Rosenborg secures Cup-League Double
For the first time in Norwegian soccer, a team has won both Tippeligaen and the Cup in two consecutive seasons
Jo Christian Weldingh
Rosenborg has been crowned Cup Champions after defeating Kongsvinger 4-0 on Nov. 20, and Pål André Helland was named Man of the Match after three goals and one assist. With this victory, Rosenborg has won the Cup-League Double two years in a row, something that has never been done before in the history of Norwegian soccer. “It feels fantastic!” Rosenborg coach Kåre Ingebrigtsen said when confronted with his team’s new record.
Kongsvinger, playing in Norway’s second-highest level of soccer, has had a fairytale of a season. They advanced to the cup final against all odds and almost secured a promotion to Tippeligaen for the 2017 season. They have exceeded all expectations this year and were hoping for another miracle when they faced off against league champions Rosenborg.
Rosenborg controlled the match from start to finish but had only a 1-0 lead at halftime. The goal came after 25 minutes of play; Pål André Helland curled a free kick into the left corner, just out of keeper Otto Fredriksson’s reach. Some members of the press criticized Fredriksson’s positioning and said he should have been able to prevent the goal.
With only a 1-0 lead at the half, the game was still very much alive. Kongsvinger played good defense and had a few half-chances on counter attacks, but five minutes into the second half, Rosenborg scored again—and once more Helland was involved. He curled a corner kick onto the head of Tore Reginiussen, who couldn’t miss. 2-0.
After goal number two, there was never any doubt. Kongsvinger lost all faith, and Helland continued to dominate. He scored 3-0 and 4-0 only two minutes apart, in the 63rd and 65th minute, both clinical finishes from a distance.
Helland’s hat trick was the first in a cup final for twelve years. “This is typical of him,” Kåre Ingebrigtsen said. “Pål André likes big games like this!” he added before he continued to praise his team.
Helland, deservedly named Man of the Match, told the press afterwards that he had been struggling with an injury the week prior and wasn’t sure until the day before if he could play or not. Four days before the match, he wasn’t even able to use stairs. After his 1-0 goal, he ran to the Rosenborg bench to thank the team doctor and physio. “I have been bothering them a lot the last week,” he told the press. “I have been with them all day and even at their houses at night. They are fantastic and I owe them a lot for fixing my injury.” I think the whole city of Trondheim agrees because Helland won the match almost by himself.
Kongsvinger got their first and only chance after 77 minutes of play, but Martin Ellingsen’s finish was saved easily by Rosenborg’s goalkeeper, André Hansen. “This isn’t a big loss for us,” Kongsvinger coach Luis Pimenta said after the match. “We have had a great season and we are still competing for a spot in Tippeligaen 2017.”
Rosenborg has now won the cup final ten times, which is more than any other team. Lillestrøm and Strømsgodset are number two with five titles each.
Jo Christian Weldingh grew up in Lillehammer, Norway, but is currently living in Oslo. He has a BA in Archaeology from The University of Oslo and a BA in Business Administration from BI Norwegian Business School.
This article originally appeared in the Dec. 16, 2016, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.