Avaldsnes and Stabæk both gave thier goal differences a healthy boost as Klepp and Røa found their first points of the year, draws the order of the weekend elsewhere in the Toppserien.
Arna-Bjørnar 1-1 LSK
Looking to bounce back from a surprising draw last week, Arna-Bjørnar hit the ground running against champions LSK, an early free kick turned home by Ingrid Stenevik enough to beat Cecilie Fiskerstrand and have the visitors on the back foot just three minutes into the game. Having no problems scoring last time out, LSK found a swift response and managed to restore parity ten minutes later when Ingrid Kvernvolden’s far post header looped over Alyssa Giannetti and into the waiting goal.
Despite a healthy number of chances for both throughout the rest of the match neither could find the extra spark to carve out a winner, Fiskerstrand and Giannetti unwilling to be beaten again. The result sees Bjørnar slowly climbing the table with a second draw whilst LSK are forced to slip off of the top spot, an unfamiliar notion.
With both sides looking for the first win of the year, the advantage fell to the visitors when Line Holter was able to get in behind and shoot as she went to ground, Michelle Betos guilty of over-committing and leaving her goal open. The rest of the first-half passing much without incident but a straight red card early in the second-half to Teigen Allen enough to turn the tie fully in Røa’s favour.
The Australian international given her marching orders for a clear pull-back on Vilde Hasund as she looked to her goalside in the box, although Gunhild Herregården could only strike the upright with her lashed penalty the job already looked like a tough one for Vålerenga if they were to turn the match around.
However it wasn’t long until the numerical advantage told and the visitors got their cushion, the woodwork left shuddering once again when Therese Åsland smashed her 20-yard freekick against the near post although this time a red shirt was first to the follow up, Lisa-Marie Utland making it two goals in two games as she buried the errant ball. The match wrapped up with over twenty minutes to spare.
Having taken the lead twelve minutes in there looked to be a surprise on the cards for Kolbotn. Whilst the goal was given to Santos Silva there could be no question that Antonia Göransson had not only done the hard work to win it and bring it away from Katlynn Fraine but her shot was on target and drifting over the line, Santos only made sure of it.
One of the teams predicted to be in the mix for the title, Avaldsnes responded well in an open and attacking first-half, the two only separated by Santos’ goal as they went in at the break. The visitors came out revitalised for the second-half and not only turned the tie around but sent out a statement as they hit Kolbotn for five goals in 25 second-half minutes. Captain Elise Thorsnes found parity just before the hour after a tight one-two in the box with Cecilie Pedersen, the experienced attacker able to wriggle into some room before firing past Aurora Mikalsen.
Pedersen then turned from creator to scorer as she stuck out a boot to flick a dangerous ball behind herself and into the net in a period of away dominance that had Kolbotn stretched. The third goal came as if clockwork, Andrine Tomter first to react after Mikalsen had parried a whipped corner, there looked to be no way back for the hosts, the result confirmed after Pedersen and Thorsnes combined again with the latter played in slot the ball home off of the post. Having lead for so much of the game the final blow for Kolbotn came six minutes from time when Ina Gausdal attempted to head Thorsnes’ cross clear only to see it drop into her own net, just over Mikalsen’s outstretched glove.
The win enough to take Avaldsnes top with a healthy goal difference, very early in the season.
A cynical foul three minutes into the game gave the hosts the perfect start as June Hammersland met the whipped free kick in the air, her header more than enough to knock the ball beyond Kristine Nøstmo. The lead, however, didn’t last long and as one team had gone ahead with a set piece so the other responded at a set piece, Tina Fremo first to the ball loose ball in front of Nora Gjøen after it had pinged back and forth, her lunge enough to take to past the keeper. But of course the parity was again short-lived as the hosts nudged themselves in front once more, again from a set piece, another header, this time from Stine Hovland, all it took to beat Nøstmo.
After a frantic opening fifteen minutes that had seen three goals, the goal-mouth scrambles all but died, both sides still going guns blazing Sandviken for a goal to confirm their victory and Trondheim still searching for an equaliser. With the game all but over and the hosts leading for 75 minutes, Cesilie Andreassen found a magic moment in the 90th minute, unsurprisingly from a set piece. The midfielder able to whip the deadball over the wall from the top of the D before having it drop below the ball to leave Gjøen rooted in place. There was late drama as the hosts almost snatched the win back with the last kick of the game, Camilla Ervik’s shot from fifteen yards pushed clear by Nøstmo.
Like elsewhere in Norway, Stabæk saw the goals coming from set pieces, Melissa Bjånesøy the one to open the scoring at the Nadderud stadion, her shot buried into the ground before it bounced over Megan Kufeld. A goal up little more than five minutes in the hosts continued to dominate and again found joy at a corner when Maria Hustad turned the ball into her own net under pressure from Trine Rønning.
The game slowed down a little as it wore towards half-time, Medkila still struggling to create. As they had done in the first-half so the hosts did in the second and found another goal early after the restart, Victoria Ludvigsen’s bobbled effort from outside the box able to nick off of Kufeld’s outstretched gloves before rolling into the net off of the upright. The home fans had less than ten minutes to wait before celebrating the next goal, Andrea Wilmann’s low effort from Synne Jensen’s cut-back enough to highlight the frailties of the visiting defence.
Another nine minutes passed before Heidi Ellingsen made it five, again the scattered defence doing little to cover themselves in glory as the striker arrived in the area to drive the ball into the waiting goal. Frida Maanum’s goal three minutes later the pick of the bunch, her direct free kick sent around the wall and inside of the near post, again Kufeld caught cold, the goal wrapping up a thoroughly dominant display.
Set piece goals were the order of the day and even the well-beaten travellers got in on the action when Alexandra Quincey got the final touch a yard out after Ingrid Hjelmseth had parried a dangerous corner. Medkila with a late consolation although they finished the game with ten after Anja Rasmussen had been dismissed following two yellows.
Klepp 4-2 Grand Bodø
Still on a high following their shock draw with Arna-Bjørnar last week, Grand Bodø hit the ground running away to Klepp and were two goals to the good inside of ten mintes. Anne-Marthe Birkeland grabbed the first goal five minutes as she slipped in behind before firing low beyond Oda Bogstad, Linda Ruutu was on hand to double the advantage three minutes later with a neat header at a corner.
Kirsty Yallop sliced the deficit in two just three minutes later from the spot, – the game having seen three goals in just eleven minutes – her strike fired into the bottom corner beyond Siiri Välimaa’s reach. The game calmed down from then on out, and Klepp found their footing after the break, the hosts able to draw level eight minutes after the restart, Hanne Kogstad’s header cleared off of the line by Cecilie Falch, the defender only able to hook the ball against the inside of the post to see it bounce into the back of the net.
Falch involved with Klepp’s third as well as Kogstad was found with a ball over the top, her first touch enough to take the ball away from Välimaa off of Falch’s shins. The second-half come-back completed by Hege Hansen when she was first to react to a deflected ball in the box, the 26-year-old calmness personified as she swept the ball low under the keeper and into the far corner.
The win a world away from the heavy loss Klepp suffered last week, Bodø still showing they have much to learn in the Norwegian top flight.