FC NORDSJAELLAND – MATCH REPORT VS BRØNDBY IF 09/07/2020

It was a game which FC Nordsjælland failed to control against a Brøndby side whose compact block did not allow their young opposition to create many openings. Brøndby took advantage of two individual errors to lead by 2 goals whilst Nordsjælland struggled to penetrate in the final third. FC Nordsjælland had to wait until the second half and the entrance of Mohammed Diaby, Abu Francis and Isaac Atanga to put on a better showing against the Brøndby side. With more presence and more precision in attack in the final third, the team created great opportunities but lacked precision with their final ball. FC Nordsjælland were even awarded a penalty and a chance to reduce Brøndby’s two goal lead but Martin Frese missed it. After that, they began to take more risks that allowed Brøndby to score two other goals on the counter attack.

Ratings

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Kamal Deen Sulemana

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Ghanaian
  • Age: 18
  • Date of birth: 15/02/2002
  • Current Club: FC Nordsjaelland
  • Career: Right to Dream (Y), FC Nordsjaelland
  • Position: Left winger
  • Preferred foot: Right

Kamal Deen played on the left wing in this 343 system, he tried to use his technical ability to get into the final third. He played 61 minutes before Mohammed Diomande took his place on the field.

In attacking situations, he mostly played in wide positions on the left side. This position gave him the opportunity to get into 1v1 situations more easily. His ball control permits him to drive the ball forward and change the rhythm of his run to trick the defender and get into key areas. He made a few good runs, showing his ability with the ball to make differences and find good positions to create good situations for his teammates (With 2 key passes, he was one of the players who made the most key passes during the match).

He dominates the space with his technical skills but also his good strength, he uses his body in a position in a way to protect the ball from the defender but also to open the space to have more freedom to attack. He can make differences in different situations, in transition using his speed in open spaces to drive with the ball but also in static play, he performed well and dominated the tight spaces in numerical inferiority thanks to his good coordination and ball control. He can launch attacks from deep positions on the field, starting in his own half to initiate the transition. He tries to change the direction of his run, trying to move in wide positions, but also drifting inside.

He’s a player with real confidence in his technical ability, he knows he can make a difference in 1v1 situations, but sometimes this eagerness to always take on his opponent can impact the attacking play of the team. In situations where the players need to rely on passing and link up play, he can hold omn to the ball too long and slow down the attacking movement which kill the opportunity to attack. He also needs to be more rigorous in his defensive contribution, in a team where there is a lot of movement, if one player is not vigilant this can create imbalance. It’s what happened for the second goal, Kamal Deen did not compensate for the central movement from Jacob Christensen, who came inside to crowd the central third, this lead to an attack with Andreas Bruus who had freedom to attack the right side with the time to deliver a good cross for Mikael Uhre.

Kamal Deen Sulemana is a young player who has seen his playing time increase towards the end of the season in Superligaen. He makes a difference with his athleticism and technical ability that help him to be a real threat to the opponents’ defence. He is a rough diamond who still needs to be polished. With more experience and playing time, he could improve upon some aspects of his play to have an even greater influence on the team.

Rating: A2

Mohammed Diomande

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Ivorian
  • Age: 18
  • Date of birth: 30/10/2001
  • Current Club: FC Nordsjaelland
  • Career: Right to Dream (Y), FC Nordsjaelland
  • Position: Central midfielder
  • Secondary position: Left midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Left

He only played 29 minutes after his entrance on the 61st minute, but he had a great impact and was one of the factors that improved the team. He played as a central midfielder.

Prior to his entrance, the team struggled to hold and maintain high positions in attacking situations, his entrance changed this dynamic. His physical presence helped to recover the ball higher up the pitch to maintain a little more the pressure, but also to respond to the physical challenge taht Brøndby posed. In the short time he played, he was very active, covering a large amount of ground and offering support to play and combine.

After a good combination with Isaac Atanga 20 meters out, he had a chance to shoot but missed it. He also made runs into the penalty area to create a numerical advantage. After good run into the area that offered an option to cross to for Mikkel Damsgard, and although he did not touch the ball, during this same action Martin Frese recovered possession in the area and won a penalty.

During his short time on the pitch, Mohammed Diomande played in a more central role than usual, indeed, generally we see him playing on the left side bringing his athleticism, strength and intelligence of play to make a difference. In this central position, he could bring his physical intensity in key areas to recover and support to hold up play and progress in the final third. He has become a regular starter for this team towards the end of the season and this should continue for the next.

Rating: A2

Jacob Christensen

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Danish
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 25/06/2001
  • Current Club: FC Nordsjaelland
  • Career: FC Nordsjaelland
  • Position: Central Midfielder
  • Secondary Position: Defensive Midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Right

Jacob Christensen played in the midfield with Magnus Kofod Andersen and Mikkel Damsgard. His mainly operated on the left side, varying between wide and more central areas.

He started the game with a high intensity, recovering the ball in high positions. He offered defensive support for Kamal Deen to defend in high areas and he closed spaces to create overloads in wide positions. This permitted the team to make recoveries at the beginning of the match. On his left side, he often swapped positions with Kamal Deen, they adapted their positioning with the other to ensure at least one of them was in a wide position whilst the other was in the half space. He adds a lot of energy to his side defensively, but also attacking, he initiated attacks at the base of the team and then during the same action, offered an option in the penalty area.

In this midfield three, they varied their positioning in different stages of play. Jacob Christensen could offer support to Magnus Kofod Andersen in the first stage of play with this capacity to hold and resist pressure. With the ball, he was effective, losing few balls and succeeding to make the difference against his opponents (With 3 dribbles completed, the third highest in the match). He did not take a lot of risk in his play, but when he had time and space, he made good progressive passes to create danger in transition with his good reading of the game and vision.

In his defensive covering, he was effective in physical challenges, he dominated most of his duels to stop his opponent or recover the ball. He was more efficient in his defensive play when he had to defend higher, bringing intensity with his pressing, rather than defending in lower positions, where he struggled against fast players in wide areas who like to drive at the opponent.

During this season, he has started a lot of matches. His good vision helps him to find space from a deep position and to influence the play of his team. A central role would allow him to have a greater influence, rather than when he varies his ventures into wider areas.

Rating: A2

Ivan Mesík

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Slovak
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 01/06/2001
  • Current Club: FC Nordsjaelland
  • Career: Spartak Trnava (Y), FC Nordsjaelland
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Ivan Mesik joined Maxwell Woledzi and Ulrik Jenssen in the defence. He played on the left side of the three central defenders before being withdrawn on the 75th minute.

When Nordsjælland had the ball, his positioning allowed Kamal Dean and Jacob Christensen to venture forward. When his team had the ball in advanced areas, his position covered for his teammates and blocked transitions from Brøndby. It was in deeper phases, when Ivan Mesik was in a narrower position that the team was exposed on the left side. He mostly played in his own half, but after the first changes, he offered more going forward on the left hand side, attacking the space to get into the final third. His good reading of the game permits him to anticipate and intervene, with his good physical stature he can compete physically with his opponents to recover the ball..

Against the high press of Brøndby, he offered options to his teammates to break out, but his teammates were not very accurate under the pressure. When the team was holding the ball, he was responsible for helping the team to porgress up the field. With space and time, he could play long balls to play find space in behind the opposition defence. In this way, he can create danger from deep positions to launch counter attacks, switching the play and looking to use the speed of the wide players. He made some good passes, but he needed to improve his decision making, sometimes he was gulity of trying to force a pass which lead to a loss in possession. He needed to be more vigilant when he takes this responsibility to get the ball out of their half, sometimes, he took risks in an area which can easily expose the defence when the ball is lost. He was also able to drive with the ball well out of the defensive line.

Since his arrival in January, he gradually earned his place as a starter with the team. His good physical attributes and speed, help him to adjust his position in the back three to help support the attack. With his confidence with the ball, he is effective at providing a platform to start attacks.

Rating: A2

Mikkel Damsgaard

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Danish
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 03/07/2000
  • Current Club: FC Nordsjaelland
  • Career: FC Nordsjaelland (Y), UC Sampdoria
  • Position: Attacking Midfielder
  • Secondary Position: Left Winger / Second Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right

Mikkel Damsgaard played in a three man midfield with Magnus Kofod Andersen and Jacob Christensen. He helped the team in the first stages of play, getting in deeper positions to seek the ball and drive forward with it. With his good technical ability, he could hold, resist the pressure and attack to create danger (With 5 dribbles succeeded from 6 attempted, the most of any player in this match). This ability offered him freedom to play with the ball, accelerating and initiating the transition to try to disturb the opponent’s block.

After the first changes during the second half-time, he gradually adjusted his position between the lines. With his agility and technical play, he could make differences with his first touch to change direction but also creating space for his teammates in key areas. He created one of the best chances for his team, with his position between the lines, he played a one touch pass to surprise the defensive line and find Isaac Atanga in the area who had gotten into a dangerous position inside the area. He varied his movement, playing inside with his ball control to make a difference, but with his speed he can also offer an option in a wide position, attacking open space and penetrating in the final third with the possibility to pass or also find shooting position.

His defensive contribution was strong, recovering the ball in different areas. Due to his defensive positioning, when he recovered the ball, he could hold it, resist any pressure and launch transitions by driving and dribbling the ball forward to create danger. His influence was most important in attack rather than in defence, but his good physical presence helped him to respond in defensive situations. He does not have a powerful physical stature, but his good agility allowed him to adjust his body wisely to find the best position to protect or recover the ball (With 13 successful challenges from 16 attempted, he was the player who qon the most challenges during the match). He needs to increase his impact in the air, he lacked any presence in this aspect.

His influence gradually increased during the match, it’s when he finds a role more focused between the lines that he can use his creativity to be dangerous for his team. His technical ability was essential to reatin the ball and make a difference in varying areas of the field. He is an important player for the team, next season he will join Sampdoria in Serie A, a big step for this young player who has had a good season in Superligaen.

Rating: A1

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