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OB in Convincing Win
OB produced what was probably their best display over 90 minutes, when AGF was demolished at TREFOR Park on Sunday, December 1st.
OB ended up 4-1 winners of the encounter, but had chances for an even bigger win. The home team started brightly and went 2-0 up inside the first ten minutes, bringing to memory the last match between these two sides at TREFOR Park, when OB played superbly, only to lose 3-6.
Then, OB also went ahead 2-0, but a mistake shortly before half-time let AGF into the match. On Sunday, however, OB did not let AGF back into the match, once they had taken the lead.
Mustafa Abdellaoue and Morten Skoubo scored the two goals which ensured a 2-0 half-time lead. Rasmus Falk increased the lead in the second half, before AGF pulled one back, but Mos Abdellaoue scored his second on the night after some brilliant work on the right by Jacob Schoop and Espen Ruud to make it 4-1 and kill off any hopes of a comeback, AGF might have harboured.
It was four beautiful goals by OB, but there was more to saviour by the home fans as OB outplayed AGF for large parts of the match with some neat passing and beautiful football. It was the perfect early Christmas gift from the team to the fans, who have stood behind the team throughout the year.
OB now travel to Farum on Friday to play FC Nordsjælland in the last game of the year before taking a winter break.
Late draw for OB
OB salvaged a point from the match against Randers FC on Saturday through a late equaliser from Espen Ruud.
OB went behind shortly before half-time, when a bad clearance landed in front of one of the Randers FC-players, who hit the ball perfectly and drilled it into the net.
Randers FC were the better team in the first half, but OB dominated the second half, keeping Randers FC from chances throughout the half.
OB did not play their best football, but kept at it, and the equaliser were just reward for their efforts.
Defeat at home
OB suffered their 3rd defeat in a row, when FC Vestsjælland took away all three points in the game at TREFOR Park on Sunday.
OB had to shuffle the team for the match against FC Vestsjælland due to injuries and suspensions. Jacob Schoop and Rasmus Falk were included in OB’s 20-man squad, but neither was able to play because of injuries and Martin Spelmann was missing because of a suspension.
OB went behind 1-0 and 2-0 before half-time and when FC Vestsjælland increased the lead further at the beginning of the 2nd half, it became an uphill struggle for the home team.
Mustafa Abdellaoue scored for OB, but there were no further goals from the home side and FC Vestsjælland ended up 3-1 winners.
OB now have almost two weeks to prepare for their next match, away to Randers FC on November 23rd.
In the meantime, defender Ari Skúlason has left to join the Icelandic national team for two World Cup play-off matches against Croatia on November 15th and 19th and Emil Larsen has teamed up with Denmark’s full national squad for a friendly against Norway in Herning on November 15th. Rasmus Falk was called up for Denmark’s U21 national team, but had to withdraw due to injury.
Back to back defeats
OB suffered back to back defeats in the cup and the league during the last week.
Last Wednesday, OB went to Copenhagen to play F.C. København in the cup. OB went 2-0 up through goals by Jacob Schoop and Martin Spelmann, but could not hold on to the lead and FCK scored twice to equalise before half-time.
After the break, Martin Spelmann scored his second goal of the night to help OB regain the lead, but again FCK equalised before taking the lead with their fourth goal of the match.
OB were unable to come back and equalise, which meant that FCK qualified for the next round of the cup.
Three days later, OB travelled to Aalborg for a league match against AaB. The hosts put OB under considerable pressure from the beginning, but it took an own goal to open the score, giving AaB the lead at the beginning of the second half.
The goal was the only goal of the match, although OB took over the last half hour of the game and put AaB under pressure. But despite some good opportunities, OB could not score and had to accept defeat.
OB draw at home
OB was hoping for a third successive win, when the team took on Brøndby last Sunday, but had to settle for a draw after 90 minutes during which both teams kept eyeing each other, while at the same time making sure not to expose themselves.
Both teams had chances, Brøndby’s biggest coming almost on the stroke of half time, when a deflected shot hit the underside of OB’s crossbar and bounced back into play for OB-keeper Mads Toppel to catch hold of it.
OB’s biggest came when Darko Bodul narrowly missed connecting with a cross in front of the Brøndby goal. Espen Ruud also hit the woodwork for OB, but as neither team could score, the match ended in a draw.
OB have now put together a string of four matches in a row against difficult opposition without losing, building confidence in the process.
OB crushed SønderjyskE 5-1
OB celebrated the return to league action after the international break by crushing SønderjyskE 5-1 in Haderslev last Monday.
Three goals by Mustafa “Mos” Abdellaoue and goals by Emil Larsen and Darko Bodul meant that former OB player Henrik Hansen’s penalty was cancelled out.
OB were on top from the beginning of the match, putting pressure on SønderjyskE all over the pitch and going close a couple of times before opening the scoring three minutes before half-time, when Mos Abdellaoue turned a low cross into the net.
It was 2-0 seven minutes into the second half, when Emil Larsen and Mos Abdellaoue combined well for the former to race through and score.
The goal marked the beginning of a period of 13 minutes during which four goals were scored. Fortunately, three of those were scored by OB, and as SønderjyskE could only respond once, OB secured three immensely important points and advanced to 4th position in the league.
OB now face Brøndby at home on Sunday with new confidence and the aim to build even further on their current form.
Great win in Esbjerg
OB recorded a great and important win in Esbjerg last Sunday, when goals from Emil Larsen, Daniel Høegh and Martin Spelmann secured three points for the club.
OB opened the match in the best possible fashion when Emil Larsen raced past an Esbjerg defender to collect a pass and bury the ball in the net after only three minutes.
The goal woke up Esbjerg, who put OB under considerable pressure and equalised eleven minutes later. The hosts maintained their pressure, but could not score. At the other end, Martin Spelmann had a good shot saved with some trouble by the Esbjerg keeper, but neither team were able to score again and so the teams went in for the half time tea at 1-1.
Esbjerg had dominated most of the first half, but play was more evenly distributed after the interval and both teams created opportunities. On 83 minutes, OB won a corner, which was swung in and ended at the feet of Krisztián Vadócz, who instantly passed the ball in front of goal for Daniel Høegh to poke in into the net for a 2-1 lead to OB.
Four minutes later OB caught Esbjerg on the break. The ball was played to Mustafa Abdellaoue, who raced towards the Esbjerg goal, saw Martin Spelmann in a better position and passed the ball to the OB-midfielder, who scored his first goal for the club.
The goal settled matters and OB recorded a win against the Superliga’s in-form team while at the same time taking OB away from the dreaded relegation zone.
OB now have two weeks with no matches because of internationals, with Emil Larsen joining the full Denmark team and Rasmus Falk and Kasper Larsen teaming up with the Danish Under-21 national team and Casper Radza joining the Danish under-20’s. Ari Skúlason has joined the Iceland national team, who has a good chance of qualifying for World Cup 2014 in Brazil.
Well-deserved draw against league leaders
OB fought well against the league leaders FC Midtjylland on Sunday and were rewarded with a well-deserved draw.
OB worked hard throughout the match and created a host of chances before the interval, but the combination of good defending by FC Midtjylland and hard luck kept the ball out of the FC Midtjylland net.
Seconds before half-time, FC Midtjylland scored, but OB came out battling from the start of the second half, and Troels Bech’s men were rewarded when Martin Spelmann laid off the ball for Krisztián Vadócz, who side footed the ball into the net for the equaliser.
The goal was just reward for OB's hard work in an intense match in which both sides went in search for all three points but had to settle for a draw in the end.
On Monday, Emil Larsen was selected for the full national squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Italy and Malta, while Kasper Larsen and Rasmus Falk were selected for the U21 national squad for the matches against Slovenia and Russia and Casper Radza was selected for the U20 national squad for two friendlies away against France in Vichy together with OB’s U19 Liga player Emil Peter Jørgensen.
Parken no happy hunting ground
Parken proved to be no happy hunting ground for OB on Sunday, despite going 1-0 up through a brilliant goal by Emil Larsen. OB eventually lost 2-1.
F.C. København were the better team in the beginning, but after soaking up the initial pressure, OB gradually clawed their way into the encounter, managed to push forward and began creating chances. Morten Skoubo could have given OB the lead when sent clear through, but the FCK-keeper saved brilliantly.
That was not the case after 23 minutes, when Emil Larsen went on a run from his own half. As he got to the FCK penalty box without being challenged, he curled the ball into the net to give OB the lead.
It lasted until the 74th minute, when FCK equalised after being wrongfully awarded a corner kick. Six minutes from time FCK scored again to gain all three points to thre chagrin of the OB-players, management and fans.
OB now play FC Svendborg away in the cup on Wednesday, September 25th, before entertaining FC Midtjylland at TREEFOR Park at 19:00 hrs on Sunday, September 29th.
Defeat in Brøndby
OB came to Brøndby for last weekend’s league game full of intent of erasing the defeat against AGF with a good performance. And Troels Bech’s men began the match well, but halfway through the first half, Brøndby succeed in getting the upper hand after scoring from a corner.
This left OB with the task of chasing an equaliser and it came after 61 minutes, when Emil Larsen scored in two attempts to bring the game level.
Unfortunately, OB’s joy was short lived as Brøndby took the lead again after 66 minutes. This once again left OB to chase an equaliser, and although they tried hard, OB did not succeed.
Thus, OB had to leave Brøndby empty-handed and disappointed.
International duties and cup success
Five players from OB’s Superliga squad has been away on international duty for their respective national teams in the last week. Emil Larsen was selected for the full Denmark squad for the matches against Malta and Armenia and was joined by Rasmus Falk, who was promoted from the U21 team. Kasper Larsen went with the U21 national team for matches against Andorra and Slovenia, and Espen Ruud, Ari Skúlason and Mohammed Diarra joined Norway, Iceland and Guinea respectively for matches against Cyprus, Switzerland (Norway and Iceland both played Switzerland), Albania and Egypt.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, September 11th, OB went to Copenhagen to play non-league FC Udfordringen in the cup. “Udfordringen” means challenge in Danish but three goals inside the first 25 minutes killed off any challenge from the non-leaguers, who nevertheless got the biggest cheer of the night, when they scored to make it 3-1 after 31 minutes. However, six more goals by OB made sure that OB progressed into the next round to face FC Svendborg. OB’s goal scorers against FC Udfordringen were Mustafa Abdellaoue(3), Jeppe Hansen (2) and Dusan Djuric, Darko Bodul, Conor O’Brien and David Löfquist. The match marked the official debut of Mustafa Abdellaoue, Conor O’Brien and Dusan Djuric for OB. The match as watched by 1316 fans from FC Udfordringen and OB, who created a vociferous atmosphere in Valby Idrætspark, trying to out sing each other throughout the match.
Crazy defeat at home
OB suffered their first defeat this season at home to AGF on Friday evening, losing 3-6 in a crazy and eventful match.
OB totally dominated the first 40 minutes, outplaying the guests, creating loads of chances and Rasmus Falk and Emil Larsen each scoring beautiful goals. But an error shortly before half-time let AGF into the match, and when AGF equalised three minutes into the second half, the match was turned upside down.
It got even crazier when AGF went ahead 3-2, but an equaliser by Morten Skoubo looked to have put OB back in the game in a phase where the home team looked as if they were about to regain control.
Unfortunately, this was not so. AGF went ahead 4-3 on the break and when OB tried to force yet another equaliser, AGF struck twice to complete a remarkable day in Odense.
On Saturday, OB welcomed midfielder Conor O’Brien on a transfer from FC Nordsjælland and Mustafa “Mos” Abdellaoue on loan for the rest of the season from FC København. Both players were introduced to the fans in connection with a photo shoot of the official team photo, in which the fans were invited to participate.
OB had not finished bringing in new players, however, as the club brought in Dusan Djuric on a season long loan from French side Valenciennes.
Meanwhile, Rasmus Falk, Espen Ruud, Kasper Larsen and Ari Skúlason all joined their respective national teams and on Monday, Emil Larsen received a late call-up to join the Danish national squad, while Mohammed Diarra travelled after Tuesday’s training to join Guinea. All these players are expected to report back to OB on September 11th or 12th after completing international duties.
OB beat league runners-up
OB beat last season’s runners-up FC Nordsjælland 1-0 on Sunday to go second in the league.
The match had been moved from Saturday because of FC Nordsjælland’s Europa League commitments last Thursday and was slotted in for a 1 p.m. kick-off
Before the match, OB presented their new home kit, and when the match began, OB took command from the outset, trying to force an early opener.
But FC Nordsjælland held firm and after the first twenty minutes OB’s pressure eased off and the match faded slightly before the interval.
In the second half, OB kept trying for the opening gal, while FC Nordsjælland looked like attempting to hold on for a draw or maybe sneak a goal through a counter attack.
Rasmus Falk hit the upright almost from the goal line after breaking through on the right side of FC Nordsjælland’s goal, but it took the introduction of substitute Jeppe Hansen to break the deadlock.
OB won a corner on 82 minutes, which was floated into the penalty area, where Espen Ruud headed the ball towards goal. Amid friends and foes Kasper Larsen managed to pull back the ball to Jeppe Hansen, who volleyed the ball into the net.
The goal set up a frantic finish but OB held firm and recorded an important win, which put the club in 2nd spot in the Superliga to the delight of the club's fans.
Hard luck for OB
OB looked set for their second win this season, when they played FC Vestsjælland in Slagelse last Sunday. But a goal deep in injury time meant that Troels Bech’s men had to settle for a draw.
OB took the lead after 20 minutes, when brilliant combinations and a flick by Emil Larsen saw Morten Skoubo collect the ball and race towards FC Vestsjælland’s goal before neatly putting the ball away to put OB in the lead.
OB were the best team before the interval but FC Vestsjælland were stronger after the break and pushed OB back. Yet it was OB who created the biggest chances, hitting the woodwork twice. First, Emil Larsen beautifully curled the ball around the FC Vestsjælland keeper from the edge of the penalty box but hit the upright and then Rasmus Falk received a through ball and chipped it over the keeper, only to see it hit the upright.
FC Vestsjælland put OB under considerable pressure towards the end of the match and equalised deep in to injury time after what looked like a push on Espen Ruud in the situation that lead to the equaliser.
On Monday, Jacob Barrett Laursen joined OB on loan until the end of the season from Italian giants Juventus. The Danish U20 international can play either left back or left midfield and was in OB’s Reserves for a game against SønderjyskE Monday afternoon.
One point in Aalborg
OB came away from a difficult challenge in Aalborg with one point from an entertaining 0-0 draw against AaB.
Both teams created chances to score what could have been a decisive goal, but good, energetic defending prevented either team from getting the win.
OB came under pressure from the outset but still created a good opportunity on the break, only for Emil Larsen to shoot just wide. Morten Skoubo and Martin Spelmann also had good chances for OB in a first half dominated by the hosts.
In the second half OB got into the game more and created a number of chances. At one time OB came close to scoring, but Espen Ruud was judged to be offside.
Towards the end of the match substitute Darko Bodul twisted his ankle and had to come off. The Austrian striker had a scan of the ankle on Monday, fearing a serious injury. Fortunately, nothing was broken but it will be a race against time for Bodul to get ready for the match against FC Vestsjælland on Sunday.
The squad is currently training without nine players, who are away on international duty or injuried. In addition to Darko Bodul, Bashkim Kadrii and Jacob Schoop are still out injured, while Espen Ruud, Ari Skúlason, Hannes Anier, Kasper Larsen, Mohammed Diarra and Emil Larsen are all away with their respective national teams.
OB win on a sunny Sunday
OB recorded the first win of the season last Sunday, when Viborg FF were defeated 4-2 at TREFOR Park.
OB asserted their dominance of proceedings from the outset of the match, but Viborg FF tried hard to get into the game. Their efforts were thwarted by a double strike by Bashkim Kadrii two thirds into the first half, first heading a superb cross by Espen Ruud into the net via the Viborg-keeper and a minute later latching onto a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area.
Sadly, the match ended in agony for Kadrii, who was substituted with what turned out to be a serious knee injury minutes after scoring the second goal. The striker suffered a torn knee ligament and is awaiting surgery and he will be out for the rest of 2013.
Before that, Jacob Schoop had been substituted with a muscle strain. He is expected to be out for three weeks, so it was an costly victory for OB.
Viborg scored late in the first half to make the half time score 2-1 and give the visitors hope for the second half. But two superb goals, one by Emil Larsen after a solo run from the halfway line and one by Rasmus Falk, who combined with Espen Ruud to set up the goal, that effectively secured the win.
With only three minutes left to play, Viborg scored once again, but there were no further goals as OB secured their first win of the season and stretched their unbeaten start to the season to three games.
Ari Skúlason made his debut for OB in front of 7889 fans. The Icelandic international made a strong impression, starting the match at left-back, but moving up to midfield late in the match.
Draw in Randers
OB drew the second match in a row, when Bashkim Kadrii drilled the ball past Randers FC’s goalkeeper after running on to a through ball by Morten Skoubo in Randers on Sunday.
The equaliser was a well-deserved reward for some hard work by an OB-team, which played significantly better against Randers FC than in the match the previous Sunday and with a little more sharpness in front of goal, OB could have won the match.
OB went behind shortly before half-time. The league’s top scorer, Ronnie Schwartz, managed to slice the ball between the OB-defenders on the edge of OB’s penalty area, and the ball went into the net to the joy of the home crowd and the Randers players.
OB refused to give up, however, and Darko Bodul wasted a giant opportunity when Emil Larsen crossed from the left.
In the back-four, Anders Møller Christensen stood out, playing with energy and winning just about every ball he went for throughout the match.
The draw was disappointing, but the performance was a big step in the right direction for OB, who now face Viborg FF at home next Sunday.
OB draw season opener
The long-anticipated season opener versus SønderjyskE on July 21st ended in a 1-1 draw after OB took the lead early in the first half.
The match was only 9 minutes old, when good combinations ended with Darko Bodul skilfully leaving the ball off for Krisztián Vadócz to volley home the lead.
It was a shaky premiere for OB, who tried to find that all-important second goal that could have sealed victory. Instead, SønderjyskE equalised on 61 minutes and the visitors could have taken away all three points. SønderjyskE hit the upright twice, once in each half and were the better team on the day.
But OB held on and secured a point in a very difficult season opener.
Pre-season preparations enters final stage
OB’s pre-season preparations entered the final stage as the players reported back for training on Monday after having the weekend off. Sine retutning from holiday on June 17th, the OB-squad has worked on getting ready for the coming season on the training pitch and in the gym.
Since last season, OB have welcomed Casper Radza from the U19 team and Martin Spelmann from relegated AC Horsens into the squad. At the same time, Christian Sørensen has left for Silkeborg IF and goalkeeper Nicolai Jørgensens contract expired, while the loan periods of Michael Silberbauer and Marcus Pedersen have expired. Jesper Hansen have arrived from AC Horsens to fill the vacant position of Sports Director in OB and Joakim Mattsson has replaced Thomas Helveg as Assistant Coach.
The preparations for the new season have seen OB play pre-season matches against lower opposition from the Øens Hold cooperation, VfL Bochum and Goslarer SC 08 from Germany, a selected team from Als and FC Fredericia, yielding five wins and two defeats.
Contrary to the past seasons, this Summer’s training camp took place in Germany and not in Skagen. During the training camp, OB trained at Arminia Bielefeld’s training ground.
And now the first match of the new season is only five days away. Excitement is building before the kick off against SønderjyskE on Sunday, July 21st at 14:00 at TREFOR Park, where every OB-fan will be hoping for three points in the bag.
Nightmare in Esbjerg
OB’s penultimate match of the season ended as a nightmare. Christian Sørensen gave OB the perfect start to the match when he scored after 4 minutes, but Esbjerg equalised 20 minutes later.
Esbjerg went one goal up shortly before half-time but Krisztián Vadócz equalised for OB after 52 minutes to give Troels Bech’s men some hope of a good result. The joy was short-lived, however, as Esbjerg went 3-2 up only two minutes later.
From then on, Esbjerg dominated the match and crushed OB with another three goals in the rest of the match, inflicting OB’s heaviest defeat all season, winning 6-2.
Four days later, OB closed a disappointing season with a 3-3 draw with relegated Silkeborg IF at home. Hopes were high of a win but every time OB scored Silkeborg IF equalised. Darko Bodul, Marcus Pedersen and Morten Skoubo scored OB’s goals in the match.
Friday Night Defeat in Farum
OB’s away match against FC Nordsjælland was scheduled for Friday, May 10th, and the OB squad travelled up to Vedbæk to stay at Hotel Marina and train at Farum Park the day before the match.
Unfortunately, the preparations did not result in points for OB, as FC Nordsjælland ran out 4-1 winners. The hosts took the lead on 15 minutes but Marcus Pedersen equalised for OB, only to see FC Nordsjælland score three goals in the last 25 minutes of the match.
It was a hard blow for OB, who had chances to go in front after equalising. But poor defending allowed FC Nordsjælland to take all three points from the encounter.
Hard times for OB
A single goal separated OB and FC Midtjylland on Monday evening, when the two teams met at TREFOR Park. Unfortunately, it was the visitors from FC Midtjylland who scored the goal, leaving OB still searching for their first win since the home win against AC Horsens.
Both teams hit the woodwork in the first half, but the match was decided after 58 minutes, when a bad clearance gave the visitors’ Petter Andersson an opportunity, which he accepted by scoring with a low shot into the corner of the OB-goal.
OB had good opportunities to equalise, but lacked sharpness in front of goal and FC Midtjylland defended well. Thus OB had to accept the fourth defeat in a row after a match in which a more clinical finishing could have given the team at least one point.
Bitter defeat at home
OB suffered a bitter defeat cat the hands of relegation-threatened Brøndby on Sunday. The visitors ran away with all three points courtesy of a goal three minutes before full-time in a match which OB dominated for long periods.
OB took the lead early in them match, when Bashkim Kadrii squeezed the ball past the Brøndby defenders from a free-kick from close range.
But Brøndby equalised before half-time to even the match, at least on the scoreboard.
After the break, OB pushed hard for a second goal and created several good chances. But the ball stayed out of the Brøndby-goal to the dismay of the home team.
And dismay turned into despair three minutes from time, when Brøndby broke through and scored. OB tried to level the score, but it was too late. Hence, Troels Bech and his men had to accept a bitter defeat at home.
OB in heavy defeat in Haderslev
OB suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of SønderjyskE in Haderslev on Sunday, when the hosts ended up 4-1 winners.
OB started brightly and scored early in the match, when Bashkim Kadrii broke through on the left side and cored the ball for Morten Skoubo to tuck it away from close range.
SønderjyskE gradually clawed their way into the game and equalised seconds from half time, when OB failed to clear a corner.
Soon after the interval, SønderjyskE went further ahead as OB’s play deteriorated. Troels Bech’s men tried to get back into the game, but when SønderjyskE increased their lead to 3-1 the writing was on the wall for OB.
Darko Bodul and David Löfquist both wasted big chances for OB, Bodul shooting at the goalkeeper after having beaten the offside trap and Löfquist sending the ball over the goal from close range.
Off the pitch, OB today announced their new Director of Sports. Jesper Hansen, currently at AC Horsens, will take charge of the position from June 1st and work in close correlation with Troels Bech on implementing the club strategy.
OB defeated in seven-goal thriller
OB lost the crucial home match against AaB on Sunday 4-3 after coming backj from being 2-0 down.
The match between OB and AaB on Sunday was what is called a six-point match between two teams in direct battle for 4th spot in Superligaen. A win would see OB advance to no. 4, two points ahead of AaB, while a defeat would see AaB four points clear of OB.
AaB took the lead after 27 minutes and increased it to 2-0 fifteen minutes later. A goal by Emil Larsen two minutes after AaB’s second goal gave the home team hope before the second half, and when Marcus Pedersen headed in Espen Ruud’s cross after 49 minutes, it looked as if OB were about to turn the game.
But a defensive error led to AaB regaining the lead, only for Espen Ruud to equalise four minutes later.
A thrilling encounter with many twists and turns seemed to head for a draw, when AaB were awarded a free-kick near the corner flag to the left of OB’s goal. The free-kick passed between friends and foes in the OB penalty area, where AaB managed to put the ball in the net for their fourth goal.
The goal was a kick in the teeth for OB, who tried to equalise yet again with only three minutes plus extra tine left.
But the equaliser did not come and OB had to accept defeat.
Espen Ruud goal secures point against FCK
OB went to Copenhagen looking for their first win in 14 attempts. And a goal by Espen Ruud seven minutes before half time from a free kick allowed the players to dream of winning for a while.
But an equaliser four minutes after the restart changed that, and in the end, OB had to settle for one point from the difficult encounter.
F.C. København put OB under pressure from the beginning of the match, but were unable to capitalise on their overwhelming ball possession. OB defended well and with some luck but also had opportunities to score a second goal.
F.C. København could have gone one up minutes before OB’s goal, when they were awarded a penalty, but Jesper Christiansen saved a weak shot by Cesar Santin. The goalkeeper was in outstanding form against his former club and was deservedly applauded off the pitch after being named Man Of the Match after the game.
Good Easter for OB
OB went into the Easter programme looking for the first win of the year. The previous eleven days had been spent trying to correct some of the things that have not gone so well in the first four matches and the international break obviously did the team good.
A draw and a win in the two home matches against in-form side Randers FC and AC Horsens gave OB four out of six points and catapulted Troels Bech’s team into 4th position in Superligaen.
OB worked hard in both matches, and maybe it could have been two wins out of two possible if a perfectly good goal by Emil Larsen against Randers FC had not been disallowed for offside. The match against Randers FC was an even contest, where OB succeeded in eliminating some of the mistakes, which have cost OB dearly in the first four matches.
Against AC Horsens, OB bettered the performance and scored twice to win the match and record the second successive clean sheet this spring. Man of the match Bashkim Kadrii gave OB the lead seconds from halftime and Darko Bodul increased the lead with his third goal of the season ten minutes into the second half. Bodul’s goal could have been his second of the match, had he not missed a big opportunity in the first half, and Emil Larsen also came close to scoring when he raced through and shot at the keeper in a one-on-one situation in the second half.
In the end, the two goals proved to be enough and after three minutes of extra time the happy OB-players were able to celebrate an important win.
No points in Aarhus
OB left Aarhus empty handed, losing 2-1 to AGF after taking the lead only five minutes into the match.
OB started the match well, and when Emil Larsen scored after five minutes, hopes were raised that the team was about to turn the tide. But an equaliser less than five minutes later after a corner made the match even and despite some good chances, OB could not regain the lead.
The match levelled out and when AGF scored 72 minutes into the game, the goal set the hosts on the road to victory.
OB pushed for an equaliser, but AGF held firm and ended up winners of the match.
OB now have some time to prepare for two home matches in the space of four days, against Randers FC on Thursday, March 28th and AGF on Sunday, March 31st.
One point from two matches
OB collected one point from their two latest matches through a draw in Aalborg and a defeat in Horsens during the last week.
On Wednesday, March 6th, OB travelled to Aalborg for the match against AaB, which was postponed in December.
On a cold night, OB secured a point through a last minute equaliser by substitute Cedric N’Koum after falling behind twice.
AaB went ahead early in the game when OB were caught unawares but brilliant work by Emil Larsen on the right side of the midfield and an inch-perfect pass to Darko Bodul saw the Austrian striker score his second goal in as many matches for OB to equalise.
Unfortunately, AaB scored again in the second half to take the lead once again and OB looked like losing. But OB put AaB under heavy pressure towards the end of the match, and with seconds to go, Cedric N’Koum won the ball in the penalty area and coolly put the ball in the net.
Four days later, OB travelled to Horsens to play AC Horsens. A below par performance saw OB lose 2-0 sand miss the chance to go third in Superligaen. OB went behind after eight minutes and struggled to find their footing in the match, although Emil Larsen had a very good effort saved by the AC Horsens-keeper in the first half.
After the break, Bashkim Kadrii had a good shot saved by the keeper in OB’s best period of the match, but when AC Horsens scored their second goal, it became an uphill struggle for OB.
The challenge proved too big for OB, who eventually had to accept a very disappointing defeat.
Bad start for OB
OB had a bad start to the spring season on Sunday, when they were defeated 3-2 by F.C. København on home soil.
OB went behind after 11 minutes when the ball hit Daniel Høegh after a corner and went into the net, but the set-back produced a spirited fight-back by Troels Bech’s men and the equaliser came after 27 minutes, when Emil Larsen collected the ball on the left side, took the ball forward and hooked it towards goal. Johan Wiland, the FCK keeper, looked to have saved it, but instead dropped the ball into the net.
Seven minutes later, OB took the lead. A shot created confusion in the FCK-defence and new boy Darko Bodul was quick to seize the opportunity and put the ball into the net for his first goal for OB.
OB could not quite find the level from the first half after the interval, and FCK put the hosts under pressure. Nicolai Jørgensen equalized on 54 minutes and Claudemir scored what turned out to be the winner after 70 minutes. 10 134 fans turned up for the spring season opener.
OB’s next game is on Wednesday, March 6th, the postponed away match against Aalborg originally scheduled for December 9th last year.
OB back from training camp
OB has returned to Denmark and colder climes after the training camp in Portimão in Portugal.
During the training camp, OB worked hard on their preparations for the upcoming spring season, training twice a day most of the days and playing one pre-season match against Portuguese side SC Farense.
The pre-season match ended in a 1-1 draw. OB opened the scoring after 15 minutes, when a good counter attack involving Darko Bodul, Marcus Pedersen and Espen Ruud ended with the latter drilling the ball into the net from just inside the box.
OB played some neat football in the first half, but could not quite repeat it after the break. SC Farense got more into the game sand eventually equalised seven minutes before the final whistle.
It was a disappointing blow for OB who had chances enough to put the result beyond SC Farense’s reach before the equaliser.
OB are now back in training in Denmark, preparing for the coming weekend’s exciting spring season opener at home against F.C. København on Sunday.
Rasmus Falk is still recovering from a knee injury but making steady progress, while Morten Skoubo is back in training with his team mates after recovering from surgery on his ankle in December.
OB has arrived in Portugal
On Monday, February 18th, OB arrived in the Algarve in Portugal for their training camp after travelling for nearly twelve hours.
Before leaving for Portugal, OB went to Limhamn in Sweden and played Malmö FF in the past pre-season match in Scandinavia before the spring season begins at home to F.C. København on Sunday, March 3rd.
OB lost the encounter 3-1 after conceding an early goal. An equaliser by Bashkim Kadrii gave OB some hope, but only for two minutes. Then Malmö FF scored again to retake the lead.
The score was unchanged until the hosts scored their third goal in the second half but both teams could have made sure the final score line had been different.
OB had some good chances to equalise in the second half, but Malmö FF also created chances to score their third a couple of times before it actually happened.
The result spoiled a good run of results for OB, who had not lost any of their pre-season matches up until the match in Sweden.
OB went fund-raising for Africa
It has been an uneventful week on the pitch. Because of the cancellation of the pre-season match against FC Fyn, the team trained on Saturday and Monday and today, Tuesday. Preparations are focused on the coming Spring season and the hunt for a spot, which qualifies the club for European football next season.
This coming Friday, OB will play a pre-season match against Swedish side Malmö FF in Limhamn outside Malmö, before going away to Portugal on training camp from Monday and until Tuesday, February 26th.
Off the pitch a number of OB-players and team officials assisted in collecting donations for Africa in connection with Danmarks Radio’s fund-raising show Danmarks Indsamlingen, broadcast from Stadium Arena Fyn I Odense on Friday, February 8th. Anders Møller Christensen, Morten Skoubo, Emil Larsen, Daniel Høegh, Rasmus Falk and Asssistant Coach Thomas Helveg and Scout Steen Nedergaard joined the call center and took calls from people wishing to donate money to the cause throughout the night.
Two new faces and success in pre-season matches
OB have been successful in their three pre-season matches so far, winning all three without conceding a goal. The three matches against HB Køge, Helsingborgs IF and SønderjyskE were all played on OB’s artificial pitch in Aadalen in front of crowds of up to 500 people per match.
OB opened the wither pres-season programme with a match against HB Køge on January 25th and won 3-0 through goals by Krisztián Vadócz, Hans Henrik Andreasen and Marcus Pedersen. On February 3rd, Helsingborgs IF from Sweden visited OB. In a close match, OB won 1-0 with Marcus Pedersen as the goal scorer. Only three days later, SønderjyskE were defeated 1-0, when an Espen Ruud free-kick was deflected into the SønderjyskE goal.
OB’s next pre-season match is on February 15th against Malmö FF in Limhamn in Sweden, as the pre-season match against FC Fyn scheduled for February 11th has been cancelled.
The transfer period was relatively quiet compared to earlier transfer periods. Hans Henrik Andreasen left for Esbjerg after rendering outstanding services to OB for almost six years, while David Löfquist joined on on loan for all of 2013 from AC Parma in Italy and Darko Bodul joined on a permanent transfer from Austrian side Sturm Graz.
OB players in fund-raising events
Most of the news from OB from the past week comes from off-pitch activities, as some of the players have been busy participating in a series of fund-raising events, commonly known as Lej en Spiller (rent a player), which took place on Monday, January 21st.
Emil Larsen, Bashkim Kadrii, Michael Silberbauer, Morten Skoubo, Rasmus Falk and Marcus Pedersen were all rented by local companies and sponsors of OB to work for the sponsors between 13.00 and 16.00, doing different jobs including signing autographs, serving customers in a café or helping out in a garage or a shop. The rent paid by the sponsors for the players will be donated to a nationwide fundraiser called Danmarksindsamlingen, which is screened live from Stadium Arena Fyn in Odense on February 8th.
Today Emil Larsen, Bashkim Kadrii, Michael Silberbauer, Daniel Høegh and Kasper Larsen all joined a Denmark national team consisting of players from the Danish league for a training camp in Phoenix, Arizona until February 1st.
The five players will be missing when OB play their first pre-season match on Friday, January 25th against HB Køge in Odense. Kick-off is at 2 o’clock in the afternoon.
OB back in pre-season training
Pre-season training started for OB last week, but the full squad has only been together for the two training sessions yesterday and today, as Espen Ruud and Marcus Pedersen went straight form the Christmas holiday to South Africa with the Norwegian national team of league players. And Hannes Anier left this afternoon to join the Estonian U21 national team for an international tournament.
While Sports Director decided to step down just before the turn of the year, there have been few changes to the squad that finished 2012 a bit prematurely with the defeat in the cup at the hands of AC Horsens. Andreas Johansson has left for Swedish side Djurgarden and no new players have been brought in. One person that has been brought in, however, is former European Champion Flemming Povlsen, who has joined OB as an Assistant Coach to work with Head Coach Troels Bech and Assistant Coach Thomas Helveg
Morten Skoubo is recovering form an operation before Christmas, but he is the only major injury worry for coach Troels Bech in the second week of pre-season traning. The coach has decided to focus on training with the squad and limit the number of pre-season friendlies to five as lined out below:
25.01. 14:00 OB - HB Køge
06.02. 13:00 OB - SønderjyskE
09.02. 11:00 OB - FC Fyn
15.02. 12:00 OB – Malmø
Off the pitch, the OB players were the main attraction at Sportslørdag on Saturday, January 12th, while Ramus Falk, who signed an extension of his contract until 2016 in December, and Kasper Larsen was voted Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year respectively by former players at the Traditionsfest held at TREFOR Park on Friday, January 11th. The beginning of 2013 also saw the fans vote for OB’s coming home shirt. The fans had three shirt designs to choose from and the team will wear the winning design, which got 44 % of the votes, from the beginning of the 2013-14 season.
On Tuesday, January 22nd, Bashkim Kadrii, Kasper Larsen, Michael Silberbauer, Daniel Høegh og Emil Larsen will join the Danish national team of league players for a nine day tour of the US.
Pedersen brace sinks Esbjerg
Two goals from Norwegian striker Marcus Pedersen after Andreas Johansson had opened the scoring, helped OB kick off the Christmas month in style, securing a 3-0 win for OB.
The first half of the match was a messy affair, with a much changed OB struggling to get in gear. Emil Larsen and Morten Skoubo were out with injuries, while inspirational Rasmus Falk was missing because of suspension.
Yet OB had som good chances of taking the lead, most notably when a good effort by Hans Henrik Andreasen hit the upright and went back into play.
After the interval OB put the guests under more pressure and when Esbjerg failed to clear a corner, Andreas Johansson was on hand to put the ball in the net from close range.
Then Marcus Pedersen took over with two goals. The first came after a clever one-two with Krisztián Vadócz. A quick shimmy left an Esbjerg defender flat-footed, leaving Marcus Pedersen time and space to side foot the ball past Esbjerg’s keeper.
Marcus Pedersen’s second and OB’s third came when the striker raced through to connect with a pass past the Esbjerg defenders. The goalkeeper came out of his goal, but could not hold on to the ball, leaving the Norwegian goal getter to score from an acute angle and give OB their third win in four matches.
Full House in Silkeborg
A dedicated effort saw OB come away with all three points form the match against Silkeborg at Mascot Park on Saturday.
OB won the match 2-0, with the goals coming from Krisztián Vadócz, who is now the club’s top scorer, and Ramus Falk.
Silkeborg had some opportunities and good efforts during the match on a day, when efficiency was the key: OB were better at scoring from their chances, which gave them victory.
OB’s first goal came after 22 minutes in the first half, when Rasmus Falk combined well with Espen Ruud, who eventually sent the young midfielder through to the goal line, where he pulled the ball back towards Morten Skoubo. The forward let the ball pass through his legs for Krisztián Vadócz to slide the ball past the Silkeborg goalkeeper.
Before that, Silkeborg’s Kasper Risgård missed a golden opportunity to bring the home team in front when he failed to head the ball into the net from close range after Espen Ruud and Daniel Høegh had missed the ball.
Matters were settled by Rasmus Falk nine minutes from the end, when Espen Ruud and Rasmus Falk again combined well on the right side. This time Ramus Falk turned in the penalty area, left a defender standing and hammered the ball into the net almost from the goal line.
With the win, OB moved into fourth spot in Superligaen before the last two Superliga matches, at home to Esbjerg on December 1st and way at Aalborg on December 9th. In between these two league matches, OB play AC Horsens at home in the cup on December 5th.
Frustrating defeat in Randers
OB came under heavy pressure from the home team from the start in Monday night’s away match at Randers. And the pressure resulted in a goal for the home team after 21 minutes. Gradually, OB fought their way back into the match and equalised eight minutes later, when Morten Skoubo headed the ball past the Randers keeper.
Randers went ahead 2-1 after 67 minutes, only for Marcus Pedersen to latch onto on a return ball from Michael Silberbauer’s shot and fire into the net from close range.
Both teams created a host of opportunities and play flowed from end to end in a pulsating encounter but the game looked like heading for a draw, when OB old-boy Jonas Borring capitalised on an error to score with only little time left.
As it turned out it was too little time for OB to equalise yet again, and Randers ran away with all three points, leaving OB frustrated at the outcome of a match, which they could have won.
OB now travel to Silkeborg next Saturday for their next game in Superligaen.
Biggest win of the season
It was party time at TRE-FOR Park on Sunday, as OB recorded their biggest win this season with a 5-0 victory over SønderjyskE
SønderjyskE had the first opportunity, but after 13 minutes OB’s Marcus Pedersen collected the ball outside the SønderjyskE penalty area and coolly slotted the ball past the goalkeeper
It was 2-0 two minutes later when Morten Skoubo was brought down by SønderjyskE’s Niels Lodberg while clear through in front of goal. The referee pointed to the penalty spot and set off Lodberg, while Espen Ruud stepped up to convert the penalty.
Bashkim Kadrii made it 3-0 on 26 minutes, when his right-footed shot from the edge of the penalty area hit a SønderjyskE defender and went in.
The goal effectively killed off the match as SønderjyskE were not sable to fight back.
But OB was not finished and added two more goals in the second half. Bashkim Kadrii hit the woodwork with a thunderous shot and bettered it minutes later when a clearance from a shot by hard-working Marcus Pedersen fell to the left back, who rifled the ball into the net.
It became 5-0 four minutes from time and again Marcus Pedersen was the provider. His shot was parried by the goalkeeper, but the rebound hit Marcus and spun towards Krisztián Vadócz, who headed the ball into the empty net.
Now all there was left to do was to celebrate the season’s biggest win for OB and their fans.
Historic win in Brøndby
OB recorded a historic win in Brøndby late on Sunday afternoon, when goal from Rasmus Falk, Emil Larsen and Hans Henrik Andreasen secured Troels Bech’s men a 3-0 victory.
OB went ahead after only 6 minutes, when Rasmus Falk drilled the ball past the Brøndby keeper from 20 metres. Play moved back and forth in an even first half, but neither OB nor Brøndby managed to score. Rasmus Falk had two good shots blocked by the Brøndby-keeper and a good freekick combination almost worked for Marcus Pedersen. At the other end the defence and Mads Toppel worked hard to shut out Brøndby.
After the break, OB were in control. Brøndby kept looking for the equaliser and missed a great opportunity when Simon Makienok missed a golden opportunity from only metres out.
Instead, OB went 2-0 up on 64 minutes, when Emil Larsen finished a good attack by slotting the ball into the net.
The goal more or less killed off the tie, but Hans Henrik Andreasen made sure the scoreline became historic when he ran past the Brøndby defence to score OB’s third goal and make the result historic.
OB slump to home defeat
There was little to shout about from OB’s point of view in the home match against AGF on Sunday. OB slumped to a 4-2 defeat in a match where the visitors were the better team in most aspects.
OB went behind on 16 minutes but equalised only two minutes later through Michael Silberbauer and looked to have clawed their way back into the game, but another AGF goal two minutes into the second half left OB chasing the game once again.
It became an uphill struggle in the 67th minute when AGF went further ahead, and although Emil Larsen pulled one back for OB, they could only shake their heads in despair when AGF scored their fourth goal only two minutes after OB second goal.
OB tried to get a third goal to put AGF under pressure, but in the end the visitors were left to celebrate a deserved win.
OB now have a cup tie against lowly Vanløse IF on Wednesday to restore their pride and self-confidence before a potentially difficult away game at Brøndby next Sunday.
Frustrating draw against FC Midtjylland
OB played well in the first half of last Sunday’s Superliga match away at FC Midtjylland, but were put under pressure in the second half and had to be content with a draw after conceding a goal deep into extra time.
Troels Bech’s men started well and looked on top when Krisztián Vadócz scored his fourth goal for the club to give OB the lead. The goal came at a point in the match, when OB dominated proceedings and played some good football.
But in a dramatic second half, which saw two players dismissed, OB was pushed back and FC Midtjylland equalised with only seconds to go of seven minutes extra time.
It was a disappointing finish to the match for OB, who were left shaking their heads at the sending-off of striker Marcus Pedersen for a second bookable foul, which only the referee saw. Daniel Høegh also received a booking and both players will be missing for the match against AGF this coming Sunday.
With most of the action happening on the international scene, we take a minute to round up the performances of the OB-players selected for international duty.
Emil Larsen and Daniel Høegh both played in Denmark’s 0-5 defeat in Spain. Emil Larsen played the full 90 minutes and Daniel Høegh came on as a substitute late in the match.
Kasper Larsen played the full 90 minutes for Denmark U20 against Ukraine and Marcus Pedersen also played a full match for Norway U21 against France.
Espen Ruud played his 25th international for Norway in a 1-1- draw with Switzerland, while Michael Silberbauer had to be content with a place on the bench in Denmark’s match against Bulgaria.
Close to home, Andreas Lissau from Næstved has been training with OB for a couple of days during the international break.
OB defeats champions in style
OB got a perfect prelude to the international week with a convincing 3-0 win over Danish champions FC Nordsjælland on Friday evening.
OB dominated the first half and scored two goals after surviving a scare midway through the half, when FC Nordsjælland hit the upright. After that Krisztián Vadócz thundered a bad clearance into the net to give OB the lead and Bashkim Kadrii drilled in the second after being set up by Emil Larsen.
In the second half Krisztián Vadócz killed off the tie with his second goal of the game, giving OB a fully deserved win.
OB dominated the encounter from the outset of the first half and never gave FC Nordsjælland a chance to develop their short-passing to an extent where it became a threat.
The second half was more even but OB kept control of the match and never seriously allowed FC Nordsjælland to become dangerous in front of goal, and the hosts deserved all three points.
On Monday, five OB-players joined their national teams for internationals I the next 10 day: Daniel Høegh and Emil Larsen joined Denmark’s U21 national squad for two matches against Spain, Michael Silberbauer joined the full national team for matches against Bulgaria and Italy, Espen Ruud went with Norway to play against Switzerland and Cyprus and Marcus Pedersen joined Norway U21’s for two matches against France. Later this week, Kasper Larsen will join Denmark U20’s, who will be facing Georgia.
Defeat after below-par display
OB suffered a deserved defeat against AGF on Sunday, as the visitors won 2-1 in Odense.
AGF were the better team during most of the game, with OB showing their quality only in patches during the match.
AGF went 1-0 up on 23 minutes, when OB failed to clear a ball into their penalty area and a quick counter attack put the visitors further ahead one minute before the break.
OB responded with a quick goal by Marcus Pedersen after 46 minutes. The striker showed his skills when he collected the ball on the edge of the penalty area and coolly put it past the AGF-keeper, but that was the closest the host came to getting anything out of the encounter.
OB’s next match is at home against FC Nordsjælland on Friday, October 5th at TRE-FOR Park.
OB draw in Horsens
OB went to Horsens on Sunday to play AC Horsens aiming to improve on their previous Superliga performance at Esbjerg.
Although the match ended in a 2-2 draw, OB created a host of chances and had most of the play throughout the match.
But it was AC Horsens who took the lead, when a free-kick was allowed to pass through friends and foes in the OB penalty area and into the net.
OB responded well, however, and put AC Horsens under pressure. This resulted in an equaliser 12 minutes after the opening goal, when Krisztián Vadócz celebrated his debut for OB by heading the ball into the net after a corner.
Five minutes from half-time, OB got a chance of getting the upper hand, when AC Horsens were reduced to ten men after Morten Rasmussen received his second yellow card and was dismissed.
Yet it was AC Horsens who took the lead one again on the hour, and OB were left to chase the game.
OB created several chances, but a combination of a good performance by the AC Horsens-keeper and bad luck meant that OB had to wait until the 81st minute for the equaliser. Again it was after a corner, Which Morten Skoubo steered into the net.
There were no more goals, but substitute Marcus Pedersen had two good efforts denied by the post and the AC Horsens-keeper respectively.
Annoying defeat in Esbjerg
OB came back from the international break to face Esbjerg in a potentially difficult encounter. Although situated at the bottom of the league, Esbjerg has played some good football this season and were by no means a walk-over for OB.
This was underlined on Friday, when Esbjerg deservedly ran way 3-0 winners. Not many things worked for OB in Esbjerg, who went 1-0 up after 32 minutes. Only two minutes later the tie became an uphill struggle, when the hosts added another goal, and although OB tried to mount a fight-back, Esbjerg sealed victory on 61 minutes with their third goal.
This was not the debut Michael Silberbauer had wanted or expected, but the midfielder remained upbeat after the match, ensuring that OB would go back on the training pitch to rectify what went wrong in Esbjerg.
The past week has been quiet with regard to matches for OB because of the international break. OB played only one match, a friendly match against FC Fyn, winning 2-0 courtesy of goals by Rasmus Falk and Kasper Larsen.
Off the pitch things were quite busy, however. OB brought in two players in Michael Silberbauer and Hungarian Krisztián Vadocz to strengthen the midfield after the departure of Rurik Gislason and Kalilou Traoré.
Five players were away on international duty: Espen Ruud and Marcus Pedersen played for Norway and Norway U21’s, while Emil Larsen and Daniel Høegh played for Denmark U21’s, with Emil Larsen scoring the first goal in Denmark’s U21’s 3-0 win over Northern Ireland. Finally, Hannes Anier played for Estonia U21’s.
Busy week in OB
The past seven days have been busy in OB. On August 29th, the team travelled to Bornholm for a cup tie against NB Bornholm and won 1-0 courtesy of a Morten Skoubo goal.
On Sunday, September 2nd, it was back to Superliga action with the visit of F.C. København to TRE-FOR Park. In an exciting, thrilling match, OB drew 2-2 after falling behind twice, Andreas Johansson and Rurik Gislason scoring the goals for OB, while Hans Henrik Andreasen hit the woodwork with a powerful header.
It has been a busy time off the pitch, too. Kalilou Traoré and Rurik Gislason were sold to Sochaux (France) and F.C. København respectively, the sale of Gislason coming only the day after he helped OB get a point against the Copenhagen outfit. At the same time, OB loaned Marcus Pedersen and Michael Silberbauer for the rest of the season.
Because of the international break, OB’s next match is at Esbjerg on Friday, September 14th.
OB defeated after early setback
OB lost Sunday’s encounter with AaB at TRE-FOR Park 4-0 after defender Daniel Høegh was dismissed for a foul in the 1st minute of the match. Høegh was adjudged to have robbed an AaB-forward of an open goalscoring opportunity in the penalty area and AaB took the lead from the following penalty.
OB refused to lie down, however, and could have levelled the score after nine minutes, when Espen Ruud played a good pass into the stride of Morten Skoubo. Unfortunately, the striker’s finish hit the goalkeeper and went for a corner instead of going in.
OB battled hard and created many more chances in a very good first half, but two goals by AaB in the space of a few minutes in the dying minutes of the first half effectively killed off the tie.
In the second half, AaB scored again and OB ran out of steam, unable to reply and had to accept defeat on a day, when more than 9 000 home fans roared their team on and created an electric atmosphere at TRE-FOR Park.
OB now face NB Bornholm away in the cup on Wednesday, August 29th, before taking on F.C. København at TRE-FOR Park on Sunday, September 2nd.
OB go second
A training match against Bundesliga side Werder Bremen last Wednesday saw OB lose 1-2 I Horne in the south of Fyn, the goal coming from Cedric N’Koum, before a spirited performance on Monday evening saw OB go second in the Superliga after beating SønderjyskE 2-1.
SønderjyskE pushed back OB from the beginning of the match in Haderslev, but a goal by Rurik Gislason after 24 minutes turned the game around and OB started taking the game to the hosts, although SønderjyskE looked dangerous on the break. But good defending and hard work by the whole OB-team meant that held onto the lead until half-time
The second half was only seven minutes old, when OB combined well in front of SønderjyskE’s goal. The ball eventually fell to Cedric N’Koum and as the goalkeeper could not hold on to his shot, Emil Larsen was on hand to stab in what proved to be the winner.
SønderjyskE scored only four minutes later, but could not get the second goal, which would earn them a draw. Instead, OB went close on a number of occasions, hitting the crossbar once and producing a number of good chances. In the end a superb save from Mads Toppel ensured that OB were able to leave a potentially difficult away match with all three points, advancing to second in the league.
OB now face in-form AaB at home at TRE-FOR Park on Sunday before embarking on a busy week, which will see OB travel to Bornholm for a cup tie on Wednesday and entertaining F.C. København at home in Superligaen.
Win for OB after magnificent turn-around
OB’s home match against FC Midtjylland on Friday, August 19th, was seen as a very difficult task for home team. FC Midtjylland has had a good start to the season, and should be rated as one of the contenders for top spot in Superligaen this season.
The guests like to take the game to their opponents, putting teams under pressure very early and the match on Friday was no exception. OB came under heavy pressure from the beginning of the match and had to defend hard to avoid going behind.
Unfortunately, that happened after ten minutes when FC Midtjylland broke through on the left side and scored.
The first 30 minutes belonged to FC Midtjylland, but then OB started clawing their way back into the game.
After the interval, OB began to put FC Midtjylland under pressure, creating a number of good opportunities. The pressure paid off after 76 minutes, when Emil Larsen equalised, capitalising on the FC Midtjylland-keeper being unable to hold on to a powerful header from Hans Henrik Andreasen.
Nine minutes later Morten Skoubo connected with a cross to head OB in the lead, and as FC Midtjylland could not respond, OB completed a magnificent turn-around to collect all three points.
Last-gasp victory in Silkeborg
OB created a number of good chances in the first half without scoring in the first half, came under pressure in the second half and ended up scoring the winner deep into injury time in Silkeborg
It ended as a happy return for OB coach Troels Bech, when OB visited Silkeborg on Friday evening. The former Silkeborg coach was presented with flowers by the Silkeborg fans before the match and ended up leaving with ale three points after what he described as his smallest victory ever.
Both teams started well, intending to play football. OB had good chances by Rurik Gislason and Emil Larsen before the interval but were unable to score.
After the break, Silkeborg put OB under pressure and Daniel Høegh had to clear the ball off the line to prevent OB from going behind.
With only seconds to spare, Emil Larsen seized the ball in OB’s half and went on a dazzling run past several Silkeborg players before laying the ball off to Morten Skoubo, who slotted the ball home. A very beautiful goal, which gave OB all three points, but also a very cruel fate for Silkeborg.
OB’s next game is a home match against FC Midtjylland on Friday, August 10th at TRE-FOR Park.
Deserved point against champions
OB got a draw against Danish champions FC Nordsjælland on Sunday.
The teams made history by playing the first match ever on an artificial pitch in the top league.
OB came close to taking the lead when Anders Møller Christensen headed over the bar inside the first 15 minutes, but it was FC Nordsjælland who scored first after some good combinations in the right side and a good angled pass into the OB penalty area for Søren Christensen to hit the ball high in the net.
Both teams were determined to play a passing game, which ensured a good football match with chances in either end.
After the interval, Emil Larsen came close to scoring his first goal for OB, when he dribbled his way through the FC Nordsjælland defence but his shot went just wide.
OB eventually scored with 9 minutes left on the clock, when Kalilou Traoré latched onto a pass outside the box and hooked the ball into the net, out of reach of the FC Nordsjælland goalkeeper.
The equaliser sparked a flurry of action in front of both goals, but as neither team was able to score, the match ended in a draw.
Agonising defeat at home
The second round of this year’s Superliga showed that at this moment at least, it is a very equal tournament. No team can boast a 100 % record after just two rounds.
OB had a good opportunity to keep their record, when they entertained Randers FC at home on Sunday, July 22nd. The visitors suffered a heavy defeat in their first match, while OB beat Brøndby away and all odds were on a home victory.
Nothing indicated otherwise in the beginning of the match as OB put Randers FC under pressure from the kick-off. On 36 minutes, OB won a penalty, but Espen Ruud’s spot-kick was saved by Randers FC’s keeper.
Gradually, the visitors clawed their way into the match but a good header which came to nothing was their best opportunity before the interval.
The second half was an even affair, except for a Randers goal which spoiled the day for the home team and its fans.
Towards the end of the match, OB pushed hard for an equaliser but several good efforts were thwarted by Randers FC’s goalkeeper to enable the visitors to hang on to their lead and victory.
Important win in season-opener
OB recorded an important win in their season-opener away at Brøndby on Sunday, July 15th.
A Jacob Schoop goal after 16 minutes was enough to secure all three points at a very difficult venue for OB.
OB controlled the first half of the match and played some neat short passing. Brøndby rarely threatened in the first 45 minutes, except on set pieces, when the home team tried to set up their six-foot plus striker Simon Makienok, while OB created a few more opportunities without scoring.
The match was turned around after the interval. Just as OB were the better team in the first half, so Brøndby took charge in the second half. This led to a header hitting the crossbar and a disallowed goal, when a Brøndby player was adjudged to have pushed his OB-opponent in the OB-penalty area.
In the end, Jacob Schoop’s goal was enough to secure all three points for OB, who now face Randers FC at home in the next league match on July 22nd.
Mixed results in last two pre-season matches
OB’s last two pre-season matches produced mixed results, with one defeat and one draw.
Last Friday, OB went to the little German town Leck to play Bundesliga team VfL Wolfsburg. OB put in a good performance against last season’s no. 6 in the Bundesliga but lost 1-2.
VfL Wolfsburg went ahead midway through the first half, but Rurik Gislason equalised in the second half. Unfortunately, Daniel Høegh was adjudged to have pushed a German striker in the penalty area, giving away a penalty in the last minute.
More important than the result, however, was the fact that OB played some very nice football and were equal to VfL Wolfsburg for large periods of the game.
After resting on Saturday and some light training on Sunday, OB played Superliga rivals AGF on Monday night in front of a crowd of approximately 1500 fans. OB included new signing Emil Larsen in the squad after presenting him at a press conference only hours earlier and put him on the pitch with 17 minutes to go of the match.
The encounter ended in a 0-0 draw. OB produced a number of opportunities and Daniel Høegh hit the post from a cross, but could not score. AGF were rare visitors in front of OB’s goal after an initial 15 minutes during which the visitors tested Jesper Christiansen in the OB-goal.
Now OB has turned the attention towards the season premiere away at Brøndby on Sunday, July 15th and a good result to kick off the new season
Pre-season well underway
OB’s pre-season preparations gathered momentum last week, when the squad went on a five-day training camp in Skagen.
Before that, the squad played a friendly against Verninge IF, winning 25-1 in pouring rain on Sunday, June 24th, ending a series of three pre-season friendlies against local lower-league opposition.
The training camp in Skagen is part of the club’s summer traditions. This year, however, the training camp was different as there was no pre-season friendly arranged. Instead, the squad put in five days of intense training before returning to Odense on Friday.
On Saturday, OB played their first real pre-season match, hosting Superliga rivals AC Horsens at Odense Atletikstadion. The match was a morale booster and an indicator that things are going in the right direction for OB, who eventually won the encounter 4-1, courtesy of two goals by Andreas Johansson and a goal apiece by Rurik Gislason and Hans Henrik Andreasen.
This week, OB continue their preparations for the coming season on the training field and with a pre-season match against German Bundesliga outfit VfL Wolfsburg in Leck in Germany on Friday evening.
Preparations for the new season begins
Most players returned from holiday on Friday, June 15th, to begin preparations for the new season under their new coach, Troels Bech.
Only Bashkim Kadrii, Daniel Høegh, Espen Ruud, Rurik Gislason and Kalilou Traoré were missing on Friday. They have been given an extra week off because of international commitments after the domestic season ended on May 23rd.
Cameroon forward/midfielder Cedric N'Koum is training with the squad. He may feature in OB’s pre-season matches versus Bolbro, Fjeldsted-Harndrup and Verninge in the coming week. In addition, OB will play further pre-season matches against AC Horsens, VfL Wolfsburg and AGF before the season begins on July 15th.
OB also have the 20 year old English/Kenyan striker Bobby Devyne on trial this week. His first training session with the squad was Tuesday morning.
Also training with the squad on Tuesday was Nicolai Jørgensen, a 19 year old goalkeeper, whom OB have just signed from Brøndby IF.
Hard work wins important point
OB came under heavy pressure from FC Nordsjælland in the two team’s encounter at Farum Park on Monday night.
FC Nordsjælland had to win to overtake F.C. København at the top of Superligaen, while OB had to get all three points to condem Lyngby to relegation.
FC Nordsjælland dominated the match from the outset and OB were unable to recreate the performance from the match against FCK. The hosts created many chances but could not score before the interval.
In the second half, OB got more into the match and created a number og opportunities. But FC Nordsjælland kept pressuring and creating one chance after another. But superb goalkeeping by Stefan Wessels kept out every effort. In the end, OB could go home with a hard-earned point from a 0-0 draw, setting up a nail-biting meeting with Lyngby next Sunday.
Results do not reflect the effort
OB have been despairingly unlucky in their last two Superliga matches. On Thursday, May 3rd, OB outplayed AaB for most of the match yet lost 1-2 at home.
OB put AaB under considerable pressure from the start of the match. Yet it was AaB who went in for the half time tea 2-0 up.
Only minutes after the restart, Bashkim Kadrii scored for OB, but the home team could not get the second goal and had to accept defeat.
On Sunday, May 6th, OB travelled to Copenhagen to play F.C. København. The home team started well, but could not score and OB gradually clawed their way into the match.
It was 0-0 well into the second half and then Morten Skoubo scored to put OB 1-0 up. Unfortunately, Poul Hansen’s men could not hold on to the lead, but it took a disputed penalty for F.C. København to equalise.
The match ended 1-1 and OB took much pride from the hard work the team put into the match, putting pressure on the hosts from time to time.
Hard-earned point in Silkeborg
OB had to shuffle the pack ahead of Monday night’s away game against Silkeborg in Superligaen. Injuries and suspensions mean that OB was without five first-team regulars, bringing in young talent for the important match.
OB started off the match aiming to contain Silkeborg and try to hit the home team on the break. The tactic proved successful when Morten Skoubo scored halfway through the first half.
Unfortunately, OB lost keeper Jesper Christiansen minutes later through injury and Silkeborg equalised soon after the keeper was substituted. OB held on for the rest of the first half, and even hit the crossbar minutes before the break.
In the second half, OB also lost Rasmus Falk and Timmi Johansen through injury and Silkeborg put Poul Hansens men under pressure in an attempt to win the match.
But clever defending and hard work by OB secured a vital point in a difficult match and increased the distance between OB and Lyngby to six points.
Harsh defeat at home
OB came to the home match determined to improve on the effort in the last match in Herning and collect their first win this spring. Unfortunately, only part of the plan was carried out.
OB went 2-0 down in the first half before scoring from a penalty and gaining some hope for the second half.
And the home team put the visitors under heavy pressure throughout the second part of the match. Indeed, OB equalised but poor judgement from the linesman meant that the goal was not given.
This was harsh on OB, who fought sand played some of the best football the team has played this spring and deserved at least a point from their efforts.
Eric Djemba-Djemba and Bernard Mendy Collected yellow cards during the match, which earned them suspensions against Silkeborg next Monday, but Jacob Schoop and Rasmus Falk in particular put on a great performance for OB. Sadly, it was not enough.
Defeat after erratic performance
OB suffered defeat at the hands of FC Midtjylland on Saturday, April 14th, as they sought to record an important win in Herning.
FC Midtjylland away is not the easiest place to win for any team, so it was a massive task that faced OB on Saturday. Nevertheless, confidence was high in the OB-camp before the match.
Unfortunately, it was not to be. FC Midtjylland put OB under heavy pressure from the beginning and although OB’s Andreas Johansson came close to opening the scoring, it was the hosts who put the ball in the net first when they caught OB on the break after a corner.
It was 2-0 before half-time after a first half from OB, which was under par in comparison to the previous three matches.
OB’s play improved after the interval, but Poul Hansen’s men could not break down the home defence. And when OB were reduced to 10 men with the dismissal of Kalilou Traoré five minutes from time, the task of reversing FC Midtjylland’s 2-0 lead became impossible.
OB’s unfortunate Easter
The play and attitude has been greatly improved by OB over the past three matches but that all-important win still eludes the team.
OB were in control throughout the first half against AC Horsens on Friday, April 6th, but the dismissal of captain Anders Møller Christensen proved pivotal as AC Horsens scored the only goal of the match in the second half.
Rurik Gislason came close to giving OB the lead in the 1st half when he hit the post and OB created more good opportunities in the first 45 minutes.
When AC Horsens scored, it was an uphill battle. In the end ten man OB had to accept another bitter defeat despite fighting and playing good football for most of the game.
On Monday, April 9th, SønderjyskE were the visitors at TRE-FOR Park. OB put the guests under pressure for large parts of the match but had to be content with a 1-1 draw.
Andreas Johansson gave OB the lead in the 1st half, when he coolly outplaced the keeper with a curling shot. SønderjyskE equalised in the 2nd half when former OB-player Henrik Hansens shot was deflected past the goalkeeper. Both teams could have won the match, as both OB and SønderjyskE hit the woodwork, but there were no more goals and once again, OB had to accept tat alle their hard work did not give them the win they so eagerly crave.
Unfortunate defeat for battling OB
OB fought hard against Brøndby IF on Sunday, April 1st, but was defeated by a single goal form a contested penalty.
It was a transformed OB that sought their first win in 2012 at Brøndby Stadion on Sunday. In a scrappy game, OB were equal to the hosts throughout the match but a disputed penalty proved to be decisive.
The goal came after a situation in which Mikkel Thygesens initial challenge on Bernard Mendy looked like a free-kick. Instead play went on and instantly following the apparent free-kick, Bernard Mendy was adjudged to have pulled down the Brøndby-player in the penalty box. The OB-players were incensed when the referee waved play-on at first, and then gave the penalty at the insistence of his linesman.
The goal was all that separated the two teams at Brøndby Stadion and while OB did not get any points out of the encounter, interim coach Poul Hansens players fought hard and installed some pride in the team by their performance.
And OB came close to equalising in the second half when Brøndby had to clear off the line. This would have been fair reward for a much-improved performance and attitude compared to OB’s latest match, but unfortunately it was not enough.
OB now face AC Horsens and SønderjyskE at home during the Easter holidays before going away to FC Midtjylland.
Defeat with consequences
OB suffered their 3rd defeat in a row on Sunday, going down 4-2 to HB Køge at home in Superligaen.
OB started well and created plenty of chances. Ironically, it was one of those chances that led to HB Køge’s first goal. Morten Skoubo was just inches away from scoring his first league goal for OB, when he hit the post. Instead of going out of play, the ball fell to a HB Køge player who took it forward, and within seconds the ball was in the net behind OB-keeper Mads Toppel.
OB equalised in the second half, only to see HB Køge take the lead again minutes later. And when the guests went 3-1 up, OB were in real trouble. It go even worse, when HB Køge increased the lead 13 minutes from time and Tore Reginiussens goal seven minutes from time did little to OB’s hopes of turning the match around.
The result forced the OB-board to act and on Monday, Head Coach Henrik Clausen was sacked with Sports Director Poul Hansen taking over as interim coach until this summer.
Bad luck for OB in Lyngby
OB had more chances than Lyngby but suffered defeat in the meeting between the two teams on Sunday.
OB started brightly but could not convert a number of good opportunities in the first half. And the team lost Rurik Gislason in the first half, when he collided with Jeppe Brandrup as the Icelandic attempted to score with a header. Gislason had to come off, giving way to Rasmus Falk.
Instead it was Lyngby, who scored when Jeppe Brandrup hit the ball perfectly in the 51st minute and it screamed past Mads Toppel in the OB goal.
The goal made OB push hard for an equaliser and the team came close a few times. Unfortunately, the equaliser never came and OB lost their second match in a row, making the start of the spring season disappointing for everybody connected with the club.
Defeat against FC Nordsjælland
OB suffered an annoying defeat against FC Nordsjælland at home at TRE-FOR Park on Saturday, March 10th. The opposition was stronger than in the spring season opener, but OB played well in the first 45 minutes. Unfortunately, the home team missed a number of good opportunities and both teams went in for the half-time tea without having scored.
That changed in the second half, but unfortunately it was FC Nordsjælland who scored what turned out to be the only goal of the match with about half an hour of the match left.
The goal made OB push hard for an equaliser, but despite good opportunities to Morten Skoubo and the returning Kalilou Traoré the home team could not score and FC Nordsjælland went away with all three points.
Bitter draw in spring season opener
OB were cruising and well on their way to victory against Silkeborg at TRE-FOR Park on Monday, when two goals, the last in the dying seconds of extra time, ruined a good spring season opening.
The hosts put Silkeborg under pressure from the first kick of the match and had what looked like a perfectly good goal disallowed in the first minute. This did not deter OB, who kept pouncing at the Silkeborg defence.
Morten Skoubo went close before Hans Henrik Andreasen opened the scoring, heading in a free kick from the left almost on half time.
The evening got even better, when Andreas Johansson doubled the lead four minutes after the interval after some good work down the right flank by Bashkim Kadrii.
Silkeborg hardly threatened in the first 70 minutes. When they did, it was from set pieces, but the OB defence dealt expertly with those until the 74th minute, when OB gave away a free-kick about five metres outside the penalty box. Somehow the free kick was allowed to pass the wall and go into the net.
The goal gave the visitors renewed hope and OB found it increasingly difficult to keep Silkeborg away from the goal.
Shortly before the final whistle, a shot was deflected and the ball almost stopped dead between the OB-defenders and keeper Stefan Wessels, making it unreachable for the OB-keeper. Instead, a Silkeborg player pounced on the ball and scored the equaliser, much to the chagrin of the home team and its supporters and stealing a certain win away in the dying seconds.
Pre-season ends with win
OB finished its pre-season matches by beating Swedish side Malmö FF in Malmö on Friday. OB won 2-1 courtesy of two goals by midfielder Hans Henrik Andreasen.
The first goal came after 37 minutes. Morten Skoubo chased a ball and was pulled down close to the side line. Christian Sørensen took the free-kick and sent the ball into the box, where Hans Henrik Andreasen headed the ball into the net from close range.
Only a minute later OB went 2-0 up. Again Morten Skoubo, Christian Sørensen and Hans Henrik Andreasen were involed, Skoubo and Sørensen setting up the goal for Hans Henrik Andreasen.
Morten Skoubo won the bell on the left side of the pitch, moved inside and played a high ball to Christian Sørensen who headed the ball into the path of an onrushing Hans Henrik Andreasen. He chested down the ball and hit it past the goalkeeper and into the net.
Malmö FF scored in the second half but colud not equalise, giving O the perfect overture to next Monday’s opening match in the Superliga against Silkeborg.
OB gave trialist Hannes Anier his second run-out against Malmö and although the Estionian U21 international has now returned to Estonia, OB are pursuing their interest in the player, hoping to sing him in the near future.
Win against Randers FC
OB played their last pre-season match in Denmark before the spring season against Randers FC in Odense on Saturday afternoon.
In pouring rain, OB recorded a 1-0 victory over Randers courtesy of a second half goal by Tore Reginiussen.
OB had a slight upper hand in the match and won deservedly, but Randers FC gave the hosts a run for their money and could have equalised I the middle of the second half.
Before that OB could have gone ahead in the first half, but Morten Skoubo missed two opportunities and Hans Henrik Andreasen was just inches away from seizing on a shot, which was only half cleared by the goalkeeper.
In the, though, OB deserved to win as they were in control of the match for the greater part of the 90 minutes.
OB gave trialist Abdoulaye Cissé his second run out but afterwards decided not to offer him a contract. On Monday, he was replaced by another trialist, 19 year old Hannis Anier from Estonia, who will be training with the club for the rest of the week.
Busy weeks for OB
OB is back in Denmark after a successful training camp in Portugal, where the team trained and played three pre-season friendlies against very strong opposition.
OB had scheduled two training sessions almost every day during the stay in Portugal, except on days following matches when the team trained in the morning and had the afternoon off.
The three pre-season matches were against Dinamo Zagreb of Croatia, Rapid Vienna from Austria and Wisla Krakow of Poland. Despite losing to Dinamo Zagreb and Wisla Krakow and winning against Rapid Vienna, the matches were a success in terms of trying out new ideas for the coming season. Encouragingly, OB turned around the match against Rapid Vienna, winning 2-1 from an opportunistic strike from Christian Sørensen after having been 1-0 down.
After returning from Portugal, OB played Næstved Boldklub in Næstved and recorded a comfortable 3-0 win on Saturday, February 11th, goals coming from Hans Henrik Andreasen, Daniel Høegh and Bashkim Kadrii. OB played some very good football against Næstved, building up play from the back four and showing some great movement throughout the match.
OB’s next pre-season match is against Vejle Boldklub Kolding on OB’s artificial pitch at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, February 15th.
Meanwhile, OB-keeper Jesper Christiansen is on his way to recovery after suffering a slight setback before the team departed for Portugal. During a training session, the goalkeeper landed awkwardly on the pitch and injured his back, but he is now back in training and aiming to be fit for the spring premiere against Silkeborg on March 5th.
Big win in first test
OB recorded a 12-1 win over Marienlyst in the club’s first pre-season test of 2012. It came as no surprise that OB won the match as Marienlyst play in the 2nd division, but nobody anticipated such an emphatic win.
It was clear from the beginning that OB were in better shape than their opponents, who has not really started their preparations for the coming season yet.
Three goals from Hans Henrik Andreasen and Morten Skuobo (2 goals) in the first 25 minutes effectively killed off the match as a contest and with OB being 6-0 up at half-time, the match turned into a good work-out for the home team. Another six goals for OB after the interval and a lone reply from Marienlyst secured the final result.
OB had Jesper Christiansen in goal after his midweek transfer from Swedish side Elfsborg and young Kasper Larsen played in central defence in place of captain Anders Møller Christensen, who was injured. Both did well, as did another young player, Esben Petersen, who scored two goal after travelling from Norway, where he had been playing in a tournament with the OB U19 team the day before.
On Thursday, OB travel to Portugal for a training camp and participation in the Atlantic Cup training tournament. You can follow OB in the tournament on TV2 Sport.
Popular OB players
On the training pitch, the OB players began preparations for the coming spring season on January 11th with a test to determine their fitness level. After that training focused on ball practices and improving the players’ fitness after the Christmas holiday.
Friday and Saturday were earmarked for social events for the 1st team squad. On Friday, January 13th, the squad participated in the annual Traditional party and the following day, the players were the big attraction at Sportslørdag 2012 in Odense Idrætshal. For four hours, the players signed autographs, participated in various events and competitions and socialised with the fans, contributing to the success of the event.
Goodbye to the captain
OB ended the season 2011 with a well-earned draw against Fulham at Craven Cottage on Wednesday, December 15th. OB was 2-0 down and Fulham were cruising after a first half in which the hosts could have scored more than the two goals they actually scored.
However, the match changed completely after the interval. OB began creating chances and Hans Henrik Andreasen scored from a free-kick to give OB hope of a decent finish to the season.
With only seconds remaining, Baye Djiby Fall headed in the equaliser to the delight of the many OB-fans, who had travelled to London. The result sparked tumultuous celebrations in Krakow as it meant that Wisla Krakow and not Fulham qualified to the next stage of the UEFA Europa League.
Then it was time for the Christmas holidays for OB’s players, who will report back for the first training session of 2012 on Wednesday, January 11th.
One player will not be returning for pre-season training, however. Team captain Chris Sørensen was transferred to Randers FC during the holiday, ending a career with OB spanning eight years, 327 matches and 28 goals. Chris Sørensen came to OB from Vejle Boldklub and established himself as one of the most consistent players in the team during his time with the club, and it is only appropriate that we wish him all the best in his new career with his new club.
Emphatic Win in last Superliga Match
Bashkim Kadrii was here, there and everywhere when OB defeated SønderjyskE 4-0 in Haderslev in the last Superliga match I 2011.
On an icy winter evening, OB benefitted from a mistake by SønderjyskE to score the first goal. On 20 minutes, Peter Utaka seized on a mistake by a SønderjyskE defender to capture the ball, pass it in front of goal to Bashkim Kadrii, who coolly slotted the ball home for OB’s first goal.
Seven minutes before half-time, it was the Nigerian’s turn to find the back of the net, when he scored from close range.
The second half was only five minutes old, when an inch-perfect pass from Rurik Gislason found Bashkim Kadrii, who drove the ball past the SønderjyskE keeper into the net.
Seven minutes later, Kadrii completed his hat-trick, when he rounded a SønderjyskE defender on the edge of the six-yard box and buried the ball for OB’s fourth goal.
OB are now only four points from one of the spots in the table, which qualifies for Europe next season, and have everything to play for, when the league recommences in March 2012.
But before Henrik Clausen’s men go on holiday, they have one more important match, the final group match in the Europa League. Although OB cannot qualify for the knock-out stages, they can still get important UEFA Ranking points by winning against Fulham in London on Wednesday, December 14th.
OB-defeat in five-goal thriller
OB failed to extend their unbeaten run to three games, as they lost 2-3 to FC Midtjylland at TRE-FOR Park on Saturday.
The last encounter between the two teams ended in a 1-4 defeat and OB was determined to avoid another heavy defeat against FC Midtjylland.
OB began the match well and tried to create chances against FC Midtjylland, but it was the guests who got the first goal after 35 minutes.
Immediately after the goal, OB put FC Midtjylland under pressure, but the equaliser did not come until 25 minutes before the end, when Peter Utaka scored after picking up a rebound from a Hans Henrik Andreasen header after some good work by Rasmus Falk.
Unfortunately, FC Midtjylland scored two more goals before Tore Reginiussen scored OB’s second a few minutes from the end, after Djiby Fall had seized on the ball after it hit the upright and passed in front of goal for the Norwegian to stab it home.
OB felt hard done by, when a FC Midtjylland player handled the ball in the penalty area and the referee’s whistle stayed silent. TV pictures later showed a clear handball, but in the end OB had to accept a second home defeat to FC Midtjylland this season.
Back to winning ways
Saturday was a happy day for OB, who recorded a much-desired win over AC Horsens at CASA Arena in Horsens. The win was OB’s first for a long time and the fact that it came against AC Horsens added joy to the relief of winning again after a long winless period.
Peter Utaka scored the only goal of the game, when he capitalised on a mistake by the hosts after an in-swinging pass by Espen Ruud and headed the ball over the AC Horsens goalkeeper.
OB played AC Horsens at their own game, defending well and putting pressure on the player with the ball, and could have taken the lead in the first half, when Rurik Gislason hit the cross-bar, Djiby Fall headed at the goalkeeper and a Andreas Johansson-effort was cleared on the line by AC Horsens.
It was a good team effort and a deserved victory for OB but it came at a cost as Andreas Johansson and Chris Sørensen picked up yellow cards, meaning they will be suspended for OB’s next match, at home to FC Midtjylland on Saturday, November 25th.
International weekend gives OB time to rest
There were no matches in the Danish Superliga this weekend because of the international weekend.
This meant that most of the squad got ac couple of days off, but some reported for international duty with their respective national teams.
Bashkim Kadrii, Rasmus Falk and Daniel Høegh were called up for the Danish U21 national team’s European Championship qualifier in Macedonia. Unfortunately, both Kadrii and Falk had to withdraw because of injuries, while Daniel Høegh sat out the 1-1 draw on the bench.
Espen Ruud was in the Norway tea, which lost 4-1 to Wales in Cardiff.
On Monday, November 14th, a Reserve team consisting to a large extent of players from the 1st team squad defeated AC Horsens 3-0 in Horsens. The goal scorers were Hans Henrik Andreasen, Morten Skoubo and Bernard Mendy
No wins, but improved performances
OB faced FC Twente in the Europa League on Thursday, November 3rd. it was a difficult task for OB; FC Twente is one of the strongest teams In the Europa League and probably the best team in OB’s group.
It was OB who went ahead, however, when Baye Djiby Fall seized the ball after an error by an FC Twente defender and coolly placed it in the net.
The hosts turned the match around towards the end of the 1st half, scoring two goals inside four minutes to take the lead, but OB fought their way back into the tie after the interval. Having been under heavy pressure in the first 45 minutes, OB started playing from the beginning of the second half. This paid dividends when Djiby Fall scored his second goal after 62 minutes, when hew shrugged off an opponent and headed the ball into the net.
Unfortunately, OB could not hold on and FC Twente secured victory, when they scored with eight minutes remaining of the match.
Despite defeat, OB could take heart from a very good and disciplined performance in Holland.
Three days later, OB faced Brøndby IF at home in Superligaen. OB aimed for a repeat of their 2-1 victory from earlier in the season, but it was clear from the beginning of the match that both teams had enormous respect for each other and wanted to avoid defeat at all costs.
OB and Djiby Fall had an effort wrongfully disallowed for offside in the first half and dominated large sequences of the tie, while Brøndby almost secured all three points in the dying minutes.
It was a tense encounter, but in the end the teams had to settle for a draw.
Because of the international break, OB now have almost two weeks to prepare for their next match, a difficult away match against AC Horsens on Saturday, November 19th.
Defeat against F. C. København
OB played well for 60 minutes against F. C. København in Superligaen on Sunday, and led 1-0, but lost 1-3.
The two teams came out trying to stamp their authority on the match from the beginning, which resulted in a thrilling opening to the match. Hans Henrik Andreasen came close to opening the scoring, when he connected with a good cross. Unfortunately, the ball crept past the upright on the wrong side, to the relief of the FCK goalkeeper.
An inspired piece of play ands good combinations by Bashkim Kadrii and Rasmus Falk led to the latter scoring the opening goal on 34 minutes, but FCK equalised shortly before the interval.
OB came out seeking a second goal and produced some neat play, but it was FCK who took the lead after 58 minutes.
That goal was a killer punch for OB, who never recovered, and FCK put the game beyond the home team, when they scored their 3rd goal, sealing victory.
OB now travel to Enschede to play FC Twente on Thursday in the Europa League before facing Brøndby at home on Sunday, November 6th.
Back-to back defeats for OB
The past week resulted in two defeats for OB, against FC Twente in the Europa League and AaB in Superligaen.
Last Thursday, OB played Dutch pacesetters FC Twente at TRE-FOR Park in the Europa League. The visitors came to Odense seeking their 3rd win in as many games in the Europa League and they got what they came for.
FC Twente ran out 4-1 winners on a night when they dominated the match from start to finish. The Dutchmen were simply just too good for OB, who fought valiantly throughout the match.
The match left only three days for OB to recuperate for the match in Aalborg against AaB. Both teams had gone through a lean spell in Superligaen and were seeking a confidence-boosting win. But it was not to be for OB, who lost 2-1.
OB opened well, but a penalty gave AaB the lead, albeit only for a short time. A second penalty, this time when an AaB-player brought down an onrushing Espen Ruud just inside the area, was converted by Chris Sørensen.
The encounter was heading for a draw, when AaB scored only minutes from time, leaving OB no time to recover and equalise.
OB’s next match is against F. C. København at TRE-FOR Park at 18:00 hrs. next Sunday, October 30th.
Draw in Aarhus as prelude to Europa League
OB drew 0-0 with AGF Aarhus at NRGi Park after a good, disciplined performance, in which OB almost stole all three points in the end.
OB put on what has probably been their most disciplined defensive performance this season and kept in-form AGF from creating any significant open chances in the match. The team worked hard as a unit and thoroughly deserved the point.
OB could even have stolen all three points from the encounter. Towards the end of the first half, Hans Henrik Andreasen connected with a through ball and very nearly poked it into the net, forcing the AGF keeper to palm the ball out for a corner.
And in the last quarter hour of the match, Andreas Johansson hit the upright and a Peter Utaka effort was cleared off the line after the striker had rounded the AGF goalie.
The draw continued OB’s revival after a series of disappointing results earlier in late September and gave Henrik Clausen’s men a confidence boost before the home match in the Europa League against FC Twente this coming Thursday.
Quiet week in OB because of internationals
It has been a quiet week in OB, with a number of players away on international duty.
Rasmus Falk scored his first goal for the Danish U21 national team as they beat the Faroe Islands 4-0. Daniel Høegh was also in the squad, but had to be content with pa place on the bench.
Eric Djemba-Djemba and Cameroun beat DR Congo 3-2 away, while Peter Utaka had to watch Nigeria draw 2-2 with Guinea. Kalilou Traoré and Mali also drew 2-2 against Liberia, but in contrast to Nigeria, that result secured Mali’s qualification for the African Nation’s Cup this coming winter.
Rurik Gislason played 89 minutes in Iceland’s 5-3 defeat against Portugal, while Espen Ruud is with Norway, who plays Cyprus tonight.
Kasper Larsen played full time for Denmark’s U19 national team in their European Championships qualifiers against Albania and Malta in Austria. Kasper Larsen and his team mates beat Albania 1-0 and defeated Malta 4-0 and have already qualified for the decisive qualifying round, the Elite Round, regardless of the result of the last match against Austria. That match ended in a 0-0 draw, giving Denmark top spot in their group. Kasper Larsen sat out the match against Austria on the bench.
The players who were not selected for international duty have been training, and Daniel Krog, Timmi Johansen, Jacob Schoop, Chris Sørensen and Christian Sørensen all played in a reserve match against FC Fredericia on Monday, helping the team win 4-2, Christian Sørensen and Jacob Schoop each scoring a goal.
OB on the up
The busy period continued for OB last week, with matches in the Europa League and Superliga.
On Thursday, September 29th, OB entertained English Premier League side Fulham at TRE-FOR Park in the second match in the UEFA Europa League. OB put up a good performance, but eventually had to admit defeat. Fulham won the tie 2-0, courtesy of two goals by in-form striker Andy Johnson, but it could have ended differently with a little more luck to OB and Baye Djiby Fall.
The Senegalese striker had two good chances in the first half, but brilliant saves by Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer denied the OB striker. Despite the defeat, OB could take heart from a much improved performance compared to the match against FC Midtjylland the previous weekend.
OB got back to winning ways on Sunday against bottom team HB Køge at TRE-FOR Park, winning 2-1 through goals by Peter Utaka. But the home team had to overcome a scare, as the visitors went 1-0 up after 20 minutes in the first half. However, Utaka’s two goals inside 4 minutes before the break were enough to secure all three points and a much-needed boost for OB.
Because of the international break, OB’s next match is not until August 16th, when the club faces AGF in Aarhus.
Defeats in the cup and league
OB recorded their 3rd defeat in a row, when FC Midtjylland ran out 4-1 winners at TRE-FOR Park on Sunday. The defeat rounded off a week which most people in the club will want to forget.
On Thursday, September 22nd, OB lost 1-0 to FC Fredericia in the cup in a match in which OB did not produce the sort of football the team is known to be capable of playing.
The disappointment continued on Sunday, September 25th, when a makeshift OB was defeated 4-1 by an on song FC Midtjylland, with substitute Baye Djiby Fall scoring in the second league game in succession.
OB now faces difficult opposition in the UEFA Europa League in the shape of English Premier League side Fulham FC. The two teams meet at TRE-FOR Park at 19:00 hrs. on Thursday, September 29th. Only three days later, OB faces HB Køge at TRE-FOR Park in the Superliga.
Mixed emotions for OB
The past week has been a week of mixed emotions for OB, with an impressive win over Wisla Krakow on Thursday and a hugely disappointing defeat at the hands of AC Horsens on Monday.
OB were underdogs on Thursday against Wisla Krakow in the first group game in the UEFA Europa League, but Henrik Clausen’s men stood tall and recorded an important win in Poland.
OB went ahead after 35 minutes, when Andreas Johansson poked the ball home lying on his back. But Wisla Krakow equalised after the interval and put OB under considerable pressure as they went for their second goal.
The goal never came. Instead, OB went 2-1 up, when the home team failed to clear a cross from a free-kick and Peter Utaka was on hand to fire a headed ball home.
And in injury time, Rasmus Falk scored OB’s third after good work by Djiby Fall to put the game behind Wisla Krakow.
On Monday, OB travelled to Horsens in the Superliga to face AC Horsens. CASA Arena has never been the happiest of places for OB, and although Peter Utaka put OB in front after a Bashkim Kadrii corner in the first half, a mistake presented AC Horsens with an opportunity to equalise that they did not miss.
Things became even worse for OB in the second half, when AC Horsens went 2-1 and 3-1 in front.
After that, however, OB scored two goals, but as the game seemed to be heading for a draw, AC Horsens scored their 4th goal to win 4-3, much to the disappointment of the travelling OB-fans.
OB now have to get back on track with a cup game, facing FC Fredericia away on Thursday, before playing FC Midtjylland at home in the Superliga next Sunday.
Important win at Silkeborg
Silkeborg has not been the happiest of places for OB in recent seasons. A draw and a defeat in the two last encounters with Silkeborg in Silkeborg tells of a place, where OB has had their problems.
And it looked like third time unlucky, when OB went behind halfway into the first half. The home team converted their only chance before the interval, while OB squandered a few chances, Rasmus Falk shooting just wide being the biggest.
After the interval, Silkeborg came close to increasing their lead but for a superb clearance on the line by Bernard Mendy. And only minutes later Hans Henrik Andreasen equalised after a scramble in front of Silkeborg’s goal, when he seized on a loose ball and put it in the net.
Silkeborg could have gone ahead only minutes later. Instead it was OB who went ahead when Bashkim Kadrii was put through on the left side, used his speed to full advantage and squared the ball for Peter Utaka to score from inside the penalty area.
OB took control of the match and put it beyond Silkeborg when Hans Henrik Andreasen was fouled in the penalty area. The resulting penalty was converted by Chris Sørensen for OB, scoring OB’s 1000th Superliga goal.
The win was a perfect prelude for OB’s trip to Poland to play Wisla Krakow in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, September 15th.
Djiby Fall is back
OB pulled off a last minute scoop on transfer deadline day, when fan favourite Djiby Fall returned to the club on a loan deal from Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow. The loan deal runs for the remainder of the autumn season 2011.
Elsewhere, OB-players were in international action for their respective countries. Espen Ruud, Rurik Gislason, Eric Djemba-Djemba and Kalilou Traoré all played for their countries, while Peter Utaka watched Nigeria play from the stands.
Tonight, all focus in Denmark will be on the match Denmark v. Norway in Parken in Copenhagen. Espen Ruud is in the Norway squad for the match, while compatriot Tore Reginiussen will be cheering for his club team mate, just as all the Danish players in the OB-squad will be hoping for a Danish win and the opportunity to tease Ruud and Reginiussen at training in the coming days, while Rurik Gislason will be doing his best to help Iceland defeat Cyprus in Rejkjavik.
OB also had Daniel Høegh, Rasmus Falk and Bashkim Kadrii called up for Denmark’s U21-match against Northern Ireland tonight, but all three players have had to withdraw from the squad due to injury.
On the domestic front, OB’s next match in the Superliga is on Saturday, September 10th, against Silkeborg in Silkeborg.
Heartbreak for OB
OB welcomed SønderjyskE with former OB-players Michael Christensen, Henrik Hansen and Jonas Troest to TRE-FOR Park for an encounter in Superligaen on Sunday, August 28th.
OB opened well, and when Rasmus Falk scored in the 18th minute, the hosts looked on their way to an important win.
But SønderjyskE are a well-disciplined side, and they turned the tie upside down in two minutes in the second half, when they scored two goals to go in front.
OB’s attempts to turn the match around again became an uphill struggle, when Anders Møller Christensen received a red card for a second bookable offence on 64 minutes, and SønderjyskE capitalised on their numerical advantage by scoring two more goals, before a Djemba-Djemba header reduced the arrears in injury time. Unfortunately, it was all too late, and OB conceded a 4-2 defeat before the international break.
Up and down for OB
Following the win over Villarreal, it was back to Superliga action for OB, when Lyngby visited TRE-FOR Park on Saturday, August 17th.
The big question was whether OB could keep up the level from Wednesday and the players responded in magnificent style, hitting Lyngby for three in the first half.
The first goal was a beautiful volley from Christian Sørensen in his first Superliga outing, followed by a good goal by Kalilou Traoré and tremendous solo effort by birthday boy Bernard Mendy.
In the second half, Lyngby got a consolation goal from a penalty and had a good effort denied by a good reaction by Stefan Wessels. Thus OB came away from the match with a win and three points.
The following Monday, OB travelled to Spain to play Villarreal in the 2nd leg of the UEFA Champions League Play-Offs.
OB came under pressure from a much focused Villarreal-side, but managed to keep the hosts from scoring in the first 45 minutes.
Unfortunately, Villarreal scored only 5 minutes after the interval, and when they increased the lead later in the half, it was an uphill battle for OB.
Villarreal scored their third goal and put the tie beyond OB, who could nevertheless look back on a great Champions League campaign and qualification for the UEFA Europa League group stages.
On Friday, August 26th, OB was drawn in Group K with Wisla Krakow, Twente and Fulham, giving the OB-fans some very exciting European nights to look forward to.
European glory in Odense
On an emotional evening, OB took an import ant step towards qualifying for the Champions League group stage, when they beat favourites Villarreal 1-0 at Odense Stadion on Wednesday, August 17th.
The atmosphere was highly charged as the crowd welcomed the two teams onto the pitch in Odense to the sound of the Champions League hymn for the first time ever.
The match lived up to the expectations and the two teams gave the crowd a brilliant match, which was decided by Hans Henrik Andreasen when he punished a defensive error seven minutes from time and hammered the ball into the net, to send the crowd into wild celebrations, which were only surpassed by the celebrations by the players and fans after the final whistle.
Villarreal has most of the possession and played fast, free-flowing football, but good defensive work, outstanding individual performances and clever organisation by OB prevented the visitors from scoring. The goal by Hans Henrik Andreasen may still prove invaluable to OB, but everybody at the club realises the size of the task before them.
The effort and the outcome of the match against Villarreal was a strong contrast to proceedings in Aalborg just a few days before when, on Saturday, the team lost 1-2 to AaB.
OB did not quite reach the level necessary to beat an AaB-team full of confidence and fighting spirit in Aalborg.
Bashkim Kadrii wasted OB’s best opportunity in the first half when he mishit a good pass in the penalty area, and it took a good conversion of a free-kick by Espen Ruud to put OB on the scoreboard.
However, his goal was not enough, as OB could not score again and had to go home from Aalborg empty-handed.
OB riding high
It has been a couple of eventful and very successful weeks for OB since the latest update of these pages.
After the F.C. København match, OB entertained Greek side Panathinaikos FC at TRE-FOR Park in the 1st leg of the 3rd Qualifying Round of the Champions League. On a warm, sunny evening, OB drew 1-1. Panathinaikos went 1-0 ahead, but a header from Tore Reginiussen after a Chris Sørensen cross equalised Panathinaikos’ lead only minutes before the end.
Only three days later, OB travelled to Aarhus to play AGF in Superligaen. A goal by Bashkim Kadrii in the early part of the first half and a goal in the beginning of the second half gave OB a 2-0 lead. Unfortunately, AGF came back and equalised through goals by former OB-player Søren Berg and Søren Larsen to share the spoils.
OB only had one day’s rest before the squad went to Athens for the 2nd leg of the Champions League 3rd Qualifying Round.
On a magnificent, but blistering hot evening, OB fought, played and defeated Panathinaikos 4-3 in front of 25 000 disbelieving Greeks to qualify for the Play-Off stage of the UEFA Champions League.
OB went ahead through a goal by Andreas Johansson after only ten minutes. Panathinaikos equalised after 35 minutes and went ahead shortly after the interval. But OB refused to give up, and a beautiful equaliser by Espen Ruud, who curled the ball past the Greek goalkeeper and goal by Bashkim Kadrii and Hans Henrik Andreasen sparked joyous celebrations among the few OB-fans in the stands and the many OB-fans back home in Odense.
The celebrations continued at TRE-FOR Park on Sunday, August 7th, when OB played Brøndby IF. The visitors went ahead after only six minutes, but an equaliser by in-form Bashkim Kadrii after good work by Espen Ruud and a cheeky dummy by Hans Henrik Andreasen and an opportunistic follow-up by Andreas Johansson after a Kadrii-finish brought OB all three points and the first win over Brøndby at home for five years. This coming weekend, OB travel to Aalborg to play AaB in Superligaen before taking on Villarreal in the 1st leg of the Champions League Play-Offs in Odense on August 17th.
OB draw in Parken
OB went to Copenhagen to play F.C. København on Saturday, and returned with a point after a four-goal thriller in Parken.
The home team put OB under pressure from the start of the match, but it was OB who opened the scoring, when Bernard Mendy unleashed a thunderous shot from just outside the penalty area, which hit the ground right before the FCK-keeper and went into the net.
F.C. København were soon level and even went ahead before the interval, but OB never lost faith in themselves and that paid off on the hour. A cross by Bashkim Kadrii was cleared right into the path of Peter Utaka and the Nigerian did not hesitate. Utaka coolly fired the ball into the net out of reach of the keeper to the joy of Utaka himself, his team mates and the travelling fans.
F.C København put OB under pressure towards the end of the match but OB defended well and could even have taken all three points when Bashkim Kadrii had a good opportunity, but unfortunately he shot right at the FCK-keeper.
At the end of the day, it was a good point, and OB left Copenhagen with a lot of confidence before Wednesday’s Champions’ League qualifying match against Panathinaikos FC.
Convincing victory in first match
OB won their first match of the season convincingly, beating FC Nordsjælland 2-0 at TRE-FOR Park on Saturday.
OB created a multitude of chances in a very strong first half, but it took a Hans Henrik Andreasen free-kick to open the scoring after 12 minutes. The midfielder placed a curling shot close to the left post, and although the FC Nordsjælland got a hand on the ball, he could not stop it from going in.
OB played a fast passing-game in the first 45 minutes, while FC Nordsjælland were forced to defend. But the visitors threatened to score once, when a shot hit the upright. That, however, was the closest FC Nordsjælland came to scoring in the match.
The second half did not reach the entertaining heights of the first half, but OB scored again on the hour, leaving the game out of reach for FC Nordsjælland. Tore Reginiussen stole the ball from an FC Nordsjælland defender inside the penalty area and crossed to an onrushing Hans Henrik Andreasen, who scored with a powerful header from close range to seal the victory and three points for OB.
OB getting ready for the season premiere
OB played their last pre-season training match on Friday, July 8th, against Silkeborg IF at TRE-FOR Park.
The match showed that OB are getting in gear for the new season. OB beat Silkeborg 3-1 in convincing style after going a goal down inside the first 3 minutes.
But Rasmus Falk equalised after only 4 minutes and two goals by Peter Utaka before half-time was enough to secure the win.
It was a good rehearsal for OB just a week before the season premiere against FC Nordsjælland on Saturday, July 16th, at TRE-FOR Park.
Since then, OB have been preparing for the match against FC Nordsjælland at their training ground, focusing on perfecting the teams’ playing style and match fitness. Now everybody in the squad are looking forward to kick off on Saturday.
Preparations running smoothly
OB returned from the training camp in Skagen on Friday, after playing a pre-season match against AaB at Spar Nord Arena in Skagen on Thursday evening.
OB lost the match against AaB 1-2, but it was obvious that the previous days with two training sessions each day had an influence on the players’ performance. It was equally obvious that OB tried to implement some of the things they had been working on in training, and at this time, this was far more important than the result of the match.
The squad had the weekend off before going to Aarhus on Monday to play AGF in another pre-season test. This time, OB drew 1-1, but it was obvious that the short-passing and the controlling of the match worked even better than against AaB. OB where in full control in the first half and in control for large parts of the second. Kalilou Traoré was sent off for retaliating but this was one of the few black spots on a good performance.
OB’s final pre-season test is against Silkeborg on Friday, July 8th at 12 noon at TRE-FOR Park. In the meantime, the squad will continue to work hard in training at perfecting their game.
Busy period for OB
When the OB-players reported back for pre-season training on June 22nd, they faced a busy period preparing for the coming seasons challenges in the Superliga, Champions’ League and cup.
The first four days were spent training in Odense and playing a couple of pre-season friendlies against lesser opposition. OB played Tåsinge IF and FC Broby and duly won 3-1 and 9-0, before going to Skagen on the annual summer training camp.
Here, the team has been training twice a day since arriving on Sunday evening. Monday and Wednesday, the morning sessions have been on the pitch and the afternoon session in the gym, while both training sessions on Tuesday were on the pitch.
The squad has been joined by recent signings Tore Reginiussen and Morten Skoubo for the training camp, while Atle Roar Håland left the club for AGF on Friday, June 24th.
OB will play a pre-season test game against AaB while in Skagen, on Thursday, June 30th at 18:30 at Spar Nord Arena in Skagen, before heading home to Odense on Friday, July 1st.
The squad will then be off for the weekend but on Monday, July 4th, OB travel to Aarhus to play AGF in a test game.
Three points secures European football in 2011-2012
OB secured European football at TRE-FOR Park in 2011-2012 when they beat Randers FC 2-1 in Randers last Saturday. But it was a win that was secured in the dying minutes of a match, which OB could have lost.
Henrik Clausen’s men started well and put Randers under pressure until Peter Utaka scored the opening goal. Then Randers took over and deservedly equalised only minutes before half-time.
OB began the second half as the better team, but Randers fought their way back into the game and created some good opportunities. But OB stood firm and defended well.
The match went into injury time, when Rasmus Falk got the ball on the right side, dribbled across and into the penalty area, where he was felled by a Randers defender. Hans Henrik Andreasen stepped up and coolly converted the resulting penalty to the joy of him and his team mates.
The goal consolidated OB in 2nd spot, a position which can be secured if OB beat AC Horsens at home on Thursday and F.C. København beat FC Midtjylland.
Home draw for OB
OB failed to make it three wins in a row when they entertained Silkeborg at TRE-FOR Park on Sunday. The home team could secure European football in Odense next season with a win, but Silkeborg proved tough opponents with their own agenda.
Both team opened cautiously and the first half saw only very little action in front of goal. It was obvious that it was important for both teams to avoid defeat and most of the play took place in the middle of the pitch, far away from the goals.
This changed very little in the second half, although Silkeborg hit the woodwork twice, but both chances came from long-distance shots. OB’s best chances came when Bashkim Kadrii was moved from his position at left back to being a striker, but although Rasmus Falk had a good opportunity and Andreas Johansson put in some good crosses, OB could not score.
Thus, the match finished 0-0. However, for the OB-defenders it was a good result as OB have now played three matches in succession without conceding a goal.
Important win against Esbjerg
OB continued their improving form with an important win at home over relegation-threatened Esbjerg in the latest round of the Superliga. Andreas Johansson scored the all-important goal after 30 minutes, but OB created a host of chances and should have scored much earlier in the match.
The goal was a beauty. Rurik Gislason crossed the ball into the penalty area where Hans Henrik Andreasen headed it back and down to Johansson who volleyed the ball into the net with a first-timed kick.
The match was full of action and incidents but no more goals although OB felt harshly done by when the referee’s whistle stayed silent four minutes into the second half, as Henrik Toft felt he had a legitimate claim for a penalty after an incident in the Esbjerg penalty area.
Bashkim Kadrii and Rurik Gislason combined well on the left side to create some opportunities for OB, while Espen Ruud tore up the right side and delivered some neat crosses into the Esbjerg penalty area.
Peter Utaka had the biggest chance to increase the lead when he forced his way past one defender then another one before he was forced to finish by the onrushing Esbjerg-keeper, but unfortunately his shot went wide.
Esbjerg were dangerous when counter attacking but fortunately for OB, Esbjerg’s efforts came to nothing and so OB collected three valuable points to go four points clear of Brøndby and six points clear of FC Midtjylland in the3 race for 2nd spot.
Valuable victory in Haderslev
OB bounced back from Thursday’s disappointment to secure a deserved 2-0 victory over SønderjyskE on Easter Monday and stay ahead of Brøndby and FC Midtjylland in the race for 2nd spot.
OB began the match aggressively and could have gone ahead inside the first ten minutes. The team created a number of opportunities and won a series of corners but the closest OB came to a goal was a Kalilou Traoré effort that hit the crossbar.
The defenders held their own against SønderjyskE’s sparse attempts and on the hour, Kalilou Traoré headed in the first goal of the game after a well-placed corner by Bashkim Kadrii.
OB’s second goal had an element of luck about it. Andreas Johansson played a wonderful through-ball to Rurik Gislason who shot into the legs of the onrushing SønderjyskE goalkeeper. The ball rebounded onto Gislason’s leg and into the empty net to the joy of the travelling OB-fans.
The win means that OB stays two points ahead of Brøndby in 3rd spot and FC Midtjylland in 4th spot.
OB stumble at home
Maundy Thursday turned out to be a sad day for OB, who lost 1-2 to FC Nordsjælland at home.
TRE-FOR Park was packed with fans and OB took the lead after only seven minutes, when Peter Utaka poked in a rebound off the post from Andreas Johansson’s shot. And for the following 26 minutes it looked as if OB had matters under control. But then former OB-player Matti Lund Nielsen equalised and when he doubled his score with 33 minutes to go of the match, it was uphill for the hosts.
OB created chances to equalise and Espen Ruud hit the upright but the equaliser never came and so OB lost 1-2 to throw the fight for 2nd spot wide open.
1-1 in Herning
OB came away from last Monday’s encounter with FC Midtjylland in Herning with a 1-1 draw after a dramatic finish. Having lead 1-0 since the 4th minute, OB conceded a late equaliser deep into injury time.
OB started brightly and took the lead after only 4 minutes, when Bashkim Kadrii tore down the left flank and delivered a perfect cross, which Kalilou Traoré coolly slotted home. The game turned into an open battle with OB defending the lead and FC Midtjylland trying furiously to get an equaliser.
Good defending and excellent goalkeeping from Stefan Wessels kept the score at 1-0 to OB until ten seconds from the end of the match, when FC Midtjylland equalised.
OB draw with Brøndby
OB drew 1-1 with Brøndby at TRE-FOR Park in a top of the table clash on Sunday. OB could have opened a seven point lead on Brøndby in the battle for the important 2nd spot, but failed to capitalise on the sending- off of Brøndby’s Michael Krohn-Dehli.
Indeed, it was Brøndby who took the lead from a strike on 31 minutes. But OB were level eight minutes later, when Atle Roar Håland teamed up with his Norwegian compatriot Espen Ruud for the equaliser. Ruud took a corner and Håland ran across the face of the goal to head the ball into the net to the delight of most of the 14.168 spectators present.
In the second half, OB had a couple of chances to score the winning goal, but nothing came of this and in the end they had to settle for a draw. This was an improvement on recent results against Brøndby at TRE-FOR Park and OB stayed four points ahead of Brøndby and went six points ahead of FC Midtjylland in the race for 2nd spot.
Precious Victory in Aalborg
OB recorded a precious victory in Aalborg on Saturday, when AaB was defeated 1-0, courtesy of a Peter Utaka-strike after 12 minutes.
OB began well and could have taken the lead after three minutes, when Rasmus Falk found Peter Utaka in front of goal but the striker’s effort was blocked by an AaB-defender.
The hosts got into the game and had most of the possession during the match, but OB were the most dangerous of the two teams, hitting the upright later in the 1st half.
After the break, OB were pushed back but AaB never found an opening in an OB-defence with Bernard Mendy making his first start for his club. Mendy replaced captain Chris Sørensen as left-back because Sørensen was injured and waiting for an operation and the Frenchman did a good job in an unusual position for him.
Peter Utakas goal proved to be enough for OB to collect all three points and consolidate their position in 2nd spot in Superligaen.
Late equaliser in Silkeborg
OB came away from Silkeborg with a draw after equalising in extra time from a beautiful Espen Ruud free-kick. OB went behind from a contested penalty, when Anders Møller Christensen was adjudged to have handled the ball after a corner kick in an otherwise rather uneventful match.
The penalty came out of the blue in a match where both teams worked hard to gain control. It was all in vain, however, as neither team managed to control proceedings and clear-cut chances were few. Rasmus Falk came closest for OB in the 1st half as he combined his way to a good opportunity in cooperation with Peter Utaka, but his shot went into the side netting.
Silkeborg could have gone 2-0 up when Rajko Lekic managed to shoot past Stefan Wessels, but Atle Roar Håland cleared the ball on the line and OB began to put Silkeborg under pressure.
Henrik toft came on for Rasmus Falk with 15 minutes remaining and it was he, who forced Silkeborg to give away a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area in extra time. Up stepped Espen Ruud to curl the free-kick around the Silkeborg wall and into the net for a beautiful goal to the joy of the OB-fans and players.
Falk to the rescue
As OB prepare for the important visit to Silkeborg on Saturday, they can look back on Monday’s game against Lyngby and reminisce on an important result.
The 2-0 win propelled OB back into 2nd spot in Superligaen on a cold and damp night at TRE-FOR Park.
OB were in the driving seat for most of the game and created several good chances, but could not break the deadlock until Rasmus Falk came on as a substitute and scored one goal with a quick turn just inside the penalty area and a shot, and forced the second with a shot that rebounded off a goal post and into the back of Lyngby’s keeper and into the empty net.
The goals brought a noisy reaction from the crowd, partly because the fans were starting to worry that OB could not turn their dominance into goals and partly because a young local player was given his chance, took it and became so heavily involved in both goals.
Spring premiere defeat for OB
Casa Arena in Horsens has been an unhappy hunting ground for OB on many occasions. And so also on Monday, March 7th when the team opened the Spring season 2011.
OB went ahead through a well-taken goal by Bashkim Kadrii on 21 minutes, but AC Horsens equalised on 38 minutes after Espen Ruud was adjudged to have fouled Morten Rasmussen in the penalty area.
Only two minutes before half-time matters worsened for OB as Horsens went ahead 2-1 from a free-kick.
OB came out for the 2nd half looking for an equaliser and threatened on several occasions. But AC Horsens soaked up the pressure and created some opportunities themselves.
However, neither team was able to score in the 2nd half, which meant that OB came away with nothing from the encounter.
OB now face Lyngby at home in their next league match on Monday, March 14.
Lively OB batter AaB
It was OB here, there and everywhere, when the first half of the season 2010-11 drew to a close at TRE-FOR Park. In the last Superliga match of the season, OB welcomed struggling AaB to TRE-FOR Park for a potentially difficult encounter. OB had to win to stay in contention for 2nd spot in the Superliga, while AaB needed three points to lift them off bottom place in the league.
It was OB who started best, putting the visitors under pressure right from the start. And the pressure was duly rewarded when Peter Utaka scored the opening goal after 26 minutes, a header from a free-kick.
The second half was only three minutes old when Hans Henrik Andreasen doubled the lead and from then on, OB took full control of the match. Goals from Peter Utaka, Espen Ruud and Peter Utaka in the space of five minutes made the game safe for OB, and Espen Ruud even added a second and OB’s sixth to the score sheet, making the score line an incredible 6-0.
The game was Thomas Helveg’s final Superliga game of his career, and the right back was duly celebrated and honoured before the match, when he was given a standing ovation by the crowd as he entered the field and presented with flowers by Managing Director Thomas Christensen. During and after the game, the crowd sang his name continuously and the press was queuing to interview a clearly moved Helveg who called the day a “fantastic experience”.
OB now has one game left before the Winter break, a Europa League match away to Stuttgart on December 16th.
OB’s winning streak came to an end at last Sunday with a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Brøndby in Brøndby. The defeat meant that OB, FC Midtjylland and Brøndby now share 2nd spot in Superligaen before the final round in 2010.
There was not much time to dwell on the result in Brøndby, however, as OB faced Spanish La Liga side Getafe in the UEFA Europa League on Wednesday night in Odense.
Temperatures dropped to below freezing point in the days prior to the match and on match day, it started snowing heavily. Thus, it was a bitter cold night for football, but both team needed a good result to keep their hopes of qualifying for th4e next stage alive. Getafe was the better football team but OB created the biggest chances and even hit the upright in the first half. Unfortunately, Getafe scored to take the lead on 17 minutes to put OB under further pressure.
OB responded well; they kept producing chances in the 2nd half and even had a goal disallowed before Hans Henrik Andreasen equalised on 90 minutes.
The goal gave OB hope of staying in the competition, only for the hope to be cruelly crushed by a 4-2 win to Young Boys in their match against Stuttgart.
Second comeback for OB
Monday night was an important night for OB, who entertained FC Midtjylland at TRE-FOR Park in a direct contest for 2nd spot in Superligaen. Although OB were on level terms with FC Midtjylland as far as the points were concerned, the club started the match in 3rd spot because of FC Midtjylland’s better goal difference, but the home team came out to the game determined to switch places with the visitors.
Yet it was FC Midtjylland who scored first. The goal did not discourage OB, however. Instead, it spurred on the players and the impressive crowd of nearly 10,000 witnessed a thrilling football match. Unfortunately, OB could not get the equaliser they were looking for and went in to the half time tea a goal down.
Matters became worse early in the second half, when a screamer from FC Midtjylland went in and increased the visitor’s lead. But only minutes later Peter Utaka headed OB back into the game from a good cross by Andreas Johansson. The goal reignited OB, who equalised through an own goal after a Chris Sørensen corner.
The goal lifted spirits on and off the pitch at TRE-FOR Park and the crowd went wild when Espen Ruud hammered the ball into the net with only minutes to go. Although the referee added six minutes extra time, FC Midtjylland could not produce an answer and OB ran out worthy winners of the match, completing an amazing comeback for the second match in a row and moving into 2nd spot.
OB continues winning ways
OB secured their fourth win in a row on Saturday night in Esbjerg with a Henrik Toft header deep into injury time, after falling behind after less than two minutes.
The early goal gave OB plenty of time to catch up, but the first 25-30 minutes did not look promising. OB struggled to get into their stride, but gradually clawed their way into the game and began threatening the Esbjerg goal from the beginning of the 2nd half.
The equaliser came on 75 minutes, when Peter Utaka rounded an Esbjerg-defender and played the ball to Kalilou Traoré, who buried the ball deep into the Esbjerg net.
The match was heading for a draw when a Chris Sørensen cross found the head of Henrik Toft, who headed the ball into the net out of reach of the despairing Esbjerg-keeper to earn OB three important points an to joint 2nd in the Superliga.
The win set up a direct showdown for the 2nd spot on Monday, November 22nd when FC Midtjylland visit TRE-FOR Park.
Two defeats and three wins
OB ended October with two defeats, 1-2 against SønderjyskE in Superligaen and 2-3 against FC Nordsjælland in the Ekstra Bladet Cup.
In the game against SønderjyskE on October 25th, OB went a goal down, but came back to equalise shortly after the interval when Rurik Gislason took the ball from his position on the right wing and in front of goal to drive the ball into the net. Unfortunately, SønderjyskE scored with only 14 minutes left and OB could not get a second equaliser.
Only three days later, OB came up against FC Nordsjælland in the cup. FC Nordsjælland went 2-0 up in the 1st half, but a spirited comeback by OB saw Kalilou Traoré and Hans Henrik Andreasen score the goals to bring OB level. OB could not hold on, however, and FC Nordsjælland’s third goal eight minutes from time sealed victory for the visitors.
Four days later, FC Nordsjælland and OB met again, this time in Farum in Superligaen. OB were like a different team and pushed FC Nordsjælland back from the kick-off. The pressure paid off after 5 minutes when Johan Absalonsen scored OB’s first goal. Seven minutes later Kalilou Traoré drove the ball hard and low into the net for OB’s second, and on the half hour it was 3-0 to the visitors when Espen Ruud copied Traoré’s effort.
Goals by FC Nordsjælland and OB’s Hans Henrik Andreasen meant the game ended 4-1 to OB and ended all media speculation about crisis in OB.
Further proof came three days later, when OB played Young Boys in the Europa League and beat the Swiss team 2-0 after a good team performance. Again, Hans Henrik Andreasen was OB’s goalscorer, scoring both goals. The win kept OB’s hopes of further advancement in the Europa League alive and installed more self-confidence in the team after one of the best performances of the season so far.
OB’s unbeaten run was extended to three matches on Monday, November 8th, when a late goal by Peter Utaka secured all three points in a home match in Superligaen against Randers FC and propelled OB to a joint 3rd spot in the league.
Back-to back defeats
OB collected two consecutive defeats in the space of five days after the international break.
Ob Sunday, October 17th, OB travelled to Copenhagen for a meeting with in-form FC København at Parken. And the hosts showed from the beginning why they are red-hot favourites to retain the league title this season.
OB went a goal down inside the first five minutes and never recovered from that early setback. It was 3-0 at half-time, and with two more goals to FC København, OB recorded their heaviest defeat for a very long time.
On Thursday, October 21st, OB played Swiss team BSC Young Boys. OB started the game well but were put under pressure, and ended up losing 2-4, the OB-goals coming from Peter Utaka and a penalty converted by Chris Sørensen.
OB are now back in Denmark preparing for a tricky home game against SønderjyskE in the Superliga this coming Monday.
A week of mixed fortunes
OB played well against a below-par VfB Stuttgart in the home game against VfB Stuttgart on September 30th, but two errors decided the match in the
Germans’ favour. OB went 1-0 down late in the3 game, but an equaliser by Andreas Johansson only seven minutes later raised hopes of at least a draw. However, this was not to be, as a personal error led to Stuttgart’s winning goal.
Four days later, OB travelled to Aalborg to play AaB in Superligaen. The hosts were under pressure in one of the two relegations spots, but a home win could propel AaB to within a few points of OB. An away win, on the other hand, would see OB in 3rd spot. And OB clawed a 2-1 win and three important points courtesy of two Peter Utaka goals. But it was an even contest, and AaB put OB under pressure and made the guests work hard for the points.
Two wins in a row
Things were shaken up in OB this week. Director Kim Brink, head coach Lars Olsen and assistant coach Viggo Jensen were all sacked by the club before the cup game against local opponents Marienlyst. Uffe Pedersen and Henrik Clausen were installed as caretaker coach and assistant coach respectively and they celebrated victory against Marienlyst in a match, which OB dominated from the beginning. Njogu Demba-Nyrén scored both goals in the 2-0 win, and on Monday, September 27th, OB collected their second successive win in a week.
This time the opponents were Lyngby at TRE-FOR Park. The visitors had surprised everybody by playing their way to 3rd in Superligaen, but a strong display saw OB win the tie 3-1 with goals from Hans Henrik Andreasen, Chris Sørensen (pen.) and Rurik Gislason. The win was the perfect overture to the home match against VfB Stuttgart in the Europa League on Thursday, September 30th.
Defeats in Europe and the Superliga
OB opened the Europa League group stages with a 1-2 defeat in Getafe on Thursday, September 16th. OB were underdogs against a strong Spanish side but played well and took the lead shortly before half-time, when a low driven Hans Henrik Andreasen free-kick was deflected into the net. However, OB were put under considerable pressure from the start of the second half and a header from close range and a well-taken free-kick secured all three points for the hosts. It could have been a draw when Oliver Feldballe appeared to have been brought down in the Getafe penalty area in stoppage time, but no penalty was given.
Three days later, OB travelled to Silkeborg for a difficult away game in the Superliga. A below par performance meant that OB suffered a 1-3 defeat on a day where almost nothing went right for the team. OB went 1-0 down on 6 minutes, and when Peter Utaka equalised halfway through the first half, it only took Silkeborg a couple of minutes to restore the lead. In the second half, the hosts increased their lead to 3-1 to secure their first win this season.
OB are in a busy period in the season, with three matches in the remaining nine days of September. The team now faces local league side Marienlyst in the Ekstra Bladet Cup on Wednesday, September 22nd before having a Monday night game against Lyngby on September 27th and a home game in the Europa League on September 30th.
Dramatic changes in OB
It has been a dramatic fortnight in OB. After the win over FC Midtjylland, several players left for international duty and on the very last day of the transfer season, a familiar face returned to the club.
Jonas Troest had left for Turkish football, but returned to OB and a new contract with the club on August 31st.
Troest returned to the side in the home match against FC Nordsjælland on September 11th, but he and his team mates could not prevent FC Nordsjælland from recording a rare win in Odense. The match finished 1-0 to FC Nordsjælland after an uncharacteristic performance by OB.
Four days later, on September 14th, the board surprised everybody by sacking Director Kim Brink, Head Coach Lars Olsen and Assistant Coach Viggo Jensen, with Uffe Pedersen and Henrik Clausen taking over as caretaker coaches. Their first big task will be OB’s first game in the UEFA Europa League group H, where OB play Getafe away on Thursday.
Two important wins for OB
After a shaky start, the season is now picking up momentum for OB. Wins against Motherwell on Thursday and FC Midtjylland on Monday means OB have not lost five games in a row, winning four and drawing one. As a consequence, OB have qualified for the group stages of the UEFA Europa League and moved within 4 points of second-placed FC Midtjylland in Superligaen.
The qualification to the Europa League group stages was secured af a tense and dramatic 1-0 win in Motherwell. OB were 2-1 up after the first leg of the play-offs and came under heavy pressure from the start in Scotland. But a Peter Utaka goal half-way through the first half eased the pressure and the nerves a bit. However, OB came under renewed pressure in the second half, and the pressure intensified when Espen Ruud and Anders Møller Christensen were sent of for their second bookable offences. The latter led to a penalty to Motherwell, but the Scots missed the opportunity and so OB salvaged an important away win and qualification for the Europa League.
OB were drawn against Stuttgart (Germany), Getafe (Spain) and Young Boys (Switzerland) in their group, with the first game away to Getafe on September 15th.
The home match against FC Midtjylland in Superligaen on Monday, August 30th, was almost a do-or-die game for OB. A defeat would have left OB trailing FC Midtjylland and F.C. København 10 and 11 points respectively, so a win was crucial in order to keep up with the current top two in the league.
And OB responded to the challenge. Goals by top scorer Hans Henrik Andreasen and last season’s top scorer Peter Utaka secured all three points in a thrilling 2-1 victory. OB have played well in large parts of the previous matches this season, but this time the team stood the distance and ran out worthy winners in the end. Atle Roar Håland was injured, so coach Lars Olsen handed Daniel Høegh his first opportunity in the team. Høegh duly responded with a sound and safe performance and earned praise from his team mates and his coach after the game.
OB now go into a 12-day international break just 4 points behind second-placed FC Midtjylland, but several players will be reporting for international duty: Rurik Gislason is with Iceland, Espen Ruud with Norway and Njogu Demba-Nyrén is with Gambia, while Bashkim Kadrii, Oliver Feldballe, Daniel Høegh and Rasmus Falk Jensen al join various youth national teams in the coming period.
Up and down for OB
The past week has been busy and eventful for OB. Last Thursday, OB beat Scotland’s Motherwell 2-1 on home soil in the 1st leg of the play-off stage of the UEFA Europa League. The result left OB with everything to play for in the 2nd leg at Fir Park on August 26th. OB went 2-0 up and looked set for a priceless win without goals against, when Motherwell scored in injury time and set up a thrilling 2nd leg encounter. OB captain Chris Sørensen and top striker Peter Utaka scored OB’s goals.
On Sunday, OB travelled to Brøndby in Superligaen. A tense affair saw OB go 2-0 up, but some curious decisions by the referee gave Brøndby a chance to claw their way back into the game and salvage a point courtesy of two late goals, one after a contended penalty and the equaliser after a Brøndby player appeared to have handled the ball.
Win a perfect overture for Europa League
OB got back to winning ways with a comprehensive victory against SønderjyskE on Saturday, August 14th. Two goals by Hans Henrik Andreasen and a goal by Peter Utaka secured the points against a SønderjyskE side that never really got into the match before it was too late.
Andreasen opened the scoring early in the first half, when he met an inch-perfect cross from Chris Sørensen and headed home from the edge of the 5-yard box. And it was 2-0 for OB after a SønderjyskE corner was cleared into the path of Utaka, who ran from the middle OB’s half past two defenders and the goalkeeper to score his first superliga goal this season.
Hans Henrik Andreasen showed on the half-hour that he is on fire at the moment, when he controlled the ball with his back to the goal, quickly turned and fired through a defender’s legs and into the goal behind a bemused SønderjyskE goalkeeper for OB’s 3rd goal.
SønderjyskE got a goal in injury time, but it was only to be a consolation goal, as OB stayed in control in the 2nd half. SønderjyskE never got near to a second goal, and OB were content to keep the home team at bay for the second paert of the game.
The win was a perfect warm up for OB’s crucial UEFA Europa League play-off match at home against Scottish side Motherwell FC on Thursday, August 19th and OB will go into the match against the Scottish side full of confidence.
OB slip to narrow defeat
OB suffered two injuries and went 2-0 down inside the first 30 minutes of Sunday’s Superliga encounter with F.C. København at TRE-FOR Park, but came back to take control of the match and score two goals to equal matters.
It would not have been unfair if OB had gained a point from the match, but a goal by Dame N’Doye two minutes before the end meant heartbreak for OB and the second league defeat in a row. But OB deserved better from the match. They played the best they have played so far this season, bar the situations, which led to the goals. It is early days yet, and although OB are currently 9th in the league, there is still time to advance and get involved in the battle for the top spots.
Chris Sørensen and Roy Carroll had to be replaced due to injuries in the 13th and 26th minutes respectively, but both players are expected to be back in action shortly. They were replaced by Thomas Helveg, who came in as right back with Espen Ruud moving to the left back position, and Alexander Lund Hansen replacing Carroll and both Helveg and Lund Hansen did well.
OB’s next match is a difficult away match against SønderjyskE on Saturday, August 14th.
OB up against Scottish opposition
Lars Olsen had asked for an away game in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League Play-Offs before the draw in Nyon on Friday. The OB coach did not get what he wanted, as OB were first out of the bowl against Motherwell FC from the Scottish Premier League. The two matches will be played on August 19th and August 26th, with qualification to the group stages at stake.
OB have good memories from earlier meetings with Scottish opposition, having defeated Hibernian on the away goals rule in the 2006 Intertoto Cup. The first match in Odense ended in a 1-0 win, and I Tobias Grahn goal in a 1-2 defeat in Edinburgh in the return leg proved priceless. OB went on to qualify for the group stages of the UEFA Cup that season, and the club will wish for a repeat of that feat again this season.
Draw secures further advancement
A 0-0 draw after a disciplined performance against HSK Zrinjski in Mostar secures further advancement in the UEFA Europa League for OB. The hosts has most of the possesion, but OB come closest to scoring a goal when Anders Møller Christensen hits the upright after some good moves and a perfect cross from Hans Henrik Andreasen in the heat in Mostar. OB began the match looking to soak up the pressure from the home team, trying to avoid conceding a goal, which could have spurred on Zrinjski. As the match went on, Zrinjski had to risk more and more and OB gradually got more and more into the game and it would not have been unfortunate if OB had scored a goal. As it were, a draw was enough to secure OB advancement into the Play Off stages of the Europa League, courtesy of the 5-3 home win a week before in Odense.
OB celebrated silver medals in style
OB went to Aarhus for the last game of the season, knowing that 2nd spot, the silver medals and qualification was ensured regardless of the outcome of the match against AGF. But OB wanted to finish the season with a win, and the game was only six minutes old, when Peter Utaka played a pass through the AGF-defence to Johan Absalonsen, who passed to Njogu Demba-Nyrén for an easy tap-in for OB to take the lead.
AGF had to win to keep their hope of avoiding relegation alive, and the goal sparked a frenzy of activity from the home team, which resulted in a good effort, which hit the underside of the crossbar and back onto the pitch.
AGF did not come closer to an equaliser in the first half, but on 59 minutes, Demba-Nyrén scored again, this time from a corner, which floated in front of goal, where Demba-Nyrén coolly headed the ball in the net outside the reach of the AGF-keeper.
Only three minutes later, OB went 3-0 ahead and effectively condemned AGF to first division football next season. However, this was not on the players’ minds; they focused on the fact that they ended a long season with a win and silver medals and celebrated with their fans long after the final whistle in Aarhus.
OB qualified for Europe
A 2-1 win over cup finalists FC Nordsjælland in a thrilling encounter on Thursday night secured European football at Tre-For Park next season. OB opened well, but could not capitalise on some good moves, and the FC Nordsjælland took the lead against the run of play. However, two goals by Peter Utaka, the first after a fumble by the FC Nordsjælland-keeper and the second after a beautifully timed through-ball by Henrik Hansen made sure that OB took all three points and secured second spot, the silver medals and qualification for next season’s Europa League.
On Sunday, OB played their second home game in four days. This time the opponents were relegation-threatened Randers FC. But Randers FC are the best team of the second half of the season, better than champions FC København, and OB were up for a difficult task.
The home team continued playing the inticing football they showed on Thursday night, but the precision lacked in front of goal. Instead, Randers FC took the lead halfway through the first half. The guests increased their lead on the hour, before Caca pulled one back for OB on 67 minutes. OB’s joy was shortlived however, as Randers scored their third and final goal only one minute later.
OB now have one League game left this season, against AGF Aarhus on Sunday, before embarking on a series of three friendly matches during the rest of May.
Still a lot to play for
A 2-2 draw in the second leg of the cup semi-final means that OB will not be playing in the cup final on May 13th. 0-2 down from the second leg in Herning, OB had a mountain to climb in the second leg In Odense, and the task was made virtually impossible when FC Midtjylland went ahead after 11 minutes in Fionia Park.
Matters were made even worse when FC Midtjylland increased the lead in the second half, But OB found new strength in the face of adversity and eventually secured a 2-2 draw, courtesy of goals by Henrik Hansen and Peter Utaka.
On Monday, May 3rd, OB opposed SønderjyskE in a difficult away encounter. Sadly, OB could not live up to their status as favourites. Instead, SønderjyskE went ahead after a corner in the first half and increased the lead late in the game, eventually securing all three points through a 2-0 victory.
OB’s best chance in the match was a triple chance to Njogu Demba-Nyrén, but brilliant goalkeeping by the SønderjyskE-keeper kept the ball out.
OB still has a lot to play for. The team now has three matches to get four points to secure the silver medals. The first one is at home against high-flying FC Nordsjælland on at eight o’clock on Thursday, May 6th.
Two out of two in the league
On April 20th, OB went to Silkeborg to prepare for the first leg of the Cup semi final against FC Midtjylland.
The match began well for OB, who created some good moves and chances. The biggest came when Peter Utaka beat the offside trap and surged towards the FC Midtjylland-goal, but his finish was in the side net.
Only minutes from the interval, FC Midtjylland scored and when the hosts scored again eight minutes from the end, they left OB with a mountain to climb in the return leg.
It was back to league action four days later, when OB were at home to Silkeborg. A somewhat scrappy affair was decided by a beautiful goal on 72 minutes. Chris Sørensen took a free kick and floated the ball onto Atle Roar Håland, who flicked it on to Peter Utaka who scored with a header. It was OB’s second win in a row in the league, and together with the other results in the round, it gave OB a nine point lead in the race for 2nd spot in the SAS Liga, and qualification for the UEFA Europa League.
Two difficult away games
Only three days after the Brøndby game, OB travelled to Aalborg to play AaB. Only hours before departing for Aalborg the day before the match, OB received news that Demba-Nyrén had been handed a two-match suspension for an off-the-ball incident involving him and Remco van der Shaarf in the match against Brøndby.
OB’s bad fortune continued in Aalborg, with the home team winning 1-0 and Johan Absalonsen being sent off towards the end of the match.
On Sunday, April 18th, OB again travelled to Herfølge for a match, this time in the SAS Liga. And once again, OB defeated the hosts. This time, OB won 2-1, with Hans Henrik Andreasen scoring his first goal of the season to secure all three points. Atle Roar Håland opened the scoring for OB in the first half when he followed up on a set piece and gave OB the lead. But on 67 minutes, HB Køge equalised before Hans Henrik Andreasen headed in OB’s second goal four minutes later.
Success in the Cup, heartbreak in the League
The busy times continued for OB, with a cup quarter final in Herfølge and a league match at home in the space of four days.
On Thursday, April 8th, OB went to Herfølge to play HB Køge in a difficult encounter in the quarter final of the Ekstra Bladet Cup.
A blunder form HB Køge’s keeper presented Henrik Hansen with a golden opportunity for the first goal on 23 minutes, and the midfielder could have scored another later in the first half. Demba-Nyrén also came close to scoring, but the first half ended 1-0 to OB.
OB was 2-0 up on the hour, when Peter Utaka scored. But on 80 minutes, HB Køge scored, only for Utaka to restore the two goal lead 60 seconds later.
Thus, by winning 3-1, OB qualified for the semi finals and two difficult matches against FC Midtjylland.
Only three days later, OB played Brøndby at home in a crucial and dramatic encounter in the SAS Liga. An evenly contested encounter was eventually decided by a controversial Brøndby-goal with the goal scorer in a clear off-side position.
Costly Easter for OB
The Easter period proved costly for OB, with only one point in two games. On Maundy Thursday, OB met FC København in Parken in Copenhagen for a vital encounter. A win would put OB two points ahead of FC København in the title race, but goals from Atiba Hutchinson and Jesper Grønkjær put paid to OB’s aspirations.
On Easter Monday, OB hosted Esbjerg at home in the SAS Liga. OB put Esbjerg under pressure from the beginning of the match and created several chances throughout the game. Peter Utaka had several good opportunities and Johan Absalonsen hit the upright, but this was the closest OB came to a goal against an Esbjerg-team whose sole ambition was to avoid defeat. But OB could not score, much to the chagrin of the OB players, who knew that the draw would leave them 6 points behind FC København.
On Thursday, OB turn their attention away from the SAS Liga to concentrate on the cup and an away game against HB Køge in Herfølge in the quarter-finals.
OB’s next game in the SAS Liga is at home against Brøndby next Sunday, April 11th at 6 p.m.
Up and down for OB
It has been a week of ups and downs for OB, but the team still has everything to play for. A win and a defeat leaves OB one point behind league leaders FC København; the two teams meet In Copenhagen on Thursday, April 1st in a thriller.
On Thursday, March 25th, OB travelled to Esbjerg for a vital match. A win would open a 9 point gap between second placed OB and third placed Esbjerg.
The hosts opened the scoring on 13 minutes, when a string of good moves resulted in a good finish by Mikkel Vendelbo, who shot past Roy Carroll.
OB equalised nine minutes later, however. Chris Sørensen scored from a free kick to bring OB back on level terms, and in the 65th minute, Rurik Gislason rifled the ball past Lars Winde in the Esbjerg goal for the eventual winner.
On Monday, OB tried to follow up the good performance in Esbjerg at home against FC Midtjylland.
OB started brightly and took the lead on 29 minutes. Peter Utaka rounded of a good OB-attack by putting the ball in the net. Shortly before half-time FC Midtjylland scored a controversial goal from a corner – controversial because the referee originally awarded OB a goal kick before changing his mind.
In the second half, both teams went looking for the second goal. OB created some good possibilities but cold not capitalise. Instead, FC Midtjylland scored and as they managed to hold on to their lead, OB suffered their first defeat this year, and only the third defeat of the season.
A win at last
OB got back on track with a convincing win at home against AGF on Sunday, March 21st. 2-0 was the final score, with goals from Peter Utaka and Caca.
OB reshuffled their team and placed both Esben Hansen and Eric Djemba-Djemba in front of the back four. Rurik Gislason moved in behind Peter Utaka with Caca taking over on the right side of midfield. Espen Ruud was back from suspension to replace Jonas Troest, and Henrik Hansen moved to the substitute’s bench
Both teams started brightly but could not score. Rurik Gislason went close when he narrowly failed to connect with the ball when Peter Utaka whipped a cross in from the right, but the drama did not come from the action in front of goal in the first half.
Rather, injuries to Atle Roar Håland and Eric Djemba-Djemba became the talking point of the first 45 minutes. First, Atle Roar Håland had to be substituted with a suspected broken nose and minutes later Eric Djemba-Djemba twisted his knee and had to leave the match. Håland was replaced by Jonas Troest and Henrik Hansen came on for Djemba-Djemba.
In the second half, OB continued to look for the first goal, and on 57 minutes, Peter Utaka hammered a delivery from Johan Absalonsen into the roof of the net.
The goal seemed to release a lot of energy in the OB-players and their combinations began to flow. Thus it was no surprise that the best move of the day led to the second goal. Esben Hansen played an inch-perfect pass trough the AGF-defence to Peter Utaka, who played the ball to Caca, who scored with an easy tap-in.
Eric Djemba-Djemba now faces at least four weeks on the sidelines recovering from his knee injury, while Atle Roar Håland will have his nose put in place on Wednesday and will have to play with a face mask when he is ready to play matches again.
OB had to settle for draw
OB made a number of changes to the team that drew with FC Midtjylland for the match against SønderjyskE. Eric Djemba-Djemba was back in the team. Replacing Esben Hansen, while Henrik Hansen came in for the inured Hans Henrik Andreasen and Jonas Troest took over from Espen Ruud, who was suspended.
OB had high hopes of securing all three points in their first home match this Spring, when SønderjyskE visited Odense on Saturday. But wasted chances meant that OB had to settle for just one point for the seconds match in a row.
OB began the match brightly and put SønderjyskE under pressure from the beginning of the encounter, creating one chance after another. And the hosts were duly rewarded when Henrik Hansen scored on 13 minutes.
Their joy was short-lived, however, as SønderjyskE equalised only six minutes later. The equaliser only made OB put even more pressure on SønderjyskE and Peter Utaka had the ball in the back of the net on 73 minutes, only to be ruled offside.
After the match, Johan Absalonsen called the result a wake up call, pointing out that draws are costly when F. C. København keeps winning:
- SønderjyskE made it difficult for us and we made it difficult for ourselves by not converting our chances. We cannot continue to play well and only draw, because FCK look really strong. We need to get going and we have to concede that we have not been sharp enough. We need to see this as a lesson and a wake up call. We have to carry on. There are still lots of points to play for.
OB’s next match is at home to AGF on Sunday, March 21st at 16.00 hrs.
OB draw in Spring premiere
OB’s much-anticipated Spring premiere against FC Midtjylland in Herning became just as difficult as predicted by many of the players before the match.
OB went behind after just five minutes and spent the rest of the first half chasing the equaliser, creating a host of chances and putting pressure on FC Midtjylland.
The equaliser came right on the hour when Rurik Gislason forced himself in front of an FC Midtjylland-defender and headed an inch-perfect cross by Espen Ruud into the net.
OB went looking for the second goal, but could not convert and dominance in play and chances into a goal. Instead, FC Midtjylland went in front again on 71 minutes when Frank Kristensen scored his second goal in the match.
FC Midtjylland’s joy was short-lived, however. Two minutes later, OB won a free kick only feet away from the edge of the penalty box. Up stepped Chris Sørensen to take the free kick, and the OB captain curled the ball into the net to make the score 2-2.
Shortly before full-time, Peter Utaka could have secured all three points for OB, when he beat the off-side trap and connected with a through-ball. Unfortunately, Utaka shot into the onrushing goalkeeper’s feet and wasted a brilliant opportunity.
As there were no more goals in the match, OB had to be content with one point from a game where they could have won all three.
Utaka, Ruud and Gislason away on international duties
The OB-squad is preparing for Saturday’s important away match at FC Midtjylland without Peter Utaka, Espen Ruud and Rurik Gislason who are away on international duties for their respective countries.
While Ruud and Gislason’s absence was anticipated, the call-up for Utaka came as a big surprise, as Nigeria’s match against Congo was originally called off. However, in an about-turn of events, the match was re-arranged, and Utaka was asked with short notice to get on a plane and come home for the match.
Anders Møller Christensen was also asked to join the Denmark squad when Daniel Agger became doubtful, but the OB centre back declined for family reasons.
Utaka, Ruud and Gislason are expected to return to OB immediately of their respective international matches to continue preparations for the match on Saturday.
OB continued the preparations for the FC Midtjylland-match with a training match versus FC Vestsjælland last Saturday. OB won the match 1-0 but controlled events throughout the game, and should have won by a bigger margin. OB created many chances, but had to be content with Peter Utaka’s single strike in the 2nd half. However, the playing standard was improved significantly compared to the match against Horsens the week before and OB showed that the Horsens result was a one-off fluke.
Sørensen and Utaka sign contract extensions
Since returning from Spain, OB have trained on the artificial turf in Ådalen. Anders K. Jacobsen, Thomas Helveg and Eric Djemba-Djemba received treatment for their injuries throughout the week and Johan Absalonsen was also out for a couple of days during the week.
On Saturday, February 20th, OB played AC Horsens in a training match at home. Rurik Gislason was absent due to illness, while Anders K. Jacobsen, Thomas Helveg and Eric Djemba-Djemba was unavailable because of injury, but Johan Absalonsen was back from his short injury-spell.
OB started well and created some good chances in the first half. One of these was converted by Peter Utaka, but AC Horsens equalised before half-time. In the second half, OB found it difficult to get their game going. To make matters worse, AC Horsens scored twice to record a 3-1 victory.
On Monday, February 22nd, OB striker Björn Runström went on loan to Norwegian Tippeliga club Molde for the rest of 2010.
The next day, on Tuesday, February 23rd, Peter Utaka and Chris Sørensen signed extensions to their current contracts, keeping both players at OB until 2012
OB back from Spain
On Saturday, OB returned from a successful pre-season training camp in Malaga, Spain. In addition to training on grass for the first time in 2010, OB also participated in the inaugural season of the Copa del Sol, a pre-season tournament for the top two teams in Denmark, Norway and Sweden in 2009 and Russian Champions’ League participants CSKA Moscow and Ukrainian UEFA Cup winners Shakthar Donetsk.
OB won its first two group games in Copa del Sol, beating Rosenborg 3-2 and Elfsborg 2-0 before going down 3-1 to CSKA Moscow. OB proved to be the better team in the two matches against Rosenborg and Elfsborg, and Lars Olsen’s team dominated both encounters. Against Rosenborg, Hans Henrik Andreasen scored two goals and Johan Absalonsen forced an own goal for OB’s third goal. In the match against Elfsborg, Demba-Nyrén and Peter Utaka both scored beautiful goals, both lobbing the keeper, Demba-Nyrén after a beautiful pass by Hans Henrik Andreasen and Utaka from a very good through ball by Henrik Hansen.
OB was in control of the first 40 minutes of the match against CSKA Moscow. Peter Utaka scored and Chris Sørensen went close with a thunderous shot that hit the upright, but CSKA equalised from a corner shortly before half-time and went ahead only minutes later. And when the Russians increased the lead again in the beginning of the 2nd half, it became an uphill struggle for OB. Demba-Nyrén could have narrowed the margin shortly before the final whistle, when Björn Runström was brought down in the penalty area, but the Gambian missed the resulting penalty.
In the play-off for 3rd place, OB ran into F.C. København. The match was played in torrential rain and Lars Olsen fielded an experimental side. OB went 1-0 down after 15 minutes and F. C. København increased the lead in the 2nd half before OB mounted a late rally and almost forced the tie into penalties.
OB are now back in Denmark preparing for the first match in the SAS Liga in 2010, against FC Midtjylland on March 6th in Herning
Pre-season preparations in full swing
Winter has gripped Denmark, but OB’s players are working hard on the training pitch and in the gym to prepare for an exciting second part of the 2009-10 season. OB went on away for the Christmas holidays on top of the SAS Liga and they aim to stay there and win the club’s first league title in 21 years in May.
The squad looks very much like the one that finished 2009, with a few changes. Rune Pedersen’s loan-spell at the club has come to an end and the goalkeeper has returned to Lyngby Boldklub, while young midfielder Matti Lund Nielsen was transferred to FC Nordsjælland. Goalkeeper Alexander Lund Hansen has joined the club from Norwegian outfit Rosenborg and Esben Hansen has returned from a loan-spell at Randers FC.
OB plays their first pre-season match on Friday, January 29th, against FC Fredericia before going away to Malaga on a combined training camp and participating in the pre-season tournament Copa del Sol. During their stay in Spain, OB will play Rosenborg (Norway), Elfsborg (Sweden) and CSKA Moscow (Russia). All OB’s matches will be shown on Canal9.
After returning from Spain, OB have scheduled three pre-season matches before kicking off the
Spring season: February 20th at 13.00 v. Flora Tallinn, February 23rd at 13.00 v. AC Horsens and February 27th v. FC Vestsjælland (kick-off time to be decided).
OB on top despite defeat
OB stayed on top of the SAS Liga despite a 2-0n defeat at the hands of F.C. København in the last match in 2009. OB went into the encounter knowing that they would remain in top spot for the winter regardless of the result against F.C. København at Fionia Park on Sunday evening. And the home team came out determined to score right from the start of the game. Caca, Johan Absalonsen and Hans Henrik Andreasen all had the chance to give OB the lead, but good saves by the F.C. København-keeper prevented OB from taking the lead inside the first 15 minutes.
Shortly before half-time, F.C. København won a corner. OB could not clear the in-swinging corner and the ball fell to Dame N’Doye, who scored with a header at the back post.
The goal took away some of the optimism from OB and the hosts fought hard to regain their composure from the start of the 2nd half and put enormous pressure on the visitors’ goal. But F.C. København defended well and OB lacked the necessary sharpness in front of goal.
Instead, F. C. København increased their lead when N’Doye scored his second goal. This effectively decided the game, although OB tried to force a goal and possibly an equaliser. However, F.C. København held on to take all three points and narrow OB’s lead at the top of the table to one point.
OB wins hard-fought victory
The pitch was wet and soft due to rain leading up to the match against HB Køge at Fionia Park, and the visitors were in no mood to lie down and surrender to the SAS Ligas top team. Thus OB had to work hard to get three points from Monday night’s penultimate match in 2009.
The fans had to wait until the 83rd minute before OB scored. A perfect cross from Thomas helveg found Peter Utaka with plenty of space and time in front of goal and the lethal striker did not disappoint the fans. He coolly hit the ball past a despairing HB Køgekeeper, securing OB a vital, but hard-fought victory.
OB’s last game is at Fionia Park against F. C. København on Sunday, December 6th. And it looks like it will be in front of a capacity crowd, as more than 12 000 tickets have already been sold.
Honours for Utaka and Sørensen
Peter Utaka and Chris Sørensen were both honoured before the home game against HB Køge on Monday, November 30th. Utaka received flowers and an award from TV2 as he was named Player of the Month for October, thus making it two in a row as he was also named Player of the Month for October by Onside before the match against Brøndby. Chris Sørensen received flowers from OB for reaching 250 matches for the club.
Three points from Brøndby-encounter
A good first-half laid the foundations for an important win against Brøndby. OB dominated the first 45 minutes and went ahead, when an opportunistic Peter Utaka scored on 19 minutes. Brøndby threatened to equalise and nearly got a goal when Stefan Gislason hit the post. However, it was OB who increased their lead shortly before half-time. Hans Henrik Andreasen was fouled in the Brøndby penalty area, and Chris Sørensen scored from the resulting penalty.
In the second half, Brøndby scored and pushed hard for an equaliser, but when Johan Absalonsen scored in injury time, OB secured all three points.
Absalonsen on fire
Johan Absalonsen made the most of his chances in the friendly against USA. The OB-winger came on as a substitute in the 46th minute and scored one goal and provided the cross for another.
Absalonsen made an instant impact when he equalised for Denmark only seconds after coming on. Five minutes later, he provided the cross from the left for Søren Rieks to score.
Djemba-Djemba and Olsen missed out
Eric Djemba-Djemba and Lars Olsen were both nominated for awards at DBU and TV2’s Danish Fodbold Awards on Monday night. The midfielder was in the running for the SAS Liga Player of the Year award, while Lars Olsen was once again a candidate for the Best Coach award. Unfortunately, both Eric Djemba-Djemba and Lars Olsen both missed out as the awards went to Jacob Poulsen and Morten Olsen respectively.
Busy players on international duties
Johan Absalonsen, Anders Møller Christensen, Rurik Gislason and Espen Ruud are all away on international duty this week.
Absalonsen was selected for Denmark’s two friendlies against South Korea and USA on the 14th and 18th November and teamed up with the rest of the national team on Monday night. Anders Møller Christensen was called up following Daniel Agger’s withdrawal through injury on Tuesday morning, and Rurik Gislason and Espen Ruud will team up with Iceland and Norway on Wednesday for the matches against Luxembourg and Switzerland respectively this coming Saturday
Own goal secures three points
An own goal secured all three points for OB against Silkeborg in a close encounter on Saturday.
OB came to Silkeborg seeking revenge for the 1-3 defeat in late August. Unlike then, OB started slowly, but gradually took control of the match without producing any clear-cut chances. And as Silkeborg were also unable to penetrate the OB-defence, it soon became clear that a repeat of the four goals in August was unlikely.
OB’s best chance came courtesy of Johan Absalonsen. The winger raced through and shot past the Silkeborg-keeper, only for a Silkeborg defender to save the shot just before the ball was crossing the line.
The only goal of the game came after 72 minutes. Again, Absalonsen was involved, when he connected with a trough-ball from Utaka, raced down the line towards and crossed the ball in front of goal, where a Silkeborg defender mishit the ball in an attempt to clear the cross. The ball flew into the Silkeborg goal behind a surprised goalkeeper.
The goal led to increased pressure from Silkeborg and everybody thought they had scored when Rajko Lekic headed the ball towards goal from close range. But a superb save by OB-keeper Roy Carroll kept the ball out, and OB were able to hold on and secure all three points. OB’s next game is away at Brøndby on Sunday, November 22nd.
Unfortunate draw with Aalborg
OB had to be content with just one point in Monday night’s encounter with AaB after a first half where OB laid siege to the AaB-goal
OB were looking for a return to winning ways in the SAS Liga after last weekend’s 1-1 draw in Randers and the home team went for AaB’s throat right from the start. Utaka, Hans Henrik Andreasen and Caca all had good opportunities in a first half, where most of the play took place in AaB’s half of the pitch, but good goalkeeping from former OB-keeper Karim Zaza in the AaB-goal kept the score at 0-0.
In the second half, OB kept up the pressure but allowed AaB to get into the game more. This led to a number of AaB-corners, and it was from one of those that OB scored. OB cleared a corner and Johan Absalonsen raced towards the AaB goal from deep within his own half. Absalonsen spotted Utaka and played a through-ball right into the striker’s feet. Utaka carried the ball towards the AaB goal and placed it firmly in the net behind a sprawling AaB-keeper.
Then AaB started chasing the equaliser. And it came when Andreas Johansson shot past Roy Carroll from close range, leaving the OB-keeper with no chance. Later, However, Carroll showed his class when he superbly saved a good, curling effort from AaB. The ball appeared to be going in, but somehow Carroll managed to get to it and push it over the bar.
After the equaliser, OB pushed hard for the winner and Demba-Nyrén had some good efforts. But time ran out on OB, who had to settle for a disappointing draw.
OB’s next game is away on Saturday, November 7th, against Silkeborg.
Double date with Randers FC
OB played Randers FC twice in the last week, winning one and drawing the other encounter. On Saturday, October 24th, OB visited Randers for the two clubs’ second meeting in the SAS Liga this season.
OB took control of the game from the beginning and went a goal up on 35 minutes after the best move of the game. Roy Carroll played the ball to Chris Sørensen who played it quickly to Johan Absalonsen. The fast-footed winger took the ball forward and played it into the path of Peter Utaka and the in-form striker coolly slotted the ball into the net for a deserved 1-0 lead for OB.
From the outset of the second half, Randers pushed forward, taking the game to OB, and their hard work was rewarded when former OB-player Søren Berg equalised on 67 minutes, earning Randers FC a valuable point.
On Tuesday, October 27th, OB was back in Randers for at tie in the 4th round of the Ekstra Bladet Cup. This game resembled the league game, but this time it took OB just 9 minutes to take the lead. A corner kick from the right was headed on by Hans Henrik Andreasen and when the ball appeared to go out of play for a goal kick, Peter Utaka headed the ball back in front of goal to Caca who headed the ball into the net.
Later in the first half, Peter Utaka turned from provider to goal scorer. A terrible mistake by Randers at the halfway line left Utaka alone in the Randers half. The Nigerian striker raced towards the Randers goal and scored his 16th goal this season.
As on Saturday, Randers got more of the play in the second half of the game and a few anxious moments followed after Marc Nygaard scored after appearing to have fouled Roy Carroll. However, the goal stood and Randers went seeking the equaliser. It never came, and as no further goals were scored, OB won 2-1 and qualified for the Quarter Finals of the Ekstra Bladet Cup.
Convincing win for OB
Espen Ruud scored his first goal of the season and hot-shot striker Peter Utaka his 14th to give OB a convincing 2-0 win over FC Nordsjælland on Saturday afternoon.
OB had travelled to Sjælland immediately after Friday’s training to prepare for the important game, and Lars Olsen’s team dominated form the outset and pushed FC Nordsjælland deep into their own half for the first twenty minutes.
The first goal came after a free-kick. Caca, playing instead of Demba-Nyrén, floated the ball into the Nordsjælland penalty area, where Espen Ruud appeared to tap in the loose ball for a deserved OB-lead.
Almost on the stroke of half-time, Johan Absalonsen played a beautiful through-ball to Peter Utaka from well within the OB half. Utaka raced towards FC Nordsjælland-keeper Navakovic and appeared to have lost the ball, but Novakovic fumbled the ball and left Utaka with an open goal and the simplest of tap-ins.
FC Nordsjælland rarely threatened the OB goal. However, the hosts came close to a goal when Nicki Bille hit the upright, but the ball went into play and was cleared by OB.
OB came close to 3-0 in the second half when Peter Utaka and Caca wasted good opportunities, but one sensed that even an OB-team playing at only 80 or 90 % of its capability were never in danger of losing the tie. Thus, the SAS Liga’s top team was able to go back to Fyn with a convincing win under their belt, when the referee blew the whistle to signal the end of the game.
OB players on international duties
It has been a quiet week in OB since the home game against AaB. The SAS Liga has taken a break because of the World Cup qualifiers and Rurik Gislason, Peter Utaka, Matti Lund Nielsen, Anders Møller Christensen and Johan Absalonsen are all away on international duties.
Gislason was the only OB-player in action last weekend, when he played and scored two goals in Iceland’s U21 national team’s 8-0 win against San Marino.
Utaka, Møller Christensen and Absalonsen all had to be content with a place on the substitute’s bench when Nigeria defeated Mozambique 1-0 and Denmark qualified for the 2010 World Cup by beating Sweden by the same score.
Rurik Gislason, Anders Møller Christensen and Johan Absalonsen will get a new chance of playing for their countries on Wednesday when Iceland play South Africa and Denmark round up their World Cup qualifying campaign by playing Hungary in Copenhagen.
OB’s next game in the SAS Liga is on Saturday, October 17th against FC Nordsjælland in Farum.
OB go top
OB went top of the SAS Liga on Monday night after beating AaB 2-1 at home. It was an important match for both teams: A home win would see OB go top, while an away win would see AaB progress to be even with OB and FCK on points.
The importance of the match was evident from the outset. Both teams had great respect for the opponent, but as the game progressed, OB became more adventurous. Yet it was AaB who first went close with a triple chance, but a combination of great goalkeeping by Roy Carroll and great luck kept the ball out.
This seemed to wake up OB and then Peter Utaka produced a masterpiece for the first goal. The Nigerian striker collected the ball in his own half and went for the AaB goal. Johan Absalonsen made a run, which unsettled the AaB-defence, making it possible to play the ball around a defender and make a run the other way around the same defender after which he produced a shot at goal, which went past former OB-keeper Karim Zaza in the AaB-goal and into the net.
Shortly after, Rurik Gislason rifled the ball into the AaB-net again, only for the linesman to wrongly judge Gislason offside.
Thus, OB went in for the half-time tea a goal up. And they came out for the second half looking for the second goal. AaB moved the ball around well but did not produce many clear chances. Instead OB went 2-0 up, when Peter Utaka curled a low cross from Johan Absalonsen into the net via the upright.
Utaka had a great opportunity to make it 3-0, when he ran onto a pass from Espen Ruud, but his shot was high and wide. Instead AaB created a tense ending to the match, when they scored five minutes from time. However, that was the last goal in the match and OB have now gone 14 home matches without losing on home soil.
Djemba-Djemba and Lars Olsen nominated for awards
DBU, the Danish FA, has nominated OB’s Cameroun midfielder Eric Djemba-Djemba and coach Lars Olsen for the prestigious awards Player of the Year and Coach of the Year. Whether they win will be revealed at TV2 and DBU’s Dansk Fodbold Award show in November. Former OB-player Christian Eriksen was nominated for the award Best Young Player.
New date for cup encounter
OB’s Ekstra Bladet Cup-match against Randers FC has been moved to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, October 27th for live broadcasting on the TV-channel Kanal 6.
OB progress in the cup
OB was up against tough opposition in the cup last Wednesday in Fredericia. OB was in control of the game until early in the second half, when 2 Fredericia-goals put OB under pressure. However, OB responded well and after the scare 3 goals in 13 minutes by Eric Djemba-Djemba and Peter Utaka (2) turned the game around again.
And when Johan Absalonsen scored OB’s 4th goal on 90 minutes, the game seemed over as a contest, but an own goal brought Fredericia back into the game, albeit only for a very short time. Straight from the kick-off, OB capitalised on Fredericias eagerness for an equaliser and scored a 5th, which secured victory and a meeting with Randers FC in Randers in the 4th round of the cup on October 28th.
Clean sheet for Carroll
OB-keeper was a happy man after Saturday’s deserved win against FC Nordsjælland. The Northern Ireland keeper kept a clean sheet in OB’s 2-0 win, a goal Carroll had set himself before the game after four games with goals against.
OB started the match brightly and went into the lead when Rurik Gislason scored his first goal for the club after 12 minutes. However, although FC Nordsjælland never seriously threatened the OB- goal, the home side let control of the game go slightly after the goal, and the visitors were allowed to hold on to the ball for long spells during the next 50 minutes.
Them OB tightened th4e grip again and when Johan Absalonsen ran through from inside his own half to score, the match was decided. It was a goal just a beautiful as Gislason’s and the win sent OB top before the rest of the games in the 10th round of SAS Ligaen.
Next Monday sees OB up against AaB, and after that Rurik Gislason, Peter Utaka and Anders Møller Christensen all join their respective national teams for important World Cup qualifying matches in the coming weeks
Back to winning ways
OB returned to winning ways on Sunday, when HB Køge was defeated 3-1 in Herfølge. OB began the game well and went in front after 16 minutes, when Chris Sørensen scored from the penalty spot. The goal could have signalled an all-out siege of the HB Køge goal, but for some reason this never happened. Instead HB Køge got back into the game and succeeded in putting pressure on OB.
This resulted in an equaliser only minutes into the 2nd half, when HB Køge hit the crossbar twice before Fabinho headed the ball into the net.
A Chris Sørensen corner gave OB back the lead. Sørensen found Hans Henrik Andreasen, who headed the ball against the crossbar. From here, it bounced on to the head of HB Køge defender Nicklas Svendsen and into the net.
In injury time, Nicklas Svendsen was unlucky once again, when he tried to clear a cross from the left by Johan Absalonsen. Under pressure from Hans Henrik Andreasen, Svendsen hit the ball low into his own net for OB’s third goal.
OB’s next match is a cup match away against FC Fredericia on Wednesday, September 23rd at 19.00 hrs.
Peter Utaka, top scorer for OB and in the SAS Liga did not hit the net on Sunday. However, he received a big boost before Wednesday’s cup game, when he was selected for Nigeria’s World Cup qualifying squad for the first time, for the Super Eagles’ crucial World Cup qualifier against Mozambique on October 11th.
Unlucky OB draw against F. C. København
After two weeks without any matches, it was back to business for OB against F. C. København on Saturday. The two teams met for the first time this season and battled out a draw in Odense, much to the disappointment of the OB players and fans, who felt they should have won the encounter.
F. C. København went ahead after a disputed penalty, but an inch-perfect pass by Atle Roar Håland from well inside his own half to Peter Utaka halfway into the F. C. København half, and a clinical finish by Utaka, saw OB equalise before the break.
In the second half, OB went close on two occasions, when a thunderous shot by Johan Absalonsen hit the post and a good save by the F. C. København-keeper of a good Demba-Nyrén effort hit the upper side of the crossbar.
OB’s next match is on Sunday, September 20th against HB Køge in Herfølge. Kick off is at 2 p.m.
All quiet in OB
It has been a quiet week in OB. Due to Denmark’s World Cup qualifying match against Portugal, the SAS Liga took a break last weekend.
For Anders Møller Christensen, Johan Absalonsen and Rurik Gislason there was no time to rest, however. The three players were on international duty for Denmark and Iceland respectively, with Anders Møller Christensen in action for the full 90 minutes against Portugal on Saturday. Rurik Gislason played for Iceland’s full national team on Saturday and on Monday, he captained the Iceland under-21’s to a convincing 6-2 victory against Northern Ireland. Not only was Gislason the captain, ha also scored two goals for the under-21’s.
The international break has been good for OB captain Chris Sørensen, who underwent a minor operation in a toe. Sørensen is now back in training and ready for the home encounter with F. C. København on Saturday.
It has been a couple of busy weeks for OB lately. On August 20th, the club played Genoa CFC in Genoa in the first leg of the Europa League play-offs. Unfortunately, OB could not get the result they were looking for, as Genoa CFC won the match 3-1, OB’s goal coming from a scrambled effort by Rurik Gislason.
Only four days later, the team was in action again, playing Randers FC at home in the SAS Liga and winning 1-0 courtesy of a Henrik Hansen goal.
And on August 27th, a 1-1 draw with Genoa at Fionia Park sent OB out of the Europa League. An own goal in the dying seconds of the 1st half gave OB hope of a miraculous turnaround of the previous week’s defeat in Genoa, but an equaliser in the 2nd half squashed OB’s dreams.
The final weekend of the transfer period saw some busy action in OB: Keeper Anders Lindegaard was sold to Aalesund in Norway, while Rune Pedersen arrived on loan from Lyngby and Esben Hansen went on loan to Randers FC.
On Monday night, OB could have returned to the top of the SAS Liga, but a 1-3 defeat at the hands of Silkeborg leaves OB in 4th spot before the international weekend and the home league match against F. C. København on September 12th
OB beat FC Midtjylland
Roy Carroll made his debut for OB in place of injured Anders Lindegaard in the 1-0 victory over FC Midtjylland at Fionia Park. Carroll only signed for OB on the day of the match, but the Northern Ireland goalkeeper made a good impression in his first match for his new club, coming up with a point-saving save towards the end of the match.
The win came courtesy of a Peter Utaka goal, and OB have now gone 19 competitive matches without losing and the club has won the last 10 home matches, an impressive record. Next up are Genoa CFC in the Europa League on Thursday, August 20th in Genoa, followed by a home match against Randers FC in the SAS Liga on Monday, August 24th
Three OB-players in international action
Three of the four OB-players selected by their countries for international duties got into action on Wednesday night.
Anders Møller Christensen played the full ninety minutes for Denmark against Chile in Brondby. Matti Lund Nielsen played the whole match for Denmark U21 against Sweden U21 and scored Denmark’s first goal in a 2-4 defeat in Viborg and in Iceland, Rurik Gislason captained Iceland U21 against the Czech Republic.
Espen Ruud was selected by Norway for the World Cup qualifier against Scotland in Oslo, but did not play.
Victory in Esbjerg
OB won the SAS Liga match against Esbjerg 2-1 and are now unbeaten in 18 competitive matches. The first half of the match was a high-paced affair, with chances to both teams. Esbjerg went close on two occasions when first Nicolai Høgh headed across the face of the goal and Tim Janssen powerful header from close range was saved by OB-keeper Lindegaard, who produced a save, which brought back memories of Gordon Banks’ famous save from Pele in the 1970 World Cup finals.
OB’s best chances in the first half fell to Rurik Gislason and Hans Henrik Andreasen. Both put in good headers, but Gislason’s effort flew just wide off the post and Andreasen’s header went into the hands of the Esbjerg-keeper.
OB started well in the second half with Demba-Nyrén missing a good opportunity. Instead, Esbjerg went ahead on 55 minutes, and the hosts could have increased the lead in the minutes following the goal. Fortunately for OB, this did not happen. Instead, the goal spurred OB into trying to get an equaliser, and 11 minutes from time they succeeded. Caca scored a beautiful goal, when he hit the ball hard into the corner of the net from about 30 metres.
The goal marked another turning point in the match. Now OB seemed to have taken control and only four minutes after the equaliser, Demba-Nyrén played an inch-perfect ball to Peter Utaka, who headed OB in front.
As there were no further goals, Utaka’s header secured a happy OB-team all three points from a difficult encounter
Four players on international duties
Today, Anders Møller Christensen (Denmark), Espen Ruud (Norway), Rurik Gislason (Iceland U21) and Matti Lund Nielsen (Denmark U21) were all called up for international duties next week.
Djemba-Djemba signs contract extension
On Tuesday, Eric Djemba-Djemba signed a one-year extension to his current contract, keeping the influential midfielder with the club until 2012.
OB-director Kim Brink was excited about the one-year extension:
- Eric Djemba-Djemba is on of the biggest profiles in the SAS Liga. We are pleased that he has signed an extension to his contract. There is always a lot of interest in a player like Djemba-Djemba. Therefore, we are naturally very happy that both parties saw great perspectives in signing an extension of the contract.
-I am happy with the contract extension. The club does everything to keep me happy and it is good for my head that I can now concentrate on my job here in Odense. We have some important matches coming up, so it is good for me to get this sorted out and out of my head, so that I can focus on the important challenges ahead, Eric Djemba-Djemba said about the contract extension.
Controversial draw in Aarhus
OB could have gone top of the league on Monday morning. A win against AGF in Aarhus would have secured OB top spot for the first time this season, but a controversial 2-2 draw ensured that the host stayed on top.
The match was a pulsating and exciting tie. OB felt they should have gone ahead when Hans Henrik Andreasen headed the ball into the net from close range in the 21st minute, but the referee disallowed the goal. Instead it was AGF who took the lead on the stroke of half-time, when they scored from a dubious penalty.
OB came out looking for an equaliser from the beginning of the second half and they got what they were looking for on 49 minutes. With his back to the goal, Peter Utaka controlled a perfect cross from Espen Ruud, turned and put the ball in the net via the post.
Three minutes later, Utaka turned provider, when he controlled a ball from Johan Absalonsen and laid it off for Demba-Nyrén, who scored with a cool shot along the ground and deep into the AGF goal.
The match took another twist when Johan Absalonsen was adjudged to have kicked an opponent and was sent off. From then on AGF increased the pressure on OB. Just when OB was hoping to get away with all three points, AGF equalised. There were no more goals and the match ended in a stalemate.
OB secures important away win
OB’s first venture into European football this season ended with a 4-3 victory against FK Rabotnicki in the Macedonian capital Skopje. OB went ahead after 20 minutes, when Caca scored the first of his 3 goals in a lively match. Shortly after, however, Rabotnicki equalised and before OB could regain their composure, the hosts went ahead to the delight of the home crowd. But Caca’s second goal nine minutes before half-time meant that OB went in for the break on level terms and in the second half, OB was the better team. Two goals, a penalty from Chris Sørensen and a Caca header, secured an important away win but OB had plenty of opportunities to score more goals as they took control of the match. Instead a goal by Ze Carlos from a brilliantly taken free-kick 16 minutes from the end brought a little excitement into the tie, but with no further goals the happy, but tired OB-players could return to Odense with an important away win in the bag.
After the match, Head Coach Lars Olsen gave his thoughts on the game:
- It was extremely hot for the players on the pitch and you could se that they lacked their usual speed and power. The pitch was uneven, which made it difficult to control the ball in the play on the ground. With that in mind, 4-3 was a good result, yet I am a bit annoyed. We gave away some easy goals and with a bit more concentration we could have scored a couple of goals more. Our chances of progressing to the next round are good, of course. Obviously, it will be a different game at Fionia Park and we must qualify for the next round.
Midfielder Henrik Hansen was not unanimously excited about the encounter:
- First and foremost we must be happy about the away win. But we are not overly excited about letting in three goals. It was very hot in the first half and we did not succeed in closing down their positioning play. This meant that we had to run more than necessary. We must finish the job in Odense and it is not unthinkable that Rabotnicki is a different team away from home. At the same time the climate is different, so it will probably be a different kind of game where we set things straight.
OB plays FK Rabotnicki at Fionia Park at 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 6th.
OB beat SonderjyskE 3-1
OB extended their unbeaten record to 14 matches with a 3-1 home win over SonderjyskE. Rurik Gislason made his home debut while the other new summer signing took his place on the substitute’s bench.
OB dominated in from the beginning, with SonderjyskE relying on counter attacks. 12 minutes into the first half, OB took the lead when Rurik Gislason found Johan Absalonsen on the edge of the box. The midfielder fired a low, hard shot into the net to give OB the lead.
Unfortunately, it lasted only 4 minutes. Then SonderjyskE equalised with a goal, which was almost at copy of the OB-goal. The equaliser led to increased pressure from OB, which opened up the game, as it led to counter attack opportunities for SonderjyskE.
On 35 minutes, OB took the lead when a corner fell down in a group of players in front of the SonderjyskE-goal. Eventually, Atle Roar Håland managed to poke the ball into the net for his first goal ever for OB and a 2-1 lead.
On 61 minutes, Peter Utaka headed in OB’s third and final goal. A beautiful through-ball from Eric Djemba-Djemba found Johan Absalonsen on the left and Utaka converted his inch-perfect cross from close range.
After the match, a proud and happy Rurik Gislason spoke to OB Online about his home debut:
-It was great to get the game. I was very excited before the match and it is really funny to play with such good players. It also makes it easier for me to play well, the Icelandic players said. He showed the fans why OB was so eager to get him with some exciting Brazilian-type actions in the first half, which earned him the title Man of the Match.
- I try to do my best every time and sometimes this is how it turns out. But it is easier to play when everyone in the team is good at holding on to the ball. It makes it easier for a player like me. It was a great honour to be voted Man of the Match and the fans have also welcomed me. I feel at home already, and that is wonderful, Gislason commented.
Atle Roar Håland scored his first goal ever for OB. And it was a goal the likeable Norwegian had been waiting for a long time:
- I guess you could say that it was about time. It was nice. A ball fell in the area in front of goal and there was a scramble to kick the ball. The goalkeeper saved the first attempt, but then I managed to poke it in, a happy Håland described the goal. He was also happy with the way the game went in general:
- We were in control and we dictated events. We remained in control despite their equaliser and showed in the second half, that we are a better team. It is sometimes difficult to play against a team that comes here to defend. It takes time to break them down but I think we did that well and we were good at keeping hold of the ball, Håland said about the game.
OB’s next match in the SAS Liga is on Monday, August 3rd, away at AGF
SonderjyskE must not be underestimated
OB play their first home game this season against SonderjyskE late afternoon tomorrow. OB won two of last season’s encounters and drew one, but Head Coach Lars Olsen warns the players and fans against Saturday’s opponents.
- SonderjyskE is a team that will fight for every ball and they will undoubtedly do that on Saturday also. But we must not underestimate them. They are better football players than people give them credit for, Olsen pointed out after Friday’s training session.
The OB coach has made only two changes to the team, which drew 2-2 in Brondby: Jonas Troest is out with a minor Achilles tendon injury, while Johan Absalonsen is back in the squad after serving a one-match suspension
OB draw season opener
OB opened the 2009-10 season with a difficult away game against Brondby. Both teams have ambitions of playing for the top places in the SAS Liga this season, and the match turned into a very intensive, high-paced affair.
OB had the better chances in the first half, going close from a free-kick, which hit the post, but went behind on a disputed penalty in the 39th minute, only for captain Chris Sorensen to equalize from a penalty just two minutes later.
In the second half a clinical strike from Njogu Demba-Nyrén gave OB the lead on 56 minutes and silenced Brondby Stadium. Unfortunately, OB was unable to hold on to the lead, as Brondby equalised from a free-kick 10 minutes later.
In the second half, Rurik Gislason and Caca came on for OB, Gislason nearly scoring on his debut with a well-taken effort after outpacing several Brondby players from deep within the OB half
After the match, Chris Sorensen gave his view of the opening of the season:
-We have mixed feelings about the match. We had the chances to win, but Brondby also had their chances, particularly in the 2nd half. We are not quite where we want to be yet, so I guess we should be happy with the draw.
OB's next match is at home to SonderjyskE at 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 25th.
OB set for trip to Northern Ireland or Macedonia
In the draw for the 3rd qualifying round of the UEFA Europe League, OB was drawn against either Crusaders from Northern Ireland or Rabotnicki from Macedonia. The two teams drew 1-1 in the first leg of the 2nd qualifying round, with the second leg coming up on July 23rd in Macedonia.
OB director Kim Brink was at the draw for the 3rd qualifying round in Nyon in Switzerland. He was pleased with the outcome of the draw:
- I am very pleased, considering the alternatives but we know it will not be easy to go through to the next stage. Now we will have to wait and see if we are playing Rabotnicki or Crusaders. Everything is possible after the two teams drew 1-1 in the first match, Brink commented on the draw on the phone from Nyon.
The two legs of OB’s 3rd qualifying round tie will be played on July 30th and August 6th.