Grorud IL 2 Nesodden IK 3

Saturday 23rd August 2008
Grorud IL 2 Nesodden IK 3
Norwegian 3.div Menn Oslo avd 05
At: Grorud Match
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 30 (headcount)
Weather: sunny spells

The first leg of a Saturday double in Oslo was the Division 3 (step 4) game between Grorud and Nesodden which the visitors won by the odd goal in five with a late winner.

Grorud IF are based to the east of Oslo city centre and the suburb of the same name is served by T-bane line 5 (pink). The ground is less than five minutes walk to the south of the station and is located on the right on Grorudveien after going over the dual carriageway.

However, I took a different route to get to the ground as I will explain. Having spent the morning travelling up to Holmenkollen and seeing the famous ski jump from a distance (I did the tour in 1992), I look T-bane line 5 from the city centre and got off at Rødtvet so I could have a look at the ground of Groruddalen of 2. Div Menn avd 2. After a quick look round, I had, in theory, plenty of time to walk to Grorud but I decided to take no chances and undertook a sweaty route-march. I had this thought that the Grorud game could be off and I would have to hurriedly return to Grorudallen.

Grorud’s ground has a grass pitch (orientated west-east) with a weed-strewn cinder track which presumably had been used for athletics at some time in the past. The club has a large club house building which also contains the changing rooms. At the front of the club house facing the facing the road is a snack bar called Evy's Gatekjokken. Along one touchline (the southern end of the ground) is a small wooden terrace structure with six steps which is OK for sitting in the dry but I guess not in the wet. Dugouts are on the opposite touchline. Thankfully it was dry as the ground has no shelter from any rain. Spectators can watch the game from both touchlines and behind the goal nearest to the road and clubhouse. There are some tall wooden floodlight pylons along each side. At right angles to the main pitch on the southern side is a floodlight artificial surface which I gather is used for first-team games towards the end of the season.

There was admission and spectators had open access to the ground from the car park off Grorudveien. When I arrived there were three club officials stood chatting (two from Nesodden and one from Grorud) and one of them understood my enquiry about teamsheets and club magazines. He turned out to be from the visitors but relayed a message in Norwegian to the man from Grorud who went into the clubhouse and soon emerged with the latest edition of the club magazine and pennant – which I really appreciated. I also copied down the starting line-ups from the team cards but substitutes had not been named.

The teams emerged from the changing rooms and walked together about 20 yards to the pitch before exchanging those fair play handshakes. All this happened while the local church bells chimed.

Grorud (22 points from 14 games) went into the game in sixth position in the twelve team league will Nesodden (27 points from 14 games) were three places higher in third, some nine points behind leaders KFUM.

I chose to watch the first half sat towards the top of the wooden terrace and the game started pretty soon after the players took to the field.

Visitors Nesodden (white shirts, black shorts and white socks) got the game underway but Grorud took the lead after just 115 seconds. Esling Nilsen fired into the bottom left corner from 10 yards after defender Christian Udaes slipped trying to clear the attack.

The equaliser came in the 20th minute. Andreas Giisel bundled over Kim Johnsen inside the area and Kim Viken stepped up to convert the resulting penalty. Grorud (yellow shirts, blue shorts, blue socks) created some decent chances as they tried to regain the lead. Nilsen headed wide and also sent a 20-yard free-kick straight at visiting keeper Arnfinn Rekdal. The home striker continued to pose a threat and just after the half hour got on the end of a pass from Simen Konasbaug and sent a well-struck shot flashing across the face of goal.

At half-time as the players left for the changing rooms, Grorud's Zacaria Magrowsi came over to the wooden terrace to shake hands with a few of his mates who were watching the game.

I moved over to the other side of the ground for the second half, near the dugouts, and spotted that a local resident, whose house overlooks the ground, had set up a table offering some refreshments.

Nilsen should have put Grorud in front in the 49th minute when he lifted the ball over the advancing keeper. Agonisingly for the striker, the ball flew just over the bar. Nilsen was again out of luck just after the hour mark when he saw a penalty saved by Rekdal. In the next attack, Magrowsi nipped past Dennis Ligonja but fired wide much to the frustration of the Grorud defender.

Eventually Nesodden took a 74th-minute lead. An initial shot from Magnus Rønningden was blocked and not cleared, allowing Johnsen to send a sweet strike home from the edge of the area, much to the players delight.

The aforementioned local resident came to pitchside with, presumably, refreshments on a tray covered by a white and yellow towel.

Aniv Nagzouzi fired straight at the Nessoden keeper from 15 yards but he played a part in Grorud's 84th-minute equaliser. He slipped a pass into the path of Simen Konasbaug down the inside right channel who sent a low shot into the opposite bottom left corner of the net.

But just 42 seconds later, including time to get the game restarted, came what proved to be the winner for Nessoden. ‘Number 10’ (aka Kenny Strandberg???), a 54th minute replacement for Sindre Storhaug, slotted into an unguarded net after home keeper Daniel Tomulevski rushed off his line.

For a speedy getaway to commence my journey to Stabaek, I moved round towards the entrance/exit and got a good view of a late 25-yard shot from Nilsen which flew over the bar.