Agon Mehmeti grew up idolizing former Malmo FF star Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Now, he appears ready to follow in the Inter Milan star's footsteps.
by Chipp Reid
When Malmo signed Agon Mehmeti, head coach Roland Nilsson thought the 20-year-old had the stuff of a good role player. Mehmeti, who grew up in Malmo, idolized Inter Milan star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who also played for Malmo.
Nilsson said Mehmeti has a bit of Zlatan about him.
“He is a tremendous talent,” Nilsson said. “He even makes training a lot of fun. He could be very important to us this year.”
Still, Nilsson never saw the youngster as more than a bench player as he looked to break in the rookie slowly to the rigors of the Allsvenskan. Mehmeti, however, had other plans. He made his long-awaited debut April 13 against Orgryte in the 80th minute as a substitute for Nigerian striker Edward Ofere.
It took him just four minutes to score his first career Allsvenskan goal and just nine minutes to notch his first professional brace. Mehmeti’s two goals powered Malmo to a 3-0 win over Orgryte in its home opener at the new Swedbank Arena in Malmo.
All of Malmo’s goals came in the second half as Labinot Harbuzi opened the scoring in the 61st minute.
“Certainly I want to play more, but I will just have to wait and see what happens,” Mehmeti said. “The most important thing is that we win.”
IFK Goteborg 6, Djurgarden 0
GOTEBORG – Tobias Hysen scored twice as IFK Goteborg celebrated its home opener with a 6-0 thumping of visiting Djurgarden. Hysen, who won the Allsvenskan title with DIF in 2003 and 2004, scored both his goals in the first half as Goteborg raced out to a 4-0 lead before the interval. Stefan Selakovic put IFK out front after just three minutes before Hysen set up Robin Soder at the 6-minute mark. In the second half, Ragnar Sigurdsson and Pontus Wernblom scored as Goteborg completed its rout.
Brommapojkarna 2, BK Hacken 0
VALLINGBY – Brommapojkarna made a success of its home opener, beating BK Hacken 2-0 in front of 1,919 fans at Grimsta IP stadium. It was the smallest home-opening crowd in the league. Olof Guterstam scored in the 72nd minute to put Bromma in front while Joakim Runnerno scored in the 90th minute to seal the win.
Elfsborg 1, Orebro 0
OREBRO – Joel Johansson spoiled the Orebro home opener when he scored late in the second half to give Elfsborg a 1-0 victory. Elfsborg, a preseason favorite to win the league, had plenty of chances to put the game away but couldn’t push the ball past Orebro goalkeeper John Alvbage until Johansson tallied in the 84th minute of play.
AIK 1, Kalmar 0
KALMAR – Defending champions Kalmar celebrated their first-ever Allsvenskan championship at their home opener April 13, only they forgot to tell AIK they were supposed to be the heroes. Ivan Obolo capitalized on a defensive error to score the only goal of the game as AIK beat Kalmar 1-0 at Fredriksskans stadium. Obolo took a pass from Kenny Pavey and rounded Kalmar Henrik Rydstrom, who completely misplayed the ball against the Uruguyan. Pavey left the game 12 minutes later after a nasty collision with Kalmar net minder Peter Wasta.
Helsingborg 4, GAIS 1
GOTEBORG – Eric Sundin snapped a 1-1 and Rene Makondele added a clinching goal as Helsingborg spoiled GAIS’s home opener with a 4-1 win in Gavle. Tommy Lycen and Rasmus Jonsson traded goals as the first half ended 1-1. Sundin broke the tie in the 48th minute while Makondele scored HIF’s third at the 61-minute mark. Henrik Larsson added a fourth goal four minutes from time.
Gefle 2, Hammarby 1
STOCKHOLM – Hans Berggren scored in his second consecutive match and Amadou Jawo added the game winner as Gefle upended Hammarby 2-1 at Soderstadion in Hammarby’s home opener. Berggren opened the scoring 11 minutes into the match. American international Charlie Davies tied the score in the 41st minute with his first of the year for the Bajen. Jawo scored the game winner at the 65-minute mark.
Halmstad 1, Trelleborg 1
HALMSTAD – Trelleborg head coach Tom Prahl stole a point from his old team as TFF played Halmstad to a 1-1 draw at Orjans vall. Prahl coached Halmstad in the late 1990s, winning a pair of titles with the western Swedish side. Marcus Pode put Trelleborg in front after 43 minutes. Emir Kujovic struck for the equalizer in the 73rd minute.
Malmo striker Agon Mehmeti rushes through the Orgryte defense to score the first of his two goals April 13 in Malmo's home opener at the Swedbank Arena.
Bildbyran photo/Emil Malmborg