There were scenes of jubilation in Drammen on Sunday as Strømsgodset IF were crowned Norwegian league champions for the first time since 1970 thanks to a 4-0 win against FK Haugesund on the last day of the season.
Two goals from Ola Kamara after the restart and strikes from Stefan Johansen and Øyvind Storflor settled the result to leave Strømsgodset one point clear of Rosenborg BK, who saw off Lillestrøm SK 3-0. The runners-up can nonetheless still claim silverware this term when they take on Molde FK in the Norwegian Cup final on 24 November.
Much of the credit for Strømsgodset's success has gone to coach Ronny Deila, who took over ahead of the 2008 season and has lifted a team used to battling to stave off relegation into championship winners. "I am the sort of coach that likes to play attacking football," said Deila. "I would rather win 5-4 than 1-0."
His side have flourished thanks to a style of play based on swift passing and skilful wingers, with stand-out performers including forward Kamara and midfielder Johansen – both scorers against Haugesund – as well as goalkeeper Adam Larsen and centre-back Jørgen Horn. Tall striker Péter Kovács also provided some important goals in the run-in.
As for Haugesund, they clinched third place, meaning the west-coast club will compete in Europe for the first time since 1980, earning themselves a spot in UEFA Europa League qualifying next term. Current UEFA Europa League hopefuls Tromsø IL have been relegated, meanwhile, along with Hønefoss BK, while FK Bodø/Glimt and Stabæk Fotball have sealed promotion. Top-flight Sarpsborg 08 FF will face Ranheim Fotball in the promotion/relegation play-off.
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