Norway Cup: Lillestrøm Claim Spoils in Oslo-Akershus Derby

Lillestrøm SK v Vålerenga 2
Score: 3-1
Class B, Group 8 (Under 16 Boys)
Pitch 3, Ekeberg
30th July 2013

On a wet afternoon in front of the TV2 cameras Lillestrøm emerged victorious with a 3-1 victory over their Oslo rivals Vålerenga to take 9 points from 9 in their Norway Cup Class B Group.

The first chance of the derby fell to Vålerenga after just 2 minutes with Gilbou Cham shooting narrowly over after a nice passage of passing football from the Vålerenga midfield.

Indeed the neat passing game was evident for long phases of the game with both teams moving the ball around the field with ease.

Vålerenga had the lion’s share of chances in the first quarter of the game. Sigvald Ravn Remøy dispossessing a Lillestrøm defender on the edge of their penalty area before narrowly shooting over after 4 minutes.

From the resultant goal kick, a cross-field pass found Martin Phan in space, his run into the Vålerenga penalty area was halted by excellent defensive pressure from Ahmed Jama.

Another chance came Lillestrøm’s way on the 7 minute mark. It was once again Martin Phan who was instrumental in its creation. His winding run down the right hand side of the pitch and low cross from the goal line caused panic in the Vålerenga defence. It eventually took two defenders to finally close down Kristian Næess before he could find the time or space to shoot.

Two minutes later Isa Younes Gatan’s shot from the edge of the area was successfully blocked down by a Vålerenga defender.

It was looking as if Lillestrøm were taking a firm grip on the match. However that view was firmly dispelled after 11 minutes.

A driven shot from Attacking Midfielder Gibou Chan some 30 meters from goal looped over goalkeeper Ole Martin Drevland and into the top left hand corner of the Lillestrøm goal to give the Oslo side a 1-0 lead.

One hallmark of the first half, and indeed the game as a whole, was the calm, unobtrusive officiating of English Referee Michael Lowe. He intervened only when absolutely required, letting the play flow to an extent that, as a spectacle, it made for a very good game of football. They say that the best referees are the ones you do not notice – this was a prime example of that.

The goal seemed to unsettle the Lillestrøm team as a whole. This was evident on 13 minutes when a Vålerenga corner was weakly punched clear from under his own crossbar by goalkeeper Drevland.

After this narrow escape Lillestrøm seemed to then compose themselves and play their way back into the game.

Indeed this was finally evident two minutes before the break. A long ball from the Lillestrøm back line fell to the unmarked Mats Kilmork. His surging run down the right, clear of the Vålerenga defence, was finally stopped just inside the penalty area by a late tackle from Magne Mwakisu Elvsveen. Referee Lowe immediately pointed to the spot. Captain Lars Rydje dispatched the resultant penalty kick low into the left hand corner of the Vålerenga goal send the teams into the half time break tied at 1-1.

Referee Lowe explained in an interview to TV2 after the match that his decision to not issue a card of any description was due to Kilmork taking a heavy touch to send the ball just out of his control prior to him being brought down – “I felt that the penalty kick was punishment enough [because of this]” Lowe said to reporter Mini Jacobsen.

The first few minutes of the second half was a tight, cagey affair with both midfields stopping any chances going forward to either team, with possession changing hands on a very regular basis.

It took 7 minutes until we had a clear chance on goal – which actually resulted in Lillestrøm taking the lead.

A long shot was not held by goalkeeper Cristoffer Axten low down to his left. The resultant shot went across the face of goal where Lillestrøm midfielder Deni Djoukaev was on hand at the far post to knock in a very easy chance high into the top corner from 2 metres out.

This was the signal for Vålerenga to start to panic – a couple of half chances from far out came to nothing, something which would come back to haunt them on 43 minutes.

A corner on the right was swung in by Lillestrøm captain Lars Rydje – which the Vålerenga defence completely failed to deal with – resulting in the ball going directly into goal to give Lillestrøm an unassailable 3-1 lead.

This type of goal is called an Olympic Goal in Latin America – dating back to 1924, when Argentina’s Cesáreo Onzari scored directly from a corner kick against Uruguay, who had just won the 1924 Olympic title.

“In truth, it was a really bad corner from me – I saw that the defender at the front goalpost did not try to clear the ball. The next thing I know, the ball is in the goal.” said Rydje after the game.

Two minutes later came the last clear chance of the game. A cross from Djoukaev wasn’t held by Vålerenga goalkeeper Axten. As he tried to reclaim the ball, one of his defenders tried to play the ball back to him. This resulted in the ball going straight past Axten, falling to a Lillestrøm attacker. His shot was blocked on the line by a Vålerenga defender who then managed to launch the ball clear of the penalty area.

The second half then finished the way it had started – with both midfields shutting down any hint of a goal chance on either side.

Lillestrøm extend their unbeaten run in the Norway Cup – as they now progress to the A-Finals tomorrow. For Vålerenga, they must battle it out in the B-Finals as a result of finishing third in the group behind Åsane on Goal Difference.

0-1 Gibou Cham (Vålerenga 2) – 11 minutes
1-1 Lars Rydje (Lillestrøm SK) – 23 minutes (Penalty)
2-1 Deni Djoukaev (Lillestrøm SK) – 32 minutes
3-1 Lars Rydje (Lillestrøm SK) – 43 minutes

Lillestrøm SK: Ole Martin Drevland, Mario El Gazi, Aleksander Kolstad, Sulim Tomov, Sebastian Dysterud, Martin Phan, Varis Khera, Lars Rydje, Isa Younes Gatan, Kristian Næss, Mats Kilmork.

Subs: Edvard Nyberg, Kristoffer Ajer, Sander Vestli, Deni Djoukaev, Henrik Kristiansen, Petter Mathias Olsen.

Vålerenga 2: Cristoffer Axten, Ahmed Jama, Emil Loftfjell Baardseng, Sigvald Ravn Remøy, Marco Alban Barac, Gibou Cham, Magne Mwakisu Elvsveen, Julian Hide Næss, Ousman Yeboah, Elias Henriksen, Amer Balagic.

Subs: Filip Mørde, Semere Berhe, Faisal Gaas, Vegard Kristiansen, Hanad Absawe, Venukan Rajeshwaran.

Referee: Michael Lowe (Reigate, Surrey, England)
Assistant Referees: Stein Roar Nilssen (Santor IL) & Boris Parilak (Bratislava, Slovakia)

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About the Author: Chris Rock

Chris is a freelance journalist and football fan from the UK with a love of Norway. He works through his own business, Vertis Media House, currently reporting from the Norway Cup in Oslo.

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