Göteborg, Elfsborg lead the way at Midsummer break.
The Allsvenskan went into its Midsummer break June 6 with IFK Göteborg and IF Elfsborg holding the top two spots in the table.
By Chipp Reid
The top flight of Swedish football is on hiatus until July 4, giving many teams the chance to rest up from a grueling first half that saw many teams play up to three matches a week between league and cup matches. The grinding number of games caused a massive upsurge in injuries among the teams, one reason why Elfsborg and Göteborg are at the top of the table. Both managed to avoid the injury bugs that crippled other teams such as AIK, Djurgården and Malmö.
“The schedule has been so tight,” said Elfsborg manager Magnus Haglund. “Every team has had a lot of trouble with thigh injuries or hamstring injuries. It’s difficult to train properly and recover when you play so many games in a short period of time.”
Elfsborg played most of the first half of the season without its captain, Anders Svensson, who suffered a hamstring injury in April. Haglund said he expects Svensson to be fully fit for the second half.
Over at Göteborg, injuries failed to stop the high-flying Angels from racking up nine wins in 12 matches. Göteborg leads the league in scoring, with Tobias Hysén blazing the way with nine goals and two assists. Hysén picked up one assist as Göteborg whipped Brommapojkarna 4-0 in Round 12.
Elfsborg, meanwhile, settled for a 1-1 draw with BK Häcken, its sixth draw in 12 games – to go along with six wins. Elfsborg trails Göteborg by three points at the break, although Haglund said there is no sense of frustration among the players.
“We’ve averaged two points per game. There are not a lot of teams that can do that,” the Elfsborg manager said. “If we keep up that average over 30 matches, it would give us 60 points and probably win the league, so we are pretty happy with where we are right now.”
Helsingborg remained in third place on 22 points despite losing 2-0 to defending champions Kalmar in Round 12. Helsingborg is level on points with AIK, 1-0 winners over Hammaby in Round 12, but HIF holds the three spot on goal difference.
Trellebrg and Gefle are in fifth and sixth, even with 19 points but with Trelleborg in fifth again thanks to goal difference. Kalmar moved into seventh place with its win over Helsingborg.
At the other end of the table, Örgryte finished the first half winless, although the Göteborg club celebrated picking up a point when it played to a scoreless draw with Djurgården. The first half was an utter disaster for DIF, which has just three wins and is in second-to-last place in the standings.
GAIS currently sits in the relegation zone playoff spot, while Hammarby is in 13th place with just 12 points.
IFK Göteborg 4, Brommapojkarna GÖTEBORG – IFK Göteborg sailed to its seventh home win and ninth victory overall with a 4-0 pounding of Brommapojkarna. Niklas Bakroth came off the bench to score twice and assist once to lead Göteborg to the win. Stefan Selakovic and Pontus Wernblom also scored for Göteborg.
BK Häcken 1, Elfsborg 1 GÖTEBORG – Martin Ericsson salvaged a point for Elfsborg when he scored in the 37th minute to give the Borås side a 1-1 draw with Hacken. Mathias Ranegie scored his first Allsvenskan goal for Häcken in the 26th minute.
Kalmar 2, Helsingborg 0 KALMAR – The Elm brothers showed sings of regaining their championship form as David Elm had an assist and Rasmus Elm a goal to lead Kalmar to a 2-0 win over Helsingborg. Last year, Rasmus, David and Victor Elm led Kalmar to its first-ever Swedish title, but Victor left for Holland and the two remaining brothers struggled to find their form. David Elm set up Daniel Sobralense at the 33-minute mark while Rasmus Elm scored in the 49th minute for Kalmar.
AIK 1, Hammarby 0 SOLNA – Gambian international Saihue Jagne scored his third goal of the season to lead AIK to a 1-0 win over Hammarby in a Stockholm derby. Jagne tallied at the stroke of half time.
Trelleborg 2, Gefle 1 TRELLEBORG – Peter Abelsson and Paulino Lopes Tavares scored in the first half to lead Trelleborg to a 2-1 win over Gefle. Amadou Jawo, a Congolese international and a subject of intense transfer speculation, put Gefle in front 1-0 just four minutes into the match.
Malmö 2, GAIS 2 MALMÖ – Wanderson do Carmo scored twice but it wasn’t enough as GAIS and Malmö settled for a 2-2 draw at the Swedbank Arena. The pair of goals tied the Brazilian for the scoring lead with Tobias Hysen with nine goals. Guillermo Molins and Jiloan Hamad scored for Malmö.
Halmstad 1, Örebro 1 HALMSTAD – Tommy Wirtanen scored his first career Allsvenskan goal but it wasn’t enough for Örebro as Halmstad rallied for a 1-1 draw at Örjans vall. Wirtanen struck for his goal at the 43-minute mark to give Örebro the lead. Michael Görlitz tied the game at the 70-minute mark for Halmstad.
Örgryte 0, Djurgården 0 GÖTEBORG – Örgryte claimed a moral victory as it earned just its second point of the season in a scoreless draw against fellow cellar dwellers Djurgården. Örgryte has just two draws and 10 losses this season while DIF, in second-to-last place, has three wins, two draws and even losses.
IFK Göteborg toss captain Pontus Wernblom into the air as they celebrate their win over Brommapojkarna in Round 12 of the Allsvenskan. Bildbyrån photo.