Tippeligaen Weekly Round Up – Round 5

by Ben Cullimore

Tippeligaen 2012As has been mentioned every week, 2013 has been a truly horrid year for Molde, despite it still being so early in the new season. But, after losing their opening four league matches, Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s men finally picked up their first point of the campaign this weekend when they drew 1-1 away to Odd on Saturday afternoon. It looked as if Molde might have been treated to the usual doom and gloom when Havard Storbæk put the hosts ahead after thirty-four minutes, but Daniel Hestad was on hand to score what would prove to be the game’s final goal just four minutes later.

Molde remain bottom, however, two points behind Vålerenga who have also had a poor start to Tippeligaen 2013. They were handed their third straight defeat by Start in a 1-0 win for the newly promoted side at home at Sør Arena in Kristiansand. The winner came from Ghanaian forward Ernest Asante after seventy-four minutes – just four minutes after he’d come on as a substitute – and means that Start are only one of two clubs who are still unbeaten this season, albeit playing one game less than every side bar Haugesund after their clash was postponed at the start of the month.

The other unbeaten side are Aalesund who currently sit top of the table after an impressive first five games. After winning their first four against Haugesund, Sandnes Ulf, Hønefoss and Sarpsborg 08, Jan Jönsson’s new side faced arguably their toughest challenge so far when they hosted Tromsø on Sunday. However, the latter have had a slow start to the season, winning only one of their first four games before this weekend, and they were held to a 0-0 draw – their third draw so far – by a valiant Aalesund side.

Arguably the biggest shock of the weekend was second-place Rosenborg’s 3-1 defeat to Haugesund later that day. After beating Odd, Brann and Sogndal in their first three games (the latter two games both ended in emphatic 4-0 victories) last weekend’s 1-1 draw against Start saw the Trondheim giants stumble for the first time in 2013. Haugesund, who won their first game of the year against Hønefoss last weekend, took full advantage of this and found themselves 2-0 up after thirty-five minutes thanks to a Daniel Bamberg penalty kick and a goal from Alexander Søderlund. Mix Diskerud pulled one back for Rosenborg six minutes into the second half but it wasn’t enough to initiate any sort of comeback as a lackluster side, who were reduced to ten men after sixty-six minutes when Cristian Gamboa was shown a second yellow card, conceded a third goal, this time from Tor Andreassen, with a minute to play.

Rosenborg now sit equal on points with third-place Strømsgodset after they won their third game of the season when they beat Lillestrøm at Marienlyst Stadion. Péter Kovács, always on hand to score important goals, scored what would turn out to be the winning goal on the thirty-eighth minute, moving his side above Viking who were beaten away from home by Brann. The game would turn out to be over in just nineteen minutes, with Erik Huseklepp hitting the back of the net after only three and Fredrik Nordkvelle doubling the home side’s lead sixteen later. The victory, Brann’s third, moves them equal on points with Viking who have the same record but a superior goal difference of only one.

In the bottom half of the table, ten-man Sarpsborg 08 were held to a goalless draw by Sogndal on Sunday at Fosshaugane Campus, whilst Sandnes Ulf and Hønefoss, the two sides who were promoted from Adeccoligaen the season before last, drew 1-1. Bjørnar Holmvik put Sandnes Ulf ahead two minutes before the break, and it looked like they were going to claim their second win of the season until Aleksander Solli equalised for Hønefoss in the eighty-eighth minute.

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