Toppserien Week 3 Review: Avaldsnes leap-frog Stabæk with last gasp winner
Credit: VAVEL UK

All the action from an exiciting third round of matches in the Toppserien as well as two from round nine and one from round fifteen played out of sequence last week. 

Stabæk 5-1 Grand Bodø (round 9)

Grand Bodø did themselves no favours on a wet day in Bærum last week, up against a team looking to make a statement, Trine Skjelstad Jensen side-footing the ball past Siiri Välimaa just three minutes into the game as she attempted to deal with Mina Kjørum’s low cross. New faces in Toppserien, GB have already come back from one deficit to snatch an unlikely draw and a quick response from the visitors saw Sigrid Helbostad dink a ball into the area for Anne-Marthe Birkeland to flick past Ingrid Hjelmseth. The attacker untroubled by being sandwiched between Stine Reinås and Trine Rønning, Grand Bodø had restored parity less than ten minutes into the match.

A damp pitch did nothing to help the tempo as Stabæk probed for another goal, Välimaa’s box well enough defended until after the break when a 20-yarder from Siri Grønli looped over the congested box and dropped just under the bar. The visitors caught out again just seven minutes later when Victoria Ludvigsen rose well to send a neat header past Välimaa at an Elise Liane corner. Still refusing to roll over, Bodø dug in as much as they could and looked to be heading to a respectable 3-1 loss until Ludvigsen grabbed her second three minutes from time. With the visitors tired and stretched the ball pinged around in the box, half-cleared by those in red until it was nudged out to the former Bodø player, with time to sort her feet out, Ludvigsen picked out the top corner and curled home. But Stabæk weren’t done yet and Martine Flakk was able to get in on the action two minutes after coming on, another corner sent into the mix by Liane just right for Flakk to head home.

The result saw Stabæk claim the top spot over the week, the only team to have three wins from three.

Vålerenga 2-2 Arna-Bjørnar (round 9)

Ingrid Altermark gave the hosts an early lead at the Vallhall when she latched onto Elise Stenevik’s long ball, the striker able to roll the ball past Michelle Betos and wheel away in celebration as it rolled over the line, the hosts caught cold. Another ball in behind created problems for VIF again six minutes later, Ingrid Stenevik’s lay-off smashed home by Ine Marie Wedaa.

Two goals down the hosts improved noticeably and some breathless work from Theresa Nielsen helped set-up Johanne Fridlund, her through ball perfect for Aivi Luik to nip onto before rounding Alyssa Giannetti and finishing into the open goal. Finally looking like a more cohesive side Vålerenga found a quick second, Nielsen and Fridlund involved once more, a close one-two in the box enough to see the Dane weave through the defence before slotting the ball home. The second-half slow significantly, and whilst the hosts continued to have the better of it they failed convert their chances as for the third game in a row Arna-Bjørnar let a lead slip.

Avaldsnes 0-0 Røa (round 15)

Sloppy finishing cost Avaldsnes the chance maintain their 100% winning record this season when they hosted Røa in a rescheduled round 15 clash, the hosts the better side on the day but careless in front of goal. The most interesting thing of note over the 90 minutes, the debuts Per Jakobsen was able to hand to his new Australian trio with Gema Simon and Emily Gielnik starting for the hosts and Chloe Logarzo brought on at the death.

Sandviken 1-2 Kolbotn

Kolbotn were looking to open their account for the season against an equally winless Sandviken and took a valuable goal lead in with them at half time after Juliette Kemppi had looped a shot over Nora Neset Gjøen on the stroke of half-time. The game might not have been a classic but both sides were doing their best to work their opposition, Karina Sævik able to take advantage of some lax defending after the hour to jog into the box and fire under Gjøen. With the win all but confirmed Marina Jensen scored the goal of the game, sweeping the ball in from eighteen yards as she tumbled to the ground under pressure, two minutes left on the clock for Sandviken to find an equaliser. But Kolbotn managed to hold on and see out the match, the win seeing them climb to eight. 

Trondheims-Ørn 2-2 Vålerenga

Still struggling to start games well, Vålerenga were pegged back at the Ørn Arena when Cesilie Andreassen was able to nibble the ball home at an inswung corner, the attacker going up with Teigen Allen and Michelle Betos to leave the Australian feeling a little worse for wear. Strong enough at the back, TØ carried their lead into the break with them, the hosts looking for a second win of the year, though VIF had other ideas and ramped up the pressure after the break and a two-minute brace from Maren Eithun Hauge saw the visitors take the lead on the hour. Good work from Johanne Fridlund saw the young attacker nick the ball in midfield to before surging forward and poking the ball through to Stephanie Verdoia, the American’s shot knocked into the path of Hauge by Kristine Nøstmo. The attacker able to volley home from close range before poking home at the back post from Theresa Nielsen’s square ball.

Refusing to give up, as they have all season, Trondheim were rewarded with a late equaliser for their persistence when Rakel Engesvik was first to pounce to a Betos parry, the keeper unable to stop the host’s second effort. The result sees Vålerenga still languishing near the bottom of the table with just two wins to their name as Trondheim sit in a comfortably sixth.

Røa 1-2 Arna-Bjørnar

Second-best for most of their last match against Vålerenga, AB wasted no time in asserting themselves into the game at the Røa Kunstgress, Maria Brochmann able to get up in front of Kirvil Odden and head the ball behind the advanced keeper at an early free kick. Though having the better of it in Røa, the visitors didn’t have much to show for it until Emilie Nautnes gave them a firmer lead when she took advantage of Odden’s parry from Ingrid Altermark’s whipped shot, Nautnes able to fire low past the ‘keeper.

Still failing to take their best chances, Bjørnar survived a late scare when Lisa-Marie Utland cut their lead in half with a bullet header less than ten minutes from time. Having fallen two three draws from winning positions this year, AB did well to hold on after a late drive from the Dynamite Girls to record their first win of the year.

Medkila 0-5 Klepp

The game started off relatively open with both sides having chances before Klepp took the lead late in the first-half when Tameka Butt flicked the ball home at the near post following a corner. From then on the traffic was one-way, Butt able to grab twenty minute second-half hat-trick starting four minutes after the break when she curled the ball past both her marker and Megan Kufeld. Her third was six minutes later when she brilliantly launched the ball over the box to see it loop in just under the bar from 20-yards, Hege Hansen popping up midway through to thump the ball home after the hosts failed to clear. Butt’s fourth goal due in part to Medkila’s scrappy defending in the box once more, the ball kindly dropping in front of her for the Australian international to roll it low into the near corner.

The result sees the Tractor Girls up to fourth and Medkila one from bottom, on goal difference alone. 

Avaldsnes 2-1 Stabæk

It was first versus second when Avaldsnes hosted Stabæk this weekend, the home team looking to get back to winning away after a frustrating draw last time out and they had the better of it in the match, keeping Ingrid Hjelmseth busy. It was an inevitability that Avaldsnes would take the lead and Emily Gielnik was more than happy to open her account with the side from Rogaland, sweeping the ball into the unguarded side of the goal from Elise Thorsnes’ lay-off.

The second-half followed in the same vein as the first, the hosts in the ascendancy but unable to capitalise on their good chances and when Melissa Bjånesøy put the ball away at a scrambled free kick in stoppage time it looked like the visitors would be staying top. Though still early in the season, Avaldsnes knew that they can’t afford to drop any more points, especially not when they’ve been so dominant and late, late drive saw them snatch the win to go top. Synne Vatnem’s 96th minute goal almost as scrambled as Bjånesøy’s, the teenager bright enough to prod the ball beyond Hjelmseth as the centre-backs failed to clear the danger.

LSK 9-1 Grand Bodø

It was another imperious win for reigning champions, LSK when they hosted newcomers Grand Bodø, Guro Reiten able to get the ball rolling for the host ten minutes in as she turned on the edge of the area before squirming away from three defenders to fire low past Siiri Välimaa. The 22-year-old popping up again ten minutes later to roll the ball home from similar range after being picked out by Sophie Haug, Haug having come up against a red wall in the box before she too got her first goal, seven minutes later. Haug first to the loose ball after Välimaa had parried Synne Hansen’s whipped effort back into the six-yard box.

Showing no remorse, it only took LSK four minutes to add a fourth, Anja Sønstevold able to roam around the box at a corner, red shirts all around but static as she met the ball at the back post and volleyed into the roof of the net. The half ended with LSK having a goal chalked off for offside, Haug left frustrated after finding the back of the net with a well met header.

Reiten wrapped up her hat trick six minutes into the second-half with a clinical finish from a tightening angle as she raced in behind to pick up Ingrid Spord’s through-ball. A nippy run from Hansen saw her dance up the right flank with the ball before feeding a dangerous cross into the box, Haug able to meet the ball before either Amalie Johnsen or Välimaa to poke it into the net from three yards.

Six goals to the good with less than twenty minutes to play, Hege Riise opted to make a triple substitution, the game probably already won, the fresh legs only gave the hosts more bite against a flagging Bodø side. Isabell Bachor next to find the back of the net with a fine solo effort, bringing the ball down before jogging into the box with it, able to slip around the odd challenge thrown her way before chipping the ball over the hapless ‘keeper. Eleven minutes after coming on, Ingrid Byrøygard Kvernvolden added the eighth, able to get behind a sullen backline untroubled, her shot sent spinning into the far corner. Well beaten but refusing to give-up, the visitors found a late consolation from the restart, Trine Skjelstad Jensen well-placed to volley a cross in at the near-post, Cecilie Fiskerstrand’s losing her clean-sheet five minutes from time.

With just seconds left on the clock there was still time for Haug to round off her hat trick, the 17 year-old poorly marked at a corner and free to meet a corner in mid-air, Välimaa’s fingertips grazed as the ball landed in the back of the net for the ninth time. 

Toppserien table as it stands (Credit: NFF)
Toppserien table as it stands (Credit: NFF)