A lot of football pundits are probably scratching their heads right now after seeing the latest standings in the Allsvenskan. League champs Kalmar and pre-season media favorite Elfsborg are both near the bottom of the table after three rounds while Malmö– which many “experts” said would be a middle-of-the-table team – is on top.
By Chipp Reid
Malmö remained perfect after three rounds when it beat AIK 1-0 April 16 in front of more than 16,000 fans at Råsunda Stadion. Agon Mehmeti scored his third goal in two matches to lead Malmö to the win.
For head coach Roland Nilsson, the three-for-three start to the season wasn’t that much of surprise.
“We started a little nervously, but got better in each game,” Nilsson said. “We still have to work on communication and we need to work on increasing our tempo.”
Mehmeti once again came off the bench to provide a spark for Malmö, which is off to its best start in seven years. The 19-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic protégé replaced Nigerian striker Edwin Ofere at the start of the second half and had an immediate impact as Malmo picked up its pace against a Gnaget side determined to maintain its perfect start to the season.
Mehmeti struck in the 74th minute when he took a pass from Robert Åhman and fired the ball home from 12 yards.
At the same time, Malmö learned that Brazilian striker Wilton Figueiredo is ready to finally leave Qatar to join the team. Figureiredo went to Qatar last year and Malmo signed him over the winter. Part of the terms of his transfer was he had to complete his season in the Arab league.
Nilsson, who coached the Brazilian when he played for GAIS, said he expects Figueiredo to have an immediate impact on the team.
“He developed when he played at GAIS,’ Nilsson said. “He has played for AIK and developed. He has played in Qatar and developed. He has developed as a player all the time and he is certainly a better player today.”
Helsingborg 1, Hammarby 0
HELSINGBORG – HIF moved to a perfect 3-0 April 16 with a 1-0 win over Hammarby at Olimpia Stadium in Helsingborg. Christoffer Andersson struck in the 79th minute to lead Helsingborg to the win. The goal was his first of the season.
Brommapojkarna 1, Halmstad 0
HALMSTAD – Brommapojkarna continued its strong start to the season, beating Halmstad 1-0 April 15 at Örjans vall. Joakim Runnemo scored the only goal of the match in the 65th minute. The goal was his second of the young season. With the win, Bromma moved to 2-1-0, while Halmstad remained winless at 0-1-2.
Trelleborg 3, GAIS 0
TRELLEBORG – Marcus Pode notched his second goal of the season to lead Trelleborg to a 3-0 home victory over GAIS. Pode struck six minutes into the match off a pass from Andreas Drugge. The former Elfsborg player put his own name in the scoring book at the 49-minute mark while Kristian Haynes added a third one minute from time.
Örebro 1, Örgryte 0
GÖTEBORG – Örebro claimed its first win of the season, knocking off winless Örgryte April 16 1-0 at Gamla Ullevi Stadium. Kim Olsen scored the lone goal of the match at the 28-minute mark. Örgryte has now lost its first three games in its first season back in the Allsvenskan.
BK Häcken 4, IFK Göteborg 1
GÖTEBORG – BK Häcken recorded its first win of the year in style, knocking off cross-town rivals IFK Göteborg 4-1 April 15 at Rambergsvallen Stadium. Mathias Ranegie scored twice in the second half to lead Hacken to the win. Tommy Söderberg and Josef Karlsson also scored in the second half as Häcken did all of its scoring in the final 45 minutes. Tobias Hysen scored for IFK Göteborg in the 88th minute, giving him three goals on the season.
Elfsborg 1, Kalmar 1
BORÅS – Daniel Mendes scored his first goal in a Kalmar uniform in the 88 th minute as he helped the defending champions claim a 1-1 draw at Elfsborg. Emir Bajrami put the Boras side in front after 31 minutes. Mendes, who joined Kalmar from AIK over the winter, tied the game off a corner kick by Rasmus Elm.
Djurgården 0, Gefle 0
STOCKHOLM – The season-opening scoring drought at Djurgården continued as DIF played to a scoreless draw April 16 against Gefle at Söderstadion. DIF has scored just one goal in its first three games, but has three points. Gefle moved to five points on a 1-2-0 record.
Agon Mehmeti scores the lone goal in Malmö's 1-0 win over AIK April 16 in Malmö. Bildbyran photo/Bjorn Tilly