This week Norwegians looked to the West where a massive eruption, the likes of which hasn’t been seen in decades, spewed all kinds of ash and particles into the atmosphere, possibly complicating the everyday lives of millions of Europeans. Also, in addition to Kjetil Rekdal’s post-match team talk, there was some unfortunate business with a volcano in Iceland..
This midweek business is playing a merry hell with NFN Norway’s admittedly sluggish and lazy publication-schedule, so here we go with both a roundup and a preview in one..
Table-topping Aalesund were eying another three points away to Haugesund, but it all went badly awry and an own goal from Tor Hogne Aarøy and a cracker from John Pelu gave the hosts a lead Aalesund were unable to claw back. After the 2-1 defeat Kjetil Rekdal told TV2 that “we lost because we were poor,” and while he kept his composure for the cameras there was an ominous undertone to his voice. Odds are the AaFK dressing-room was an uncomfortable place that night, not to mention the epic bus-ride home the next day.
Misfiring Viking hosted defensive dullards Tromsø in a game that turned out to be exactly as thrilling as you’d expect. The visitors took the lead when George Mourad pounced on some suicidal sloppiness at the back by Viking, and Tromsø then spent the rest of the game camped out in their own penalty-area in a defensive barrier that Viking only got through once. 1-1, and jammy Tromsø could start the preposterously long bus-ride home with the point they came for.
Brann are terrible and lost 3-0 to Rosenborg.
Again NFN failed in its efforts to predict entertainment, as the proposed goal-fest between Start and Odd Grenland was called off and replaced by an even and largely tedious 1-1 draw. On the plus-side for Start they only conceded once, which is progress, and they’re still undefeated.
Another game that wasn’t particularly good was Kongsvinger‘s encounter with Lillestrøm, where the visitors in yellow were held to a 0-0 draw. Any point is a good point for Kongsvinger, while Lillstrøm have now played out three straight 0-0 draws. We here at NFN clearly put the hex on them by naming them as a team to look out for, something we’re very pleased with.
Ronny Deila continues to be a hugely loveable chap, who is not only doing a cracking job coaching a talented but inexperienced Strømsgodset-side, but is also graceful in defeat when things don’t go their way. Godset’s tie with Molde turned when young winger Muhamed Keita got a straight red for a dangerous if not horrific tackle and Molde a few minutes later were awarded a penalty following some shirt-tugging in the area. Instead of having a proper moan about the injustice of a it all, after all many referees would have let both situations pass, Deila took the opportunity the praise the man in the middle: “It was probably a red card, and I think it’s good that referees are starting to punish those kinds of tackles. I think Keita will learn a lot from that. I hope Norwegian referees keep doing that. It was the same with the penalty, the shirt-tugging, we’ve set a standard now and we have to keep it up”. See, there is a way of pointing out that referees are inconsistent without sounding like moaning 9 year-old. Other managers should take note. The game ended with a 3-2 win for Molde, who desperately needed the points and are looking to at least stay vaguely in contention for the top spots while they try to get they key men fit again.
Speaking of sympathetic managers, Patrick Walker will have been sick to his stomach with Sandefjord‘s 1-0 home defeat to Vålerenga, as it was exactly the kind of tight, battling game his team tends to tip in their favor. “I’m very disappointed, we deserved at least a point,” the somewhat Irish manager told Tv2.
..and now.. the briefest of previews for round 7, a round that will be a bit disrupted by the fact that no planes are flying these days.
Hønefoss (16th) – Viking (12th)
Playing hopeless Hønefoss could be just the confidence-boost Åge Hareide’s misfiring Viking needs, after his headline-grabbing change of formation against Tromsø failed to improve the team much. Like every away-team this round however, travel will be a hassle and might impact the team’s chances.
Odd Grenland (8th) – Molde (10th)
Injury-hit Molde away to stuttering Odd? One imagines the team that hasn’t just spent a good ten hours in a bus will edge it.
Lillestrøm (7th) – Haugesund (9th)
Three 0-0s on the spin for LSK and here they face feisty Haugesund. This should be an appalling game. Stay well clear.
Stabæk (11th) – Kongsvinger (14th)
Only Kongsvinger and Hønefoss have scored fewer goals than Stabæk so far. The visitors will surely park the bus here, but are unlikely to be as good at is as Tromsø were.
Strømsgodset (6th) – Start (4th)
Seeing as almost every game NFN has predicted to be an action-packed festival of fun has then turned out to be a total dud, we’re not going to jinx this one by making such a prediction. Two youthful, attacking, open teams full of talented and confident youngsters square off, this is clearly going to be dire dire stuff.
Tromsø (3th) – Sandefjord (13th)
Likely to be canceled due to the fact that Sandefjord would have to spend a preposterous 26 hours in a bus to get there. If it goes ahead somehow Tromsø should pick up another unspectacular win.
Brann (15th) – Vålerenga (5th)
Brann are terrible and will lose.
Aalesund (2nd) – Rosenborg (1st)
And so it begins. After AaFk’s slip-up against Haugesund their period of comfortable fixtures is over. Here they face Rosenborg, then they take a tricky trip to Sandefjord, then they host super sexy Start and then they have a difficult derby with Molde. One suspects their time at the top of the table is coming to an end.