June 18 & 19, 2008: Round 11 of the Formula Division:
HB Tórshavn – KÍ Klaksvík 0-1 (0-0) 0-1 Rodrigo
If there was any doubt before the match, there isn't now: HB are out of the championship race! With tonight's loss to KÍ, HB drop 10 points adrift of leaders EB/Streymur.
HB had the majority of possession in the first half, but rarely did that materialize into scoring opportunities, as HB had problems breaking down KÍ's well organized defence.
HB's best chance of the 1st half came after only 6 minutes, but national goalkeeper Jákup Mikkelsen made a great instinctive save from Rógvi Jacobsen's free header from close range.
KÍ had their first effort on goal after 15 minutes when Heðin á Lakjuni headed wide. Á Lakjuni went even closer 10 minutes later, but a fine save from Tróndur Vatnhamar prevented the header from going in at the far-end top corner.
A couple of moments later, HB had their only other real opportunity of the 1st half when a deflected shot from Andrew av Fløtum became dangerous, but Jákup Mikkelsen was alert.
But in the 2nd half, KÍ needed only 3 minutes to take the lead. Brazilian Rodrigo dribbled into HB's penalty area, and from a tight angle, 5 metres from the by-line, he fired a flat shot into the bottom far corner. – A great individual effort from the Brazilian, although HB's defence was way too passive, and maybe the goalkeeper also should have done better.
But although a loss for HB would mean that they would be out of the championship race, there was no immediate response from them.
Instead it was KÍ who went close to doubling their lead when left back Sigmund Jacobsen hit the crossbar.
But eventually, HB increased the tempo and started putting pressure on KÍ.
Midway through the half, Andrew av Fløtum hit the outside of the post with a shot from long distance.
Ólavur í Ólavstovu had two great runs into the penalty area, but once, his cut-back didn't reach the executor, and in the other incident, he fired the shut into the side-netting.
Also central defender Vagnur Mohr Mortensen, who played his first match for HB this season, went close, but his shot was cleared off the line by veteran Harley Bertholdsen.
Four minutes into stoppage time, HB's other central defender, Hans á Lag headed past the goalkeeper, but the ball bounced off the post.
KÍ then had the opportunity to rub some salt into HB's wounds when Kristian á Lakjuni got clear in HB's penalty area, but Tróndur Vatnhamar made a fine save.
For HB, midfielder Jákup á Borg and central defender and defensive organizer Fróði Benjaminsen were missing through injury and suspension, respectively. But so many other teams have also missed key-players, and they still mange to win without them, so that's no real excuse for HB.
As B36 drew with Skála, HB have now dropped to 3rd in the table, 1 point adrift of B36, but staggering 10 points adrift of runaway leaders EB/Streymur. This season's title contest already seems over.
HB play Elfsborg in the UEFA Intertoto Cup next Sunday (at home), and therefore HB's next league match against Skála is played on Wednesday, 25 June.
EB/Streymur march on at full speed towards their maiden league title, which they so narrowly missed out on in 2005, and after tonight's win, they lead the table by 9 points.
Although EB/Streymur didn't present any free-flowing football spectacle today, they were in full control for most of the match.
EB/Streymur took the lead a couple of minutes after the half-hour mark when B71-goalkeeper Símun Rógvi Hansen punched a freekick away, but only to Bárður Olsen outside the penalty area, and Olsen then spectacularly hammered the ball into the top corner.
- Surely, the national coach must now include Olsen in his next selection!
Halfway into the 2nd half, EB/Streymur went 2-0 up when B71's Johannes Jensen in an attempt to save Levi Hanssen's shot turned the ball into his own net.
EB/Streymur could have extended their lead when they were awarded a penalty late in the match, but the B71 goalkeeper saved from Bulgarian Marcell Balog.
In stoppage time, Brazilian Clayton Soares scored a consolation-goal for B71.
Strangely enough, top scorer Arnbjørn Hansen didn't score today, but that just means that he'll score twice against KÍ on Sunday…
Video Highlights: EB/Streymur - B71 Sandoy
Skála - B36 Tórshavn 0-0
Just as the 5th round match in May between these two sides, today's match also ended in a stalemate. And it wasn't too surprising, really, as Skála and B36 have now been involved in 4 of this season's 6 goalless matches so far (last season there were only 3 all season). B36's clean sheet today was their 4th in a row and their 7th in all. This was Skála's 2nd 0-0 match in succession.
And 0-0 was also the right result for tonight's match as there were very few scoring opportunities. However, B36 almost snatched victory in the dying stages, but the shot hit the post.
The most dramatic incident of the match happened late in the 2nd half when B36's goalkeeper Meinhardt Joensen was given the red card for retaliation. But B36 had no reserve-keeper, as usual reserve-keeper, Jóan Pauli Jakobsen, broke his leg in May. Veteran Egin Høgnesen has been reserve the last couple of matches, but he was not on the list today, so therefore B36 were forced to place outfield-player John Hansen in goal. Also Skála had a player dismissed at the same incident.
ÍF suffered their 5th defeat in a row and are now slowly being caught by Skála, who are only 2 points adrift in 9th place.
When ÍF had earned 10 points after round 6, it looked like ÍF had more or less secured their place in the top flight next season already. But things can change quickly. And as ÍF’s next 3 matches are against no. 1, 2 and 3 in the table, they could be caught by Skála by that time.
Víkingur's win today was well disserved, as they created most of the scoring opportunities, but ÍF's Hungarian goalkeeper Andras Gango performed heroics between the posts to keep Víkingur from scoring in the 1st half.
But early in the 2nd half, Gango could do nothing to keep Zoltan Bukszegi (who started on the bench) from scoring.
ÍF managed to put some pressure on Víkingur in the last 10 minutes of the match, but hover, it was the Hungarian, Bukszegi, who cemented victory for Víkingur in stoppage time with his 2nd goal of the night.
With the 3 points, Víkingur climbed to a provisional 4 spot in the table – but will drop to 5th, if NSÍ get points tomorrow, Thursday, against B68.
With a 2-0 win over B68, NSÍ are in contention for the runners-up spot again, 2 points behind B36 in 2nd place. There's probably no need to talk about the title itself, as EB/Streymur look to have that sewn up already with their commanding 9 point-gap to their closest follower, B36.
Øssur Dalbúð put NSÍ on winning course 10 minutes before the break. In the dying moments, Óli Hansen made it 2-0 with a penalty, awarded for B68-keeper Vlada Filipovic's challenge on Andy Olsen which also produced the red card for the goalkeeper. – Some kind of fashion maybe, as B36's goalkeeper was also red-carded yesterday…