Malmö, Trelleborg and Djurgården all scored important victories in Round 19 of the Allsvenskan.
Swedish soccer Allsvenskan: Malmö closer to top
IFK Göteborg probably won’t win the Allsvenskan this year, but that doesn’t mean the preseason title favorites won’t have a say in who does.
Göteborg played spoiler Aug. 16 when it held front-running Helsingborg to a scoreless draw at Gamla Ullevi. The draw came two days after Malmö knocked Gefle 2-0 at home at Swedbank Arena and the combined results left HIF clinging to a one-point lead.
“We are a strong team and we’re getting better all the time,” Malmö midfielder Jiloan Hamad told fotbolldirekt.se. “Now we have even more motivation. We’re right there.”
The win was the third in a row for Malmö, which is unbeaten at the Swedbank Arena. MFF is now level on wins with Helsingborg and leads HIF in goal difference by one.
Malmö also took comfort from the fact Helsingborg must face arguably the hottest team in Sweden, right now, Trelleborg, with a reduced starting lineup. HIF defender Joel Ekstrand picked up a red card and Helsingborg must face TFF, winners of five of six games since the World Cup break, without Ekstrand, Markus Holgersson and team captain Marcus Lantz.
Trelleborg is coming off a 3-2 win and moved to eighth in the standings.
Djurgården, meanwhile, is suddenly showing signs of life and climbed to 12th place in the table. DIF spent all of the first half and part of the second battling relegation but now, as its first-choice players return from injury, Djurgården seems determined to avoid joining the Superettan.
Malmö 2, Gelfe 0 MALMÖ – Daniel Larsson helped Malmö narrow the gap to first place to just one point as he had a goal and an assist to lead MFF to a 2-0 win Aug. 15 over Gelfe at Swedbank Arena. Larsson scored in the first half and set up Agon Mehmeti in the second.
Elfsborg 4, Kalmar 1 BORÅS – Eflsborg kept its slim title chance alive with a 4-1 victory Aug. 14 over Kalmar at Borås Arena. Johan Larsson had a goal and two assists for Elfsborg. Larsson’s goal in the 56th minute broke open a 1-1 game. Denni Avdic scored his league-leading 17th goal of the season to make it 3-1 and James Keene made it 4-1 at the 62-minute mark. Mattias Florem put Elfsborg in front after two minutes while Ricardo Santos tied the game three minutes later for Kalmar.
Mjällby 1, Örebro 0 SÖLVESBORG – Mjällby handed Örebro its second-straight loss and climbed closer to a European spot with a 1-0 win Aug. 15 at Strandvallen. Markus Ekenberg scored his team-leading eighth goal of the season to lead Mjallby to the win. Fifth-place Mjällby trails Örebro by two points.
Djurgården 1, Brommapojkarna 0 BROMMA – Djurgården continued its progression up the table with a 1-0 victory Aug. 16 over Brommapojkarna at Grimsta IP. Sebastian Rajalakso scored the match-winner four minutes from time off a pass from Johan Oremo.
AIK 1, GAIS 0 SOLNA – Kenny Pavey moved AIK another step away from relegation when he scored three minutes from time to give the Gnaget a 1-0 win over GAIS Aug. 14 at Råsunda Stadium. Pavey scored his goal from the penalty spot, his second tally of the season.
Trelleborg 3, Häcken 2 TRELLEBORG – Three first-half goals propelled Trelleborg to a 3-2 win over Häcken Aug. 15 at Vångavallen. Magnus Andersson, Kristian Haynes and Andreas Wihlborg scored in a five-minute span to stake Tom Prahl’s side to a 3-0 lead after 39 minutes. Matthias Ranegie scored a pair of second-half goals for Häcken. Trelleborg won for the fourth time in five matches since the World Cup break.
Åtvidaberg 1, Halmstad 1 ÅTVIDABERG – Paulus Ruiha salvaged a point for last-place Åtvidaberg in a 1-1 draw with Halmstad Aug. 16 at Kopparvallen. Jonas Gudni Saevarsson put the visitors in front after 31 minutes before Ruiha tied the game just before the interval.
IFK Göteborg 0, Helsingborg 0 GÖTEBORG – Helsingborg squandered to maintain its full-win distance at the top of the table when it played to a scoreless draw Aug. 16 with IFK Göteborg at Gamla Ullevi. Helsingborg defender Joel Ekstrand received a red card in the 69th minute.