DRAMMEN (VG) (SIF-Start 1–1) Christian Bolanos (36) has been brought “home” to save the elite series place for Start. Against Strømsgodset, the Costa Rican was close to winning the match, but the relegation-threatened southerners messed up two of three possible points at the end of the match.
– Today we get one point, but it’s not so bad. We play against a good opponent. We still believe that we can keep the place, says Bolanos to VG.
Start was close to taking the first away win of the season after Bolanos put in 1-0 from the penalty spot just before the break. After 68 minutes, the yellow jerseys also got one more man on the field, when Ipalibo Jack (22) was sent off with two yellow cards, but 10 minutes later Moses Mawa (24) knocked in 1-1 from close range.
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The former YMCA striker took advantage of the lack of action power from Vegard Bergan (25) and Mohamed El Makrini (33) at Start, which was crucial for the weak end to the match for the southerners. In overtime, Lars-Jørgen Salvesen was also close to putting in 2-1 for Godset.
– Now it will be a “race” at the end of the season. That’s what’s fun about autumn, but of course we wish we were further up and had more points. Had we won now, I would have felt quite safe – but we are breathing well. We have a number of teams behind us, but we must not be too calm, says Salvesen to VG.
The match was characterized by nerve, winning will and duels for a total of 90 minutes. After 39 minutes, it was an obvious ambition of Jack to use their ability at attacking on the flanks.
The attempt from the 11-meter Bolanos took off. In the biting cold in front of 600 loud spectators at Marienlyst Stadium, the Costa Rican rolled the ball into the left corner.
Viljar Myhra (24), who stood a very good fight for Godset, was after the shot – but was without a real chance to save it.
– I experience this as a match we should have had three points from. We have a push on Start and should have won even if we only have 10 men at the end, Myhra says to VG.
– With five points down to Start in qualifying, how do you see the end of the season?
– It is a short way down and a short way up the table. We get to choose to look upwards. We are offensive and play well during the day, without getting the results we want. I believe it will loosen in the future.
Six straight draws
After an evenly played first half, Godset was for a long time dominant in the second. The home team came out at a sky-high pace and created several chances, but Start goalkeeper Amund Wichne (23) delivered a brilliant match at the back for the southerners.
The last chance could not do anything with Mawa’s scoring, other than to despair over two lost points in the relegation battle.
For Godset’s part, the 1-1 result means that Henrik Pedersen’s men have now played a draw in six rounds in a row. At the time of writing, the Drammen team is in 11th place with 24 points, while Start in qualifying has 19 points.
– We have a group of young players with fantastic morale. The first 10 minutes are Start best. The rest of the match I think there is only one team on the field. We play really well and have posts in the field, but we are not skilled enough in our races. We should have scored one or two goals in the first half, Pedersen says to VG.
– It is a clear penalty kick for them, but it is not a yellow card there. In the second half, I think again that we control the game. Then we get the red card, and the picture changes a bit, but we have a chance at the end to decide. So it is disappointing that there will only be one point, the Godset boss continues.
– You play well, but have six draws in a row and five points down to Start in qualifying. How do you look at the rest of the season now?
– I think our team is developing enormously. The last six matches have shown great stability in our performance. We will learn from what we did today and work a lot with the product. We should not be afraid of any team, but we should have respect for everyone.
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