NFN continues to be somewhat semi-accurate in match predictions, but we are certainly right on the money when it comes to capturing the -spirit- of this year’s Tippeliga. Almost every game this round had some neat gameplay happening, or somebody did something incredibly stupid. And that’s just what NFN said would happen! The result of this correctness, not to mention the combined entertainment of nice matches and stupid players, gave us all a sarcastic orgasm, or a sorcasm.
First off, Haugesund and Lyn— Ehh, Sandefjord produced a match that could have ended 5-4 -either way-, but which “only” ended up with the much more ordinary result 2-0 to Haugesund. The match had plenty of shots in the posts and crossbars, including one that went back along the goal line, and almost miracolously failed to connect with a foot. But, SandeLyn’s keeper Espen Bugge Pettersen can proudly go on to the soon upcoming NT practice sessions, since he currently knows all there is about losing, experience that will serve us all well in the upcoming EC qualifiers, I’m sure.
I said the match between Stabæk and Start was impossible to predict. And indeed, who on earth could have predicted that Daniel Nannskog would come back from injury to actually be a competent attacker, sometimes even delightfully so? Looking ten years younger than his usual 50, he was scoring two goals and generally being a pain in the butt of Start’s defense. Of course, we’re talking about a Start defense without Goodson, which frequent commenter Euroman likes to remind us is an open invitation to the opposing team’s forwards. Still, Stabæk played a good game -and- won 3-0 at the same time, and we in NFN are trying so very hard to resist adding a “for once” to that fact.
Guess we failed.
On the other spectrum of Stabæk is Tromsø at home, who so very, very predictably won 2-1. However, it certainly wasn’t for lack of trying of Vålerengen‘s part, who produced a good deal of good chances, and who are now probably cursing both the posts and Tromsø’s keeper Marcus Sahlman, both of which wasn’t about to let Vålerenga score that easily. Instead, with their almost ecclestical effiency, Tromsø got a 2-0 lead. First goal was courtesy of grand old man Rushfeldt, who still doesn’t know when to call it quits, and as long as that means he’ll keep scoring, that’s all fine and dandy. Taking a break from our usual cynical approach, NFN would also like to give props to young Remi Johansen, who had two nice assist passes. Going back to our cynical approach, the one thing we like the most about Tromsø keeping on winning is that it keeps Rosenborg from being on top of the table. Not that we hate Rosenborg, but it’s nice to see other teams on the top of the list for as long as it lasts. Unless they’re teams we hate.
Of the teams that had a better-than-expected start this season, Strømsgodset is clearly the first one to get back to reality, with 3 points in the last six games. They lost 3-1 to Aalesund on the orange-clads’ turf, in a nice but not that impressive match. Aalesund, who’s had a minor setback period, will now become favourites against Brann next week, on account of how Aalesund’s very effective against teams with a lousy defense, and they keep the goal fairly clean against teams without good attacking.
I wasn’t initially caring much about Kongsvinger hosting a match against an underperforming Molde, and while it wasn’t the greatest match in history – in fact, Molde was more abysmal than ever – it certainly provided some interesting moments. The funniest bit was the fact that while once again, a match in which Thomas Myhre played had some serious keeper blunders, Myhre was in fact not the one to make them! Instead, Molde’s Jan Kjell Larsen made some pretty big whoopers, including what is already a contender for silliest keeper mistake of the year. (1:00 minute into the video)
The 3-1 victory helped Kongsvinger get up to the 13th place on the table, which I’m sure must be a morale booster for a team that will struggle to stay up. And it seems that just like Start and Vålerenga, Molde are truly headless chickens that has no clue whatsoever what they’re doing, unless certain key players are on the field and in good form. And when infamous king of fumbles Thomas Myhre twists the knife around by saving a penalty shot, you just know that Molde has some major problems going on.
Hønefoss has had one major problem all season long, and that is, they’re truly rubbish when it comes to scoring (5 goals in 12 matches before this one). But since they are also the pure essence of Underdog, Brann was so gracious so as to give Hønefoss not one, but two free lessons in how to score against the opponent. Of course, being that Brann -was- the opponent, that meant they had to score against themselves to show Hønefoss how it’s done. Håkon Opdal’s lesson was rather absurd and silly, but Bjørnar Holmvik’s heading was very nice, and something we could all learn from. NFN would like to applaud Brann’s sense of extremely gentlemanly (if somehow misplaced) sportsmanship, since it’s the first time in years they’ve provided it. Well, we would, except we’re all lying on the floor with severe pain in our sides from all the gleeful laughing after an otherwise not too eventful match.
The 0-2 loss against Hønefoss, combined with Kongsvinger trashing Molde, means that Brann is now placed 15th, which of course means that both the Ragnarok and the Apocalypse is happening at once in Bergen, if you’re to believe local newspapers and local TV broadcasters. The players who got Steinar Nilsen fired are still utterly incompetent, which is especially funny considering they promised to show a better side of themselves this match. Well, if this keeps up, it’s going to be very interesting to see if Brann’s players can escape the ensuing lynch mobs that will soon appear on their doorsteps. Erik Huseklepp will probably easily run away (he certainly ran away from anything looking to be physical contact with an opponent this match), whilst Eirik Bakke most likely won’t survive this summer.
Speaking of doing stupid things, enter Vadim Demidov, for Rosenborg. He’s also one of the luckiest bastards to ever have gotten a red card for a rather nasty tackle after 30 minutes, because nobody’s been talking about him -at all- after their away match against Viking. Making Rosenborg playing with ten man only, Demidov could easily have been the scapegoat for what would and should have been an incredibly ordinary 1-1 result.
But if there’s someone who just has to top the stupidity, then Viking’s keeper Rune Almenning Jarstein is the man. For absolutely no good reason, he just pushes Trond Olsen off his feet, in a situation where the ball’s 30 meters away anyway, and thus, creating a more unnecessary penalty shot than Rade Prica did against Start last year. (Yes, we still remember that one (5:57 into the video)) Oh yeah, and it’s two minutes into injury time as well. So when that penalty is converted into a goal, the match ends. 2-1 to Rosenborg, and a Demidov who got off the media hook this time. Some teams get all the lucky breaks…
Naturally, the one person on earth defending Jarstein is Egil Drillo Olsen, who tries blaming the referee instead. Of course, since said Drillo apparently wants to both ruin both the NT’s abilities to win and to at least -try- attacking more than once every third game, it’s no surprise that he wants to keep Jarstein in his squad.
After one hell of a Monday, many would ask if the Lillestrøm – Odd Grenland on Tuesday could keep up. Unfortunately, the answer was mostly no, and the 2-2 result wasn’t that much to write home about for either team. Sure, there was one penalty to each team that both could be argued against, but they could also be argued for, and as long as it’s not a clear-cut mistake, this NFN writer has stopped caring too much. The strangest thing that happened in this game was that Dag-Eilev Fagermo said that the referee was correct on both counts. Yes, that includes the penalty to LSK. Next thing you know, Nils Arne Eggen will leave Rosenborg to coach Brann…