Norwegian Derby ends in a draw

Updated: May 4, 2015

The Oslo-Akershus, or simply Norwegian derby between Lillestrom and Valerenga ended level yesterday as a contentious penalty helped the hosts fight back for a point. Johan Andersson’s spot-kick made the scoreline 1-1 following Daniel Freidheim Holm’s earlier stunner.

The record between the two sides is now completely even, with 23 wins for each team and 23 draws in 69 competitive meetings.

Both sides are popular and well-known across Scandinavia having had seasons playing in continental competitions, and the matches are considered to be the biggest of the Tippeligaen season. Although Lyn Oslo and Valerenga are closer geographically, the European heritage of Lillestrom gives this derby more emphasis.

The atmosphere prior to kick-off certainly reflected the importance of this match, as both sets of fans demonstrated their passion with tifos, flares and mass chanting.

Valerenga dominated the early exchanges, creating several chances and forcing Lillestrom into their own half. The hosts were unable to get star striker Fred Friday into the game despite the 19-year-old Nigerian scoring a hat-trick last week.

The inevitable came on 22 minutes as Valerenga took the lead in style; Holm smashed one into the top corner from 25 yards to send the visiting supporters wild.

One-way traffic continued and forced Lillestrom manager Runar Kristinsson into an early substitution, hoping his side would be able to force their way into the game.

Lillestrom began the second half in better shape and were able to ease the pressure built after a dominant first half from Valerenga. Unable to score the vital second goal, Valerenga then conceded a penalty when Simon Larsen brought down Erling Knudtzon.

The challenge caused plenty of controversy after the game as Valerenga manager Kjetil Rekdal said he saw Knudtzon laughing after going down and claimed the player even told him it was a cheap penalty. Knudtzon disagreed completely and later tweeted that he and Rekdal didn’t say anything to each other post-match.

Johan Andersson sent the spot-kick to the keeper’s right hand side to level the scores and bring Lillestrom back into the derby. However, with both sides wary of conceding what would be a winning goal, the game died out as a contest and ended one each.

With just six games played in the 2015 Tippeligaen, the rematch in Valerenga is sure to be feisty with potentially more riding on it.

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