Tippeligaen Weekly Round Up – Round 7

by Ben Cullimore

Tippeligaen 2012After winning their first four matches of the season, Aalesund have now failed to win their last three, and this weekend they dropped down from the top spot to second after they drew 2-2 with Rosenborg on Saturday. Despite going 2-0 up after fifty-two minutes thanks to goals from Leke James and Fredrik Ulvestad, Aalesund boss Jan Jönsson’s former side fought back and scored twice in seven minutes mid-way through the second half to pick up their first point in almost a month. Rosenborg, after dominating their opening games, have now failed to win in their last four games, seeing them drop from the top of the table after Round 3 to fifth in the table after Round 7.

Aalesund’s draw allowed Strømsgodset, one of last season’s most impressive sides and strong favourites for this year’s title alongside Rosenborg, move to the top of the table as they secured their fourth consecutive win at home to third-place Viking. The hosts were dealt a shock 2-1 defeat against second-tier Asker in the second round of the Norwegian Cup during the week, but it seemingly had little impact on their fantastic league form as they went into the half-time break 2-0 up against a strong Viking side, with Lars Vilsvik and Mohammed Keita scoring a goal each at either end of the half. Patrik Ingelsten scored for Viking from the penalty spot three minutes after the break in the hope of initiating a second half comeback but Adama Diomandé restored Strømsgodset’s two-goal lead and scored the final goal of the game twenty-four minutes later with his first goal in the league since July last year.

Brann had the opportunity to overtake Viking and take third place for themselves thanks to the latter side’s defeat, but they will have to stay in fourth place for another week after their dreadful away record continued as they were beaten 3-1 by thirteenth-place Sogndal. Brann are yet to win a single away game this season, despite winning all four of their games they’ve played at home, and have only scored one goal away from Brann Stadion. That goal came from Amin Askar in the ninetieth minute, with Brann already 3-0 down (and a man down after youngster Jonas Grønner was shown a second yellow card since minutes into the second half) thanks to a first-half opener from Azar Karadas and a second-half brace from Malick Mane.

The win was Sogndal’s second of the season, and Odd, who sit just behind them in fourteenth place with seven points, also picked up their second win of 2013 this weekend when they beat sixth-place Lillestrøm 2-1 at home at Skagerak Arena. Petter Vaagan Moen opened the scoring for the visitors after only thirteen minutes before veteran Frode Johnsen equalised with nine minutes of the half left to play. Herolind Shala scored what would eventually be the winner after seventy-four minutes and moved his side out of the relegation zone, dropping Hønefoss down into it.

Hønefoss have only won one game this season – a surprise 2-0 victory at home to Strømsgodset – and have failed to win their last five in a row, drawing their last three, including this weekend’s 1-1 draw with Tromsø. Despite only losing once this season, Tromsø, who currently sit in seventh place, are having a tough time at the moment, only winning twice so far and failing to hold on to leads on several occasions. That was the case at AKA Arena on Sunday, as Hønefoss were able to reply to Morten Moldskred’s fifty-fourth minute opener with the all-important equaliser just eight minutes later from Mikkel Vendelbo.

The draw means that Tromsø now sit on equal on points with Lillestrøm, Sarpsborg 08 and Haugesund after the newly promoted side beat the latter 1-0. The winner didn’t come until five minutes before the end when Magnus Sylling Olsen scored his first goal for the club since signing in March after being released by Adeccoligaen side Bodø/Glimt at the end of last season. The win moves Sarpsborg 08 up to eighth-place after a fantastic start from last year’s Adeccoligaen runners-up in which they’ve lost only once under the guidance of new manager, and former England international, Brian Deane.

One point behind Lillestrøm, Tromsø, Sarpsborg 08 and Haugesund are Vålerenga who have bounced back from three consecutive defeats to win two on the trot. This weekend saw them beat Sandnes Ulf 2-1 away from home thanks to two early goals from Costa Rican attacker Diego Calvo (his first for the club since moving from his home country’s champions L.D. Alajuelense) and Simon Larsen.

The tough times continue for Molde as they are still searching for their first win of the season after having to come from behind to draw 1-1 with tenth-place Start. It didn’t take the reigning champions long to get back into the game, however, as Mattias Moström equalised just before the half-time break, only two minutes after Jorge Castro (another Costa Rican attacker) had opened the scoring with his fourth goal in three games. It seems that Castro is exactly the sort of player Molde need as, after scoring only twice in their opening seven games, they seem to be struggling to fill the hole left up front by Davy Claude Angan.

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