Bodø Glimt breaking records with 8-0-0 start

Photo: Mats Torbergsen/NTB scanpix
Brann goalkeeper Ali Ahamada (left in blue) and Ruben Kristiansen have no answer for Bodø/Glimt’s Kasper Junker, who scored three goals in the 4-0 victory July 5. Junker has eight goals in B/G’s first eight games (as of July 15) and the team is 8-0-0.

JO CHRISTIAN WELDINGH
Oslo

Bodø/Glimt beat Kristiansund 2-1 on July 15 to take home their eighth consecutive victory. Defender Marius Lode scored the game-winning goal with a brilliant shot from about 20 yards.

Even though they finished in second place last year, most experts saw Bodø/Glimt as underdogs heading into this year’s delayed version of Eliteserien. The team had lost several important players from last year and were expected to struggle to follow up last year’s success. Bodø/Glimt, however, were outwardly optimistic all pre-season, saying they liked their chances after training well all winter. 

Photo: Svein Ove Ekornesvåg / NTB scanpix
Ålesund keeper Gudmund Kongshavn can’t stop Bodø/Glimt’s Philip Zinckernagel (back to the left) from scoring in the game on July 12. Zinckernagel scored twice in the 6-1 victory and had six goals in B/G’s 8-0-0 start to the season.

Bodø/Glimt has proved the experts wrong and have not only won all their matches, equaling Rosenborg’s record from 2003, they have also been playing brilliant soccer. Thirty-two goals in eight matches says it all, while allowing just eight. Eleven different players scored a goal, led by Danes Kasper Junker with eight and Philip Zinckernagel with six. Junker had two hat tricks.

The team continued this trend in the game against Kristiansund but struggled to break down their opposition’s defense. When Amahl Pellegrino scored his eighth goal of the season and put Kristiansand in the lead halfway through the first half, Bodø/Glimt’s victory streak seemed to be in danger of coming to an end.

Kristiansund’s lead did not last, however. Patrick Berg scored the equalizer after a corner kick 15 minutes into the second half, and after 80 minutes of play, Lode scored the game-winner, his first goal on a senior level after 212 games for Bryne and Bodø/Glimt, with a beautiful strike from outside the 18-yard box.

“I think I have to thank the coronavirus. We have been doing a lot of shooting drills,” Lode told Dagbladet after the game, referring to the government regulations that prohibited full contact training.

After the victory, Bodø/Glimt became the first team to win their first eight matches since Eliteserien was created in 1962. No team has scored as many goals (32) in such a short amount of time either. A lot of the credit goes to coach Kjetil Knutsen, who has made a team of average players into the best soccer team in Norway at the moment.

Photo: Mats Torbergsen / NTB scanpix
Goal scorer Philip Zinckernagel (left) and Kasper Junker celebrate the goal against Brann on July 5. Junker scored a hat trick in the 5-0 win and also had a hat trick against Haugesund. The two Danes are a reason B/G is 8-0-0 as of July 15.

“That was a tough one, but we managed,” he told Dagbladet after the match.

“A perfect challenge. Eight victories in eight matches is impressive, and it speaks volumes about the qualities in our players and staff.” 

Bodø/Glimt is not the only team playing good soccer in Eliteserien. Molde, the title favorites heading into the season, has won seven matches and played one draw. Their highlight of the season, so far, was beating Rosenborg 1-0 at Molde Stadium.

In contrast, Rosenborg, another team that was expected to fight for the title this year, has had a rough start of the season. Coach Eirik Horneland was sacked after only a few games, and they have yet to find a replacement. They are currently in seventh place with only 11 points. There have been whispers of them being interested in hiring Knutsen, but the Bodø/Glimt coach has categorically rejected the rumors.

This article originally appeared in the July 31, 2020, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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