Cameroon’s Ajara Nchout’s late winner sealed Valerenga’s 2-1 comeback against Avaldsnes in Friday’s Norwegian Toppserien game despite Nigeria’s Rasheedat Ajibade’s effort at Intility Arena.
The African duo Nchout and Ajibade went into the encounter at the top scorers of their respective teams, with two goals, having started in all their sides’ three matches so far this season.
Valerenga, who finished as the Toppserien runners-up last season aimed to extend their winning run to three, while Avaldsnes hoped to maintain their unbeaten start in four games on the bounce.
The FC Robo Queens product opened the scoring for the visitors, with a header after just five minutes into the match and almost doubled the lead six minutes later but her effort went wide.
After the restart, Monica Knudsen was forced to switch her formation, putting Nchout in front of Synne Jensen after the Cameroonian failed to flourish behind Marie Markussen.
The changes saw the hosts gained an equaliser when Inigibjorg Sigurðardóttir found herself in a good position to net from a rebound after Victoria Esson denied Celin Ildhusoy in the 69th minute.
Ajibade attempted to recover the visitors’ lead after getting behind the hosts’ defense but her strike was denied in the 82nd minute.
A minute from time, Valerenga benefited from a defensive mistake when Clare Polkinghorne failed to clear Maruschka Waldus’ cross, leaving Nchout with Esson to beat for the late winner.
Nchout, who played for 90 minutes before being replaced by Celine Karstensen, has now scored three goals in four games for Valerenga.
For Ajibade, she was in action from the start to finish in the contest and has now netted three times in four matches for Avaldsnes.
The result means Avaldsnes have now suffered their first defeat of the season and dropped to fourth with seven points, while Velerenga goes top of the log with nine points from four matches.
In their next matches, Velerenga will visit Nigeria’s Ngozi Ebere and seventh-placed Arna Bjornar on August 1, while Avaldsnes will welcome Sandviken, who sit in fifth position the next day.