Viking trashes Mjøndalen with a 4-2 away win
The pride of Stavanger may return from the valley of the shadows after being relegated last year. This after a strong win away at Mjøndalen on Sunday. The suspense lingers on between the three rivals for the two spots securing a return to the top division. Levanger and Florø are doomed.
Mjøndalen led at half-time and looked to secure promotion to the top division, but Viking turned it to a 2-4 defeat to lead the OBOS-league.
Viking tops the table with 58 points, one in front of Mjøndalen and two in front of the third contender, Ålesund, who did their job and won 4-0 over Levanger. All three face relatively easy opponents in the last round, which is played in a week from now.
Mjøndalen would be back in the top series with a victory, and could hardly have hoped for a better start. With 7 minutes played, the Brown-shirts had a corner from the left and Mathias Fredriksen fired off a shot from the area in front of goal. Viking keeper, Iven Austbø, made a near save, but Captain Christian Gauseth put the ball away via the near post.
Viking possessed the ball a lot, but Mjøndalen had the biggest chances. The team had previously received a pep-talk from the legendary biathlete, Ole Einar Bjørndalen, and appeared to be preparing for an early promotion party.
-Viking will surely become desperate in time. It will be challenging, but also provide opportunities, Mjøndalen Manager, Vegard Hansen, told Eurosport at half-time.
The challenges appeared immediately, and Mjøndalen did not manage to cope with them. With 53 minutes played, Zlatko Tripic came in from the left and served in front of goal. At the near post, Tommy Høiland put away 1-1 despite hard pressure from Sondre Solholm Johansen.
Just three and a half minutes later it was Høiland’s turn to come around on the left side and serve. Zymer Bytyqi stood for an artistic goal when he at full volley heeled the ball into the net behind Mjøndalen keeper, George Bokwe. Thus, Viking suddenly led 2-1 and not only postponed the MIF promotion but even took over the top spot to boot.
With 68 minutes played, Viking increased the lead with another breakthrough from the side. This time Zymer Bytyqi came down the right side and served Johnny Furdal, who at the far post had an open goal in front of him.
Markus Nakkim invited Mjøndalen back into the match when he, under pressure from Oliver Ocean, placed the ball in his own net. Viking substitute, Even Østensen, put the final nail in the coffin when he blasted Fredrik Torsteinbø’s pass into the goal ten minutes before the end of the match.
– We made a poor performance, but Viking is a good team. Especially in the 2nd half they were much better than us and won deservedly, Vegard Hansen tells NTB after the match.
Aalesund needs help
Holmbert Fridjonsson and Pape Habib Gueye scored two goals each when Aalesund crushed Levanger and kept the dream of direct promotion alive. (the 3rd place team will play-off for the last available spot). In the last round, Viking plays at home against Kongsvinger, while Mjøndalen goes to Florø and Ålesund visits Strømmen.
Viking and Mjøndalen are both ready for the top series with victories, while Ålesund has to do the job themselves and hope that one of the rivals stumble at the last hurdle. The team that does not qualify directly must play-off for the last available spot. Sogndal and Ullensaker / Kisa are already ready for the play-off, while Kongsvinger holds the last place two points ahead of Nest-Sotra and Tromsdalen – three in front of HamKam and Sandnes Ulf.
Kongsvinger has a much better goal difference than the pursuers and is almost certainly safe with one point against Viking, but with a loss in Stavanger, the qualifying spot can go up in a puff of smoke.
In the relegation battle, Notodden won 2-1 in the all-important match against Florø, who is relegated together with Levanger. Gaston Salasiwa scored the crucial goal 15 minutes before the end of the match.
Notodden climbed past Åsane, who was trashed 0-5 home against Strømmen and, therefore, dropped down into the qualifying spot. Jerv, who lost 1-4 against Ullensaker / Kisa, is two points in front of Notodden and Åsane and is also at risk of having to play in the qualifier to avoid relegation.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today