Umeå IK paid immediate dividends on its bailout with a crucial victory.
By Chipp Reid
When Umeå IK got a second life thanks to a massive bailout courtesy of fans and local companies, the money came with a catch. The defending women’s champions had to win.
UIK lived up to its end of the bargain Oct. 18 when it traveled to Helsingborg and knocked off Stattena 3-1.
Johanna Rasmussen set up all three goals as Umeå remained one point behind league leaders Linköping. Rasmussen is one of a group of emerging stars on Umeå, which is still trying to find its way in the wake of losing many of its former top-tier players such as Hanna Ljungberg, Frida Östberg and Brazilian superstar Marta.
“I think we have a lot of really good players. People and the media just think about Marta but we were always more than Marta,” Rasmussen said. “We have a really good team.”
Rasmussen set up Madeleine Edlund and Sofia Jakobsson in the first half and dished to Lisa Dahlkvist in the second. Hanna Pattersson scored a late goal for Stattena.
Fourth-place Malmö gave Umeå a boost in its title chances, holding Linköping to a scoreless draw.
Linköping and Umeå play Oct. 31 in a match likely to decide to 2009 champion.
One team with a chance to upset those plans is Göteborg, which is level on points with Umeå. Göteborg defeated Kristianstad 2-1 as Linnea Liljegård scored five minutes from time. Göteborg trails UIK by four goals in the tie-breaking goal difference. Umeå Linköping by one goal.
Göteborg plays Djurgården Oct. 31 and could take over first place if Umeå and Linköping play to a draw.
Malmö trails Linköping by five points and is out of the title race.