General Manager Erik Solér. Stromsgodset saw some familiar faces, as Red Bull showed off their new signings from January following Solér’s Tippeliga raids. Both Roy Miller (Rosenborg) and Joel Lindpere (Tromso) played in the Norwegian top flight last year, and both were on hand to witness the win.
Jamaican international Dane Richards was a thorn in Stromgodset’s side all afternoon and played a vital part in the first goal. After just three minutes he delivered a dangerous cross that was turned into his own net by the unlucky Alexander Aas. Richards pre season form has been nothing short of immense and bright things lie ahead for the 26 year old.
Juan Pablo Angel nearly doubled Red Bull`s lead in the 14th minute, when he gathered an Austin da Luz pass and blasted his shot over the bar. Later in the half, Seth Stammler tested Stromsgodset goalkeeper Adam Larsen Kwarasey from 25 yards out but the former Norwegian under 21 turned Ghana international was not to be beaten.
Stromsgodset upped the pressure after the interval as they went in search of an equaliser. Their pressure paid dividends in the 54th minute when Swedish Defender Joel Riddez found himself unattended to in the box. The former Orebro man made no mistake and duly dispatched his effort passed substitute goalkeeper Greg Sutton.
Almost instantly Angel nearly restored the American`s lead. The former Columbian international tested Kwarasey with his free kick but the latter was in the right place at the right time to parry the shot. In the 69th minute Marcus Pedersen went close for Stroms but his headed effort was denied by Sutton.
The Red Bulls broke the Norwegian sides resistance with only 14 minutes remaining. A Sinisa Ubiparipovic free kick was initially cleared but John Agudelo managed to get the ball back into the area. Finnish Trialist Toni Kolehmainen was able to get on to it and blasted home what proved to be the winning goal
Unhappy with his previous effort, Riddez pounced with a long range effort which was well saved by Sutton. Ronny Deila`s side battled valiantly for an equaliser that was not forthcoming. In the dying moments,Pedersen having beaten keeper Sutton agonisingly watched on as his chipped effort struck the post.
Stromsgodset will play both Rubin Kazan (February 4th) and Polonia Warsaw (February 9th) in La Manga before they return to Norway. You can see interviews with RBNY’s assistant coach Richie Williams, players Juan Agudelo and Bouna Coudoul and Finnish trialist Toni Kolehmainen here: