A penalty shootout was needed to separate the two teams in this year’s celebrity match on Ekebergsletta. MOT eventually turned out winners.
The celebrity match is a real Norway Cup tradition. Norwegian celebrities from music, sports, politics and enternatinment get together and play football. Differences in age and football skills may be large, but they all team up and do their best.
The difference in age was obvious in one of the first duels of the game. Jonas Gahr Støre, head of the Norwegian Labour Party made a late challenge on young music star Martinus and had to apology after the tackle.
But Støre’s MOT-team appeared to be the strongest in the opening minutes. Captain and motorcyclist Pål Anders Ullevålseter almost made in 1-0 after nice build up play from the musicians from Nico & Vinz. But Ullevålseter’s finishing was of the same standard as the rest of the attack.
Ullevålseter’s opening got even worse when he made a late challenge on comedian Morten Ramm of the Pøbelprosjektet-team one minute later. Ullevålseter was awarded a well deserved booking from referee Svein Erik Edvartsen.
Changed the entire team
Nils Johan Semb, the Pøbelprosjektet coach, was obiously not happy with his team’s play. After five minutes, he changed the whole team, except Morten Ramm in the heart of his defence.
– I guess he recogniced the need for a solid player in the back, Ramm comments after the game.
The MOT team also made some changes, and the spectators got something to cheer about when actor Thomas Hayes from the tv-series SKAM entered the field. He also showed som nice skills with the ball and challenged co-actor Nicolai Cleve Broch for the ball in a «battle of the handsome boys». However, none of them ended up with the ball.
Cleve Broch was still a dangerous player in the Pøbelprosjektet-attack, and half way through the first half he went close to scoring after a nice pass from Martinus. But the referee correctly called the attack off for offside. 14 year old Martinus is excused, he probably does not have too much experience with the offside rule.
Broke the deadlock
Pøbelprosjektet eventually got the first goal anyway. Ice hockey goalkeeper Glenn Jensen made a great run with the ball and tried to put the ball past the goalkeeper. He did not hit the ball too well, but musician Heine Totland appeared in the box and guided the ball into the net. 1-0!
Half time was approaching, and MOT’s attackers still had problems deadling with Morten Ramm’s aerial power. But on a corner just before half time, musician Marcus – Martinus’ twin brother – got up on tv-host Marcus Baileys shoulders to make a real aerial threat. The corner came close to hitting the towering duo, but Marcus was not able to make contact with the ball.
The first half finished with Pøbelprosjektet one goal up against MOT. And when the secont half was about to start, MOT surprisingly did not seem to keen on restarting. Actor Ulrikke Falch from SKAM had to take responsibility and shout her players back to the field.
– This was great fun! I really enjoyed playing this game, she says after the game.
The MOT-team eventually got back on the field and went straight into attack in the second half. That, on the other hand, gave Pøbelprosjektet a lot of space for their counter attacks. Ex-footballer Jan Gunnar Solli had his hands full covering ground in the MOT defense. Luckily he was helped out by Ulrikke Falch, but she – like everyone else – got into problems facing ice hockey star Mats Zuccarello.
– He was by far their best players. It was scary going up against him on the field, Falch says.
On the touchline captain Ullevålseter tried to convince coach Drillo to switch to a more offensive formation. Whether this was done or not is questionable, but MOT eventually got their equalizer. Jan Gunnar Solli brought the ball forward and passed it into the box. Musician Amanuel Kidane got two opportunities and finished off the second one.
Defender Morten Ramm later claimed Kidane was offside, but he also praised his opponents.
– Nico and Amanuel were good, quick players. They were hard to stop, Ramm comments.
The actors Tobias Santelmann and Nicolai Cleve Broch were both stand out players on Pøbelprosjektet. As the end of the game was approaching, Santelmann was being interviewed by tv-host Mini on the sideline. He just commented the actors’ lack of staina when Cleve Broch proved him wrong by racing into a pass from Zuccarello and putting Pøbelprosjektet 2-1 up with a wonderful shot.
MOT now put a lot of players in attack, but this again gave Pøbelprosjektet lots of opportunities for counter attacks. Singer Didrik Solli Tangen made a good run down the left and dribbled past Ulrikke Falch, who was left lying flat on the ground. But this did not stop the actor from making a challenge. She tried a tackle with her head when lying down.
– Hahaha, I guess a got a little carried away with enthusiasm. I don’t know what happened, Falch laughs after the game.
Deep into stoppage time Marcus Bailey walked across to the stands and started the famous Islandic viking celebration with the fans. And the players responded to the cheering. Thomas Hayes got close to equalizing with a shot, but his attempt was not the best. But MOT was eventually going to get the equalizer anyway. Pål Anders Ullevålseter sneaked in behind Morten Ramm inside the box. He got the ball, and finally he hit the target. 2-2 in the dying seconds of the game.
– Both their goals are scandalous offside decisions. I could clearly see him lurking in offside position behind me, so I took an extra step forward. But when the ball came, the referee dit not whistle, Ramm says, clearly frustrated.
Even if he played a great game and was the star of the Pøbelprosjektet defence, the goals are what counts for Ramm.
– They make me look like the scrapegoat. That makes me angry, even if this is just an exibition game, Ramm says.
Ramm scored his penalty in the shootout, but the MOT team was still the best, and musician Nico scored the decisive goal. His teammates ran towards him and they all celebrated together in a blue mass.
Ulrikke Falch was one of the happiest players after the match. And she reveals both the game and the atmosphere made her happy.
– I love Norway Cup, and I have played football for twelve years myself, including a lot of times at Norway Cup. I have really missed playing here, so I am happy I was asked to join this game. I even got my first boyfriend here. It is really great being here.
By: Magne Mellem Enoksen and Lina Mellem Enoksen