Vålerenga captures Toppserien title

Rosenborg disappointed again

soccer

Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB
A Vålerenga player raises a flare as the team celebrates its second Toppserien championship in four years on Nov. 11.

Michael Kleiner
Business & Sports Editor
The Norwegian American

The Toppserien title was going to come down to the two best teams, Vålerenga and Rosenborg, battling for the championship in the last game of the season, Nov. 18, at Rosenborg.

Vålerenga had other ideas. On Nov. 11, the host Oslo team downed Stabæk 3-1. Stabæk took the lead with a 10th minute goal by Monica Nedgård Isaksen. In the 29th minute, Elise Thorsnes converted a penalty kick to even the score. Two minutes later, 23-year-old Olaug Tvedten scored her 13th goal of the season, with an assist from Karina Sævik. In the 80th minute, 23-year-old Dane Janni Thomsen closed out the scoring.

The flares went off, players hugged, there was singing, the Toppserien “seriemester” podium came out, the team received their hats, scarves, and trophies.

“This is fantastic,” said Tvedten to NRK. “I’ve never won the series before, so it hasn’t really dawned on me. My God, how much fun it is to decide it at home.”

Tvedten led the league in scoring with 13 goals, 10 assists followed by Sævik with 12-7.

About 13 miles away, Rosenborg ended its duel at Lillestrøm 1-1. Anna Jøsendal gave Rosenborg the lead in the 14th minute with her eighth goal. Irene Dirdal evened the score in the 62nd minute.

The two lost points sent Rosenborg into another offseason without a title despite a phenomenal record in the last four years. On Nov. 18, Rosenborg (18 wins-5 draws-4 losses-58 pts) blanked Vålerenga (17-8-2-59) 3-0 while Lillestrøm (16-7-4-55) drew 2-2 with fourth-place Brann (13-7-7-46), giving Rosenborg the silver, Lillestrøm bronze.

Again, the bridesmaid, not the bride.

soccer

Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB
Champagne sprays, confetti falls as Vålerenga clinched the Toppserien championship after a 3-1 win over Stabæk, Nov. 11.

Since a 2-0 loss to Lillestrøm, June 30, Vålerenga’s was 5-3-1. Starting June 18, Rosenborg won seven straight, but in October and November, they went 2-3-1, which included a loss to Brann, and draws with ninth-place Avaldsnes (5-6-16-21) and fifth-place Stabæk (10-7-10-37). On May 7, Vålerenga and Rosenborg played a scoreless draw. On May 27, Vålerenga prevailed 3-1. Since June 18, Lillestrøm was 9-4-0.

Since 2020, Rosenborg has 57 wins, 15 draws, 9 losses for 187 points, a points percentage of 77%, a goal differential of 115. Brann is 53-14-14-173 points, 71.1%, and 51-18-12-171 points, 70.3%.

Rosenborg has watched Vålerenga celebrate in 2020 (when Rosenborg was unbeaten but lost the tiebreaker) and 2023, Brann in 2021 and 2022.

This article originally appeared in the December 2023 issue of The Norwegian American.

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Michael Kleiner

Michael Kleiner, business and sports editor, has more than three decades of experience as an award-winning journalist and public relations professional. He has operated his own PR and web design business for small businesses, authors and community organizations in Philadelphia since 1999. Not of Norwegian descent, he lived in Norway for a year with his family at age 11 and has returned as an adult. He is the author of a memoir, Beyond the Cold: An American’s Warm Portrait of Norway, and a member of NorCham Philadelphia. Visit Kleinerprweb.com; beyondthecold.com.