This was a key week in a lot of OBOS Ligaen team’ seasons, with sides such as Kongsvinger, Arendal and Fredrikstad all looking for their first win of the campaign whilst Start and Bodo/Glimt looked to climb into the top two positions, where many had placed them in their pre-season table predictions.
Arendal 2 – 0 Floro (Rnkovic x2)
Photo: Alf Joachim Altenborg
Arendal and Floro are both new to the OBOS Ligaen this season having won their respective 2.Divisjon leagues but both were still searching for their first league victory prior to this game. Both sides would have come into the match expecting their first 3 points, especially Floro, who could have been sensing blood after Arendal’s poor start to the year.
The main talking point once more was the fact that there was no Wilhelm Pepa in the Arendal lineup. The top scorer from last season had to settle for a place on the bench as manager Knut Torum continued with Petar Rnkovic up front.
It has been revealed since that Torum is not playing Pepa due to his height. The forward is 20cm too short to be considered, as Arendal switch to a more direct style of football.
The move did however pay off for Arendal against Floro, as Rnkovic scored twice and was a constant threat throughout. A good first half for the home side ensured the game was all but won by half time and despite a late Floro charge, Arendal held out to claim their first 3 points of the season.
In terms of stand out performances, Rnkovic was very effective in what he did and so has to be mentioned here. Stefan Aase of Floro was at the heart of every counter attack from the away side but maybe just lacked a final penetrative pass to open up the Arendal back four. Ylldren Ibrahimaj was on song once again and claimed another assist, for the first Arendal goal.
Arendal & Floro are now both on 3 points, but Terje Rognso’s Floro side are still looking for their first league win.
- Petar Rnkovic – 9/10
- Sune Kiilerich – 8/10
- Stefan Aase – 8/10
Asane 4 – 0 Sandnes Ulf (Hammersland, Herrem x2, Hestetun)
The loss of Remi Johansen hit Sandnes hard as they lost 4-0 to Asane (Digitalsports)
In one of the most surprising results of the season, Asane demolished a lackadaisical Sandnes Ulf on the new artificial turf at Myrdal Gress.
From the off, Asane looked like they simply wanted the win more. Sandnes’ 2016 season was punctuated by inconsistency and on the basis of this game it seems that trend may well continue into 2017. It has been clear over the last two games that the loss of Remi Johansen from their midfield diamond has been felt massively, but the reasons for the loss on Sunday run deeper than missing personnel.
Asane looked good for the win from the first whistle and it only took Joakim Hammersland 15 minutes to put the home side ahead. Hammersland then turned provider 10 minutes later as his shot was deflected into the path of Geir Andre Herrem, who couldn’t miss from 3 yards out.
It was Herrem’s first goal of the season, in what has been a tough start for both himself and his team. Chances have been hard to come by but Asane took advantage of Sandnes’ indifference during this game and created more than in any game previously.
The second half continued in much the same way with Asane dominating proceedings. Sandnes had their fair share of chances but Eriksen, Skartun and Sellin all seemingly forgot their shooting boots as their aim was skewed throughout the match.
Another Herrem goal and a late Jonas Hestetun finish ensured the scoreboard was a fair reflection of the home sides’ dominance. The 4-0 win was richly deserved and sent Asane up the table on 4 points from their 4 games. For Sandnes, the loss was a big wake up call. They sit on 7 points, 3 behind table toppers Bodo/Glimt and have gone from the best defensive record in the top 6 to the worst in the space of one game.
- Geir Andre Herrem – 8/10
- Joachim Soltvedt – 7/10
- Joakim Hammersland – 7/10
Fredrikstad 0 – 1 Bodo/Glimt (Opseth)
Fredrikstad FK Stadion
Fredrikstad vs. Glimt was clearly the stand out fixture from the 4th round of OBOS Ligaen matches but failed to live up to the hype as yet another disciplined Fredrikstad performance almost shut out the visiting side.
The solitary goal in the game was scored by Kristian Opseth, who had lost his place in the starting XI to Sarpsborg loanee Katchi, despite being the leagues’ top scorer. Opseth entered at half time and although his performance in general was not astounding, his long shot that slipped under the arms of FFK keeper Havar Jenssen ensured Glimt took maximum points from a very tough fixture.
A lot of blame for the goal can lie with Jenssen in the Fredrikstad goal, but the player spoke well afterwards to the press in defense of both his and the teams’ performances;
‘It’s a mistake on my part and without it we could have stayed at 0-0 and maybe won the game.’ said Jenssen to F-B.no.
‘I know myself that I should go harder at training tomorrow, and every day in training from there. I stand here tall and I will come back again.’
Despite the loss, there were still many positives to take away from the game for Fredrikstad. The defensive partnership of Mislav Leko and Edvard Skagestad looks stronger than the Straith/Thomt Jensen duo of last season whilst at right back, Jarkko Lahdenmaki dealt with Trond Olsen well for most of the game.
After their win, Glimt now top the table as many would have expected them to do from week one. In Opseth, Olsen and Hauge they have 3 of the most in form players in the league and the club as a whole are looking good for promotion already. Fredrikstad remain in the bottom half of the table on 3 points and have a real test next week against Ull/Kisa where the question will be; can Fredrikstad beat the so called ‘smaller’ teams in the league having shut out most of the larger ones?
- Patrick Berg – 7/10
- Edvard Skagestad – 7/10
- Vegard Moberg – 6/10
Best of the Rest
Ull/Kisa comfortably defeated Elverum 3-0 thanks to a Nicolay Solberg hat trick.
The side are now joint top of the league on 10 points after some impressive early season form.
Most of the teams’ good performances have come from the forward quartet of Ole Kristian Langas, Kristoffer Odemarksbakken, Andreas Aalbu and Nicolay Solberg with the latter proving the difference between the two sides at the weekend as his almost perfect hat trick sunk Elverum in the second half. Ull/Kisa are a dangerous side with all this attacking talent but it is their current strength in depth (due to a lack of injuries) that is setting them apart from other challengers so far.
As for Elverum, their poor start to the season continued. Their squad itself looks good on paper but have failed to apply themselves well so far in the OBOS Ligaen. It’s certainly time to see more of Amor Layouni after some interesting cameos in his first 3 games for the side.
Tromsdalen lost to Start after a last minute Simon Larsen penalty gave the away side a deserved win.
Start dominated most of the game but Daniel Aase’s first half strike was cancelled out by a Mathias Abelsen free kick just after half time.
16 year old Tobias Christensen won the penalty that was to decide the game and captain Larsen made no mistake from the spot. The win sent Start joint top on 10 points whilst Tromsdalen remained on an impressive 5 points from their first 4 games.
Kongsvinger drew 0-0 with Ranheim in an extremely dull encounter on Saturday.
The main event of the game was an unfortunate incident with the assistant referee, who was pepper sprayed by a man who had somehow made his way past security and onto the field of play.
It is important to note that the perpetrator was not a supporter of either side, but an illegal immigrant who’s motives are yet unknown. Kongsvinger’s security reacted quickly to apprehend the man who has now been deported after a brief investigation. Luckily, the assistant suffered no long term injuries in his eyes and was fine to finish officiating the rest of the match.
Jerv lost 1-0 to Strommen
after a late Stian Rasch goal whilst Levanger drew 1-1 with Mjondalen
in their final match played at Steinkjer’s home stadium. The improvement of Levanger’s on loan striker Aniekpeno Udoh is worth noting, as the forward turned in his best performance so far in a Levanger shirt. If the Viking owned striker can continue this kind of form, he is likely to be a big asset for the side throughout the rest of the season.
Player of the round – Nicolay Solberg (Ull/Kisa)
Great all round performance from Ull/Kisa’s forward. Scored three goals and was a constant threat to the Elverum defence, will become a key player once again in 2017 for the side.