Sunday, 25 September 2011

Elite 3000 Helsingør 0 v 4 Brøndby IF

Wednesday 21st September 2011
Danish Cup 3rd Round
Helsingør Stadion, Helsingør
Admission: 100 DKK
Programme: 10 DKK
Attendance: 1,795
Match Rating: 3

For the final game of my stay in the Copenhagen area, it was another game in the Danish Cup, with a romantic cup game between Elite 3000 Helsingør , a club who have only been in existence since 2005 following a merger of five clubs who have never played higher than Division 2 East, against one of the biggest and most famous clubs in Denmark, Brøndby. It would be a game of particular interest for me, as Dennis Rommedahl, the former Charlton player, now plays for Brøndby, and so it would be interesting to see how he would do whilst at the same time giving me nostalgic feelings of the days when Charlton were in a position to sign decent international players.

Helsingør is reached by a 45 minute train journey north from Copenhagen, and from the station one has the choice of catching another train for a five minute journey to Hojstrup station, which is almost adjacent to the ground, or walking to the ground - the option I chose, which took about 20 minutes.Tickets could be bought just outside the main entrance, and one inside the ground, the stadium is very pleasant. Straddling the half way line is a tradtional all-seater stand, with a hill of trees closely hugging the ground along that side. On the other side of the ground is a concrete stand of uncovered terrace steps. For tonight's game, Brøndby supporters had about half of this stand, as well as the area behind one of the goals - behind both goals was just hard standing. Happily, no running track is present at this ground so supporters are close to the pitch. The ground does not usually have floodlights but for tonight's game, temporary ones were installed. Programmes were available, 4 pages of A4 size, which gave good basic information about tonight's game - what I could understand of it.

Elite 3000 made quite a poor start to their season in Division 2 East, gaining just one point from their opening four games, before winnng two of their last three games, and they have comfortably won two games to reach this stage in the competition. Brøndby have not made a good start to this season, gaining just nine points from their opening nine games, and find themselves in ninth place in the twelve team league.

Brøndby's average start to the season would have given Elite 3000 hope of an upset, and they almost got off to a sensational start, putting the ball in the back of the net inside 20 seconds, but the goal was (apparently correctly) ruled out for offside. However on three minutes, Brøndby's two Danish international forwards, Rommedahl and Martin Krohn-Dehli, combined to open the scoring and settle Brøndby's nerves, with Rommedahl's still electric pace breaking clear of the defence, and with the keeper and a defender rushing out to close him down, Rommedahl passed to Krohn-Dehli who had the simple task of tapping into the net on the slide. Brøndby went on to completely dominate proceedings, with Elite 3000 always looking likely to concede, but somehow the scoreline remained just 0-1 at half time.

That soon changed within 3 minutes of the restart though, when Rommedahl whipped in a cross from the right, and the New Zealander Brent McGrath finished excellenty on the volley. That goal really killed the game, although Brøndby could not add a further goal until the 75 minutes, with Rommedahl claiming his third assist, crossing from the right and giving McGrath a simple tap in. On 78 minutes, Brøndby added a fourth following a quick break by Krohn-Dehli with a good individual goal beating the keeper. Romantics might say that the 0-4 final scoreline was unfortunate on the home side, but it did probably adequately reflect the gulf in class between the two side, indeed, the scoreline could have been a few goals worse for Elite 3000.

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