Malmö FF took over first place in the Allsvenskan, with a little help from Örebro SK as the Örebro team put a good old-fashioned beat-down on Helsingborg Aug. 28. Örebro beat HIF 3-0 in what their trainer called the best game his team ever played.
By Chipp Reid
If Sixten Boström isn’t on Roland Nilsson’s Christmas card list, he should be.
Boström, manager of Örebro SK, handed Malmö FF manager the gift of the season, as Örebro put a good old-fashioned beat-down on Helsingborg Aug. 28, allowing Malmö to jump into first place in the Allsvenskan. Örebro beat HIF 3-0 in what Boström called the best game his team ever played. Malmö, meanwhile, squeaked past Elfsborg 1-0 Aug. 29 at the Swedbank Arena.
“The first half was probably our best of the season. It was about as well as we can play, although you always feel you can probably play a little better,” Boström said. “The possession must have been 70-30 to us in the first half.”
Magnus Wikström scored just six minutes into the match, put the former league leaders in an early hole. Magnus Kihlberg made it 2-0 in the 35th minute as Örebro always seemed two steps ahead of Helsingborg. Markus Astvald made it 3-0 in the 78th minute as he scored his first goal of the season.
Despite the win, Boström said he still didn’t think Örebro could catch either Helsingborg or Malmö in the race for the gold medal.
“It's wasted energy to think about gold,” Bostrom said. “Not that it is unrealistic, but it frankly seems like a waste of time to think about it. We are over-dependent on the performance of Helsingborg and Malmö FF. All we can do now is to play on and we'll see how far that gets us.”
The mood at the Swedbank Arena was slightly more optimistic after Malmö captain Daniel Andersson scored the lone goal of the match in MFF’s win over Elfsborg.
“We’re in a good spot,” Andersson said. “We have a two-point lead and we hope we can stay in the lead for the rest of the season.”
The Malmö captain, who picked up his third of the goal in the win over Elfsborg, said much of the credit for Malmö’s return to championship form belongs to Nilsson.
“We have not met expectations in recent years, but Rolle's work has begun to bear fruit now,” Andersson said. “We played well last year too but did not get the dividend we wanted.”
Although his team currently holds first place, Andersson warned fans not to begin celebrating a gold medal just yet.
This win does not determine everything. Each match remains very important,” Andersson said. “We should not float away, but take one game at a time. It sounds like a cliche as you always say but it is actually. It's still tight in the table and of course we hope to take gold but there is much work that remains.”
Örebro 3, Helsingborg 0
ÖREBRO – Helsingborg tumbled out of first place as Örebro put on a show Aug. 28 at the Behrn Arena. Magnus Wikström and Magnus Kihlberg scored first-half goals as ÖSK completely dominated the former league leaders. Markus Astvald made the score 3-0 when he hit the back of the net at the 78-minute mark. The win moved Örebro into third place in the standings, 10 points behind new front-runners Malmö.
Malmö 1, Elfsborg 0
MALMÖ – Daniel Andersson scored in the 79th minute to lead Malmö to a crucial 1-0 win over Elfsborg Aug. 29 at the Swedbank Arena. Andersson scored off a pass from Ricardinho. The goal was his third of the season. The victory, coupled with Helsingborg’s 3-0 loss to Örebro, put Malmö on the top of the standings by two points.
Djurgården 1, GAIS 0
GÖTEBORG – Djurgården ran its winning streak to three with a 1-0 win over GAIS Aug. 27 at Gamla Ullevi. Sharbel Touma scored the lone goal of the match at the 43-minute mark, his first goal of the season for DIF. The Stockholm side has won four of its seven matches since the World Cup break and is just five points out of a spot for European play.
Göteborg 2, AIK 1
SOLNA – Göteborg held onto seventh place in the standings with a 2-1 win over AIK Aug. 28 at Rasunda Stadium. Elmar Bjarnason staked Göteborg to a 1-0 lead after seven minutes. Niklas Bärkroth made it 2-0 in the 78th minute. Mohamed Bangura scored in the 90th minute for AIK, which slipped back into the relegation spot in the standings.
BK Häcken 2, Gefle 0
GÄVLE -- Mathias Ranégie notched his second two-goal game in three matches as he led Häcken to a 2-0 win over Gefle Aug. 29 at Strömvallen. Ranégie scored once in each half and now has seven goals on the season.
Halmstad 2, Kalmar 1
HALMSTAD – Marcus Olsson scored twice to lead Halmstad to a 2-1 win over Kalmar Aug. 29 at Örjans vall. Olsson scored on either side of the interval as Halmstad gained some breathing space over relegation. Daniel Mendes scored for Kalmar.
Åtvidabergs 2, Brommapojkarna 0
BROMMA – Åtvidaberg continued its bid to climb out of the cellar as it beat Brommapojkarna 2-0 Aug. 27 at Grimsta IP to claim its second-straight win. Paulus Roiha had a goal and an assist while Oscar Möller also tallied for AFF.
Mjällby 1, Trelleborg 1
SÖLVESBORG – Mjällby held onto fifth place in the Allsvenskan with a 1-1 draw Aug. 29 at Strandvallen with Trelleborg. Tobias Grahn put Mjällby in front after six minutes. Kristian Haynes hit the equalizer at the 62-minute mark.