Canadian Exports: Hirschfeld's Valerenga picking up pace
Goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld is finally getting some help from his teammates.
Playing for Valerenga in Norway, Hirschfeld had been putting in good performances but wasn’t getting any scoring help. That’s changed of late as Valerenga have scored nine goals in their last four games — a span in which they’ve picked up three wins.
On Sunday, Valerenga knocked off Stabaek 3-1 to move up to fifth in the Norwegian Eliteserien table.
Over in Finland, forward Ryan O’Neill’s going to have to find his scoring touch if his Finnish club team MyPa have any hope of advancing to the UEFA Europa League’s third qualifying round.
O’Neill played the whole game last Thursday as MyPa lost 3-1 to Rapid Bucharest. The second leg is on Thursday with Heerenveen of the Dutch Eredivisie awaiting the winner. O’Neill also played the full 90 minutes on Sunday as MyPa drew Honka 0-0. MyPa are in fifth place in the Veikkausliiga.
Just a few places ahead in the table is Mason Trafford’s Mariehamn, who are is firmly ensconced in third place. Just a few weeks ago, Mariehamn was within touching distance of first place but three draws and a loss in their last four has seen them drop five points back of table toppers Inter Turku.
On Sunday, Trafford played the whole game in Mariehamn’s 3-3 draw with JJK.
After a few weeks of improved results, forward Franke Jonke’s Jaro are finally out of the relegation zone in Finland. Their 0-0 draw with VPS on Saturday moved them into 11th place on their own, a point ahead of KuPS, who dropped to the bottom of the table.
Over in Singpore, Sherif El-Masri’s Courts Young Lions had a successful return to league action after more than a month off.
El-Masri played the entire game last Thursday as the Young Lions beat Harimau Muda 1-0 and moved up to ninth in the S-League table.
Sitting one place ahead of the Young Lions in the table are Jordan Webb’s Hougang United. On Saturday, Hougang played fourth-placed Home United to a 1-1 draw.
Back in Finland, two Canadians playing in the Kakkonen — one level below the top flight — saw action this week.
Last Wednesday, Massimo Mirabelli was a second-half substitute for club side EIF as they dropped a 3-1 game to Pallohonka.
Defender Roger Thompson’s VIKF fared a bit better last Friday. Thompson played the whole game as VIFK jumped to an early two goal lead but conceded twice in the final half-hour and had to settle for a 2-2 draw.