September 16, 2007: Round 22 of the Formula Division:
NSÍ Runavík's stoppage-time winner against EB/Streymur keeps them level on points with B36 Tórshavn on top of the table.
HB Tórshavn - VB/Sumba 6-2 (3-1)
1-0 Kári Nielsen
2-0 Milan Kuljic
3-0 Milan Kuljic
3-1 Dan Djurhuus
4-1 Rókur av Fløtum Jespersen
4-2 Marco Moravcic
5-2 Rókur av Fløtum Jespersen
6-2 Milan Kuljic (Pen)
For HB it was like a stroll in the park beating almost-certain-relegated VB/Sumba.
Only theoretically can VB/Sumba avoid relegation, but it didn't seem like VB/Sumba really believe in such miracles. And maybe VB/Sumba are already preparing for next year, because their tactics today weren't as defensive as it has often been. - As if they're looking ahead and preparing early for adapting their defensive play to a more attacking one in quest for a speedy return to the top flight.
However, there are talks about merging the 4 clubs in the island of Suðuroy, VB, Sumba (who already have merged), TB Tvøroyri and the smaller club Royn Hvalba. This, in an effort to produce a team that stands a chance in the Formula Division - and even challenge for glory maybe... If the merge goes ahead, they will start in the 1st division.
Back to the match today. And there it took HB only 10 minutes to go two goals up. The first came after a corner when Kári Nielsen made an easy tap in from a rebound from the goalkeeper who couldn't hold on to Hans á Lag's header.
Former VB/Sumba player, Milan Culjic made it 2-0 after he had been played clear by Andrew av Fløtum.
About halfway through the first half; HB added a third. VB/Sumba's left back, who had the ball on the half way line, lost the ball to Jákup á Borg in a simple challenge. Jákup went to the byline and crossed the ball in front of goal where the danger was averted at first, but after a scramble, the ball fell to Milan Kuljic who coolly placed the ball into the goal.
VB/Sumba were rare guests on the HB-half throughout the first half, but a minute from half time they earned a corner which produced a goal for VB/Sumba. HB's defense had already gone to "halway-mode", and an unmarked Dan Djurhuus powerfully headed the ball into the back of the net.
VB/Sumba made a bright start to the second half and had several finishes in the opening 15 minutes, and in one incident goalkeeper Tróndur Vatnhamar had to stretch to full length to keep the shot out.
However, it was still HB who had majority of the possession, although HB didn't create much for long periods. But with such superiority in ball possession, chances are inevitably going to come. And halfway through the half, HB made the most out of one of them. Andrew av Fløtum had gone to the by-line on the right hand side and made the low cross in front of goal where his cosine Rókur av Fløtum Jespersen had a relatively easy tap-in, although his first touch almost let him down.
About 10 minutes later, Rókur was on course for his second with an even easier tap in, after a cross from the left this time.
But in between, VB/Sumba had reduced the deficit to 4-2 when HB's defense was a bit too hospitable to Marco Moravic who got past the keeper and from a tight angle steered the ball into the net.
But there was still time for HB to make their 6th when Milan Culjic completed his hat tric with a penalty against his former teammates.
HB have now won 6 matches in a row, but 5 of these have been against relative weak opposition. And as they still are 6 points adrift of leaders B36 and NSÍ, with only 5 matches to go, HB only have an outside chance of winning the title.
HB have two make or break-matches in the next two rounds; the first at home against EB/Streymur and then away to NSÍ Runavík. If HB don't win both of those matches, HB are probably out of it.
For HB it's worrying that they cannot hold a clean sheet – not even against the weaker teams. They must tighten their defense, if they are to win against both EB/Streymur and NSÍ. Defense has been HB's Achilles heal throughout the season, and it could prove decisive again…
GÍ Gøta - B36 Tórshavn 0-1 (0-0)
0-1 Heini í Skorini
B36 had to work hard for their victory as GÍ showed great resilliance. B36 was without striker Sylla (who was on vacation in France), and when he isn't present in attack, it shows. B36 just isn't the same with and without Sylla. B36 created very few scoring opportunities (the strong wind didn't make it easy either), but midway through the first half they did create one, and that was enough, as it was executed with perfection. And as B36's defense was impregnable as always, B36's victory was never in any real danger after that. This was B36's 12th clean sheet of the season! With the 3 points, B36 stays on top of the table, leading NSÍ only by goal difference. Next round, B36 play on Monday while the other fixtures are on Sunday. – Will that be significant? If NSÍ win their match against AB Argir on Sunday, then they will lead B36 by 3 points for 25 hours. Will that put any pressure on B36 which they can't handle? And if HB win their (difficult) match against EB/Streymur, then HB will also only be 3 points adrift of B36 for a day? But surely, B36 is not going to mess it up at home against Skála…
EB/Streymur - NSÍ Runavík 0-1 (0-0)
0-1 Nenad Stankovic
NSÍ overcame on of their biggest hurdles on their way to a possible championship when they beat EB/Streymur, whose outside chance of the title has now finally gone. But it took a stoppage-time goal for NSÍ to make it happen. – And a controversial one, it was too. Nenad Stankovich was the goalscorer, but EB/Streymur appealed for a free kick as they thought that NSÍ's captain, Óli Hansen, had challenged the goalkeeper irregularly. The match could have gone either way before that, as both teams created several chances. NSÍ's toughest match will now be the one at home against HB in round 24. The rest is all matches NSÍ must be reckoned as favorites to win. B36 still have to play EB/Streymur and then HB on the last day of the season. Looks like we're getting a thriller finish to the season yet again.
Skála - B71 Sandoy 0-0
A game of two halves. B71 dominated the first, but wasted a host of scoring opportunities. In the second half it was Skála who was the better team. But neither team managed to score. But the sole point could prove vital for B71, as AB Argir are refusing to lay down in the relegation battle. The difference is now 6 points, but with B71's superior goal difference, it is in effect 7.
AB Argir - KÍ Klaksvík 3-1 (1-1)
0-1 Kristoffur Jakobsen
1-1 Allan Mørkøre (Pen)
2-1 Rógvi Poulsen
3-1 Jón Nielsen
AB Argir are desperately fighting for survival and after today's victory over KÍ Klaksvík, they're still breathing. But as mention above, AB probably need to collect at least 7 more points to catch B71 (and that providing that B71 lose the remaining 5 matches). But where can AB collect 7 points? Well, they have a match left against B71. And another against Skála. There are possible 6 points. But then they'll also need to get a point against NSÌ, B36, HB. Current top 3! And then, as mentioned, B71 must lose all of their matches. Conclusion: I wouldn't bet my money on AB making it…
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