Stromsgodset vs Valarenga by 20Legend
Stromsgodset continued their current horrible period with loosing against 14th placed Aalesund (4-2) last Sunday. It looked promising when Stromsgodset took the lead already one minute into the game, but things went downhill from that point and out. Aalesund is in a desperate situation and it was clear that the players knew that they had to win. They equalized only 11 minutes after the 0-1 goal and kept the score until halftime. The game changed completely character during the second half though as Aalesund looked dangerous each time they decided to attack.
Stromsgodset tried to answer by setting an offensive line in order to put pressure on Aalesund as well, but it did not succeed that well. Aalesund took the lead with a quick goal after 51 minutes, before Stromsgodset got a penalty three minutes later. Goal scorer Kristoffer Tokstad was the man to take it, but he missed and it became the turning point for his club. Aalesund was experiencing a flow now and scored 3-1 after 61 minutes.
Their captain, Bjorn Helge Riise, made the evening perfect with his brilliant 4-1 goal only twelve minutes later. Stromsgodset was blown away in this match in terms of being effective and only got the last goal after a penalty was awarded to them in the 89th minute. Stromsgodset has fallen like a rock on the table over the last month and they are now in 8th place with 35 points.
Valerenga has experienced quite the opposite development to their season compared to tonight’s opponent. A terrible row at the beginning of the season made them struggle in the bottom three teams for a long time in the start of the season. The sudden change came after the club decided to present their plans for the staff next season. The club desperately needed something new and it landed on Ronny Deila as the new coach for next season. The current coach Kjetil Rekdal will then become the sport director.
That statement left the players with a much easier focus for the remaining season; to keep the club in Tippeligaen and be ready for a new start next season. The results have been magnificent as the club is on a unbeaten row since mid-July with 5-3-0 to show for. Their recent match against Haugesund (1-1) was one of the most difficult away games this season. It became a match with chances both ways and a real test of patience against another in-form team. Haugesund was the far better team as it turned out, but Valerenga kept their calm in order to strike at the perfect moment and getting a point back home. Haugesund took the lead after 32 minutes, but struggled to get the second goal even if they produced more chances in the second half.
Valerenga was therefore invited into the game and became more dangerous after 70 minutes had been played. After 75 minutes, Valerenga got their only chance that they had been waiting for. The team was executing a textbook attacking play and it ended with a left-hand cross being put into the net by Ghayas Zahid. The important point extended Valerenga’s undefeated row, but they have to take more points in order to not falling back into relegation zone that is six points beneath them. Some great news in front of this match is that winger Daniel Fredheim Holm (17/1) and midfielder Magnus Lekven (6/0) are included in the squad after dealing with injuries.
It is really two teams with different form curves that clashes together after a long season at this point. They recently met in the league 11 days ago with the result of 1-1. It was an open game with offensive minded teams involved and a great atmosphere. The fact that it is the quarterfinal in the cup makes it extra special. The home fans are known for creating a great atmosphere during home games and so are the fans from Valerenga.
The distance between these two cities is not big at all which means that both teams will get great support tonight. I think that it will be another open game with a home side interested in showing better qualities against an in-form team that seems to have forgotten how it is too loose at the moment. Both teams to score are therefore my obvious choice here.