Tippeligaen Weekly Round Up – Round 13

by Ben Cullimore

TippeligaenAfter almost a month away for its annual summer break, Tippeligaen returned this weekend and brought with it a plethora of goals and excitement, picking up exactly where it left off.

League leaders Strømsgodset lost for only the second time this season and are now just two points clear at the top of the table after they lost 1-0 away to second-place Rosenborg on Saturday afternoon. Mike Jensen scored the game’s only goal shortly before the half time break extend his side’s unbeaten league run to seven games and close in on Strømsgodset as we near the mid-point of the season.

The gap between Rosenborg and third place is now four points after Viking’s 2-1 defeat to Aalesund saw them drop to fourth place, with the latter replacing them in third. Leke James and Lars Fuhre both scored to put Aalesund 2-0 up shortly before the hour mark, before Patrik Ingelsten scored what would only be a consolation goal in the final moments of the match. Both sides are equal on 23 points, however, but Aalesund surely possess the greater chance of pushing away towards the top of the table as they play thirteenth-place Start next Sunday, whilst Viking host Rosenborg in what will no doubt prove to be a very tough game.

Two points behind both Aalesund and Viking are Brann who, despite winning all of their home games so far this season, are still without a single point away from Brann Stadion. Their most recent away defeat came against Haugesund on Sunday, with a Daniel Bamberg brace winning it for the sixth-place side, despite Amin Askar scoring a late goal for the visitors. Brann have now lost three times in their last five games, and only one point now separates them and this weekend’s opponents.

Seventh-place Tromsø and eighth-place Sogndal remain tied on 19 points after both sides were victorious this weekend. Second-half goals from Aleksandar Prijović and Thomas Kind Bendiksen gave Tromsø a 2-0 victory at home to 10th place Lillestrøm, whilst Sogndal comfortably beat bottom-of-the-table Sandnes Ulf 3-1 away from home. The visitors were ahead after only three minutes through a Bjørnar Holmvik own goal, and Sidimane Sagna and Gustav Valsvik added to the scoreline early in the second half to give them a 3-0 lead. Kenneth Sola pulled one back for Sandnes Ulf six minutes before the end but it wouldn’t prove to be enough for Sandnes Ulf to avoid their third consecutive league defeat and their seventh league game without a win.

Sarpsborg 08 were the only side in the bottom half of the table to win this weekend, and they did so against Start, beating them 2-1, thanks to goals in either half from Øyvind Hoås and Christian Brink. The win, their first since the start of May, sees them move above Lillestrøm to ninth place, two points in front of Kanarifuglene and two points behind Sogndal.

At the bottom of the table, Odd remain in the relegation play-off spot in 14th place after they were forced to share the points with Hønefoss as a result of their 1-1 draw at AKA Arena. Odd stay just one point ahead of Molde in the relegation zone after the reigning champions, who are now unbeaten in their last three league games, were involved in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Vålerenga in Oslo on Saturday afternoon. Morten Berre put the hosts 1-0 up after just 10 minutes before two goals in 12 minutes from Jo Inge Berget and Martin Linnes gave Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side a 2-1 lead going into the break. However, Vålerenga were soon ahead again thanks to two goals in quick succession from Jan Gunnar Solli and another from Morten Berre shortly before the hour mark, but nineteen-year-old Brazilian substitute Agnaldo Moraes came to Molde’s rescue and scored in the 91st minute with his first league goal for the club to earn them a vital point in their bid to escape the dreaded relegation zone and move back into the higher echelons of the Tippeligaen table where the club feel they belong.

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