Malmö dropped into a tie on points but second place on goal difference following a 3-3 with lowly Åtvidaberg while Helsingborg beat up woeful Gefle 3-1 to return to the top spot..
By Chipp Reid
Maybe Malmö FF is afraid of heights. After leaping past Helsingborg to grab first place in Round 21, Malmö dropped into a tie on points but second place on goal difference following a 3-3 with lowly Åtvidaberg. Helsingborg, meanwhile, beat up woeful Gefle 3-1 to return to the top spot.
The two teams meet Sept. 15 at Swedbank Arena in Malmö in a match the Swedish media is billing as the league final.
“I’m not in agreement with that. There are a lot of tough games left for both of us,” said Helsingborg club director Paul Myllenberg. “Still, we think it will be fun.”
Helsingborg goes into the Skåne derby riding a high after Alexander Gerndt scored his hat trick of the season to lead HF to the win over Gefle. Gerndt joined Helsingborg from Gefle during the summer transfer season and has paid dividends since his arrival. He has seven goals in eight games – actually scoring in three – for Helsingborg and is one reason why Myllenberg said he believes HIF is the favorite in Wednesday’s match.
“We have more experienced players than Malmö,” Myllenberg said. “It feels like we will win this match.”
Folks around Malmö might not disagree. Malmö lost defender Ulrich Vinzents to an injury in the draw with Åtvidaberg and continues to wait for Brazilian star Wilton Figueiredo to recover from a nagging hamstring injury. Plus, MFF must play without Agon Mehmeti the team’s leading scorer. Mehmeti received a red card in the final minute of the match against Åtvidaberg.
“We know what we need to do to prepare for Helsingborg,” said MFF manager Roland Nilsson. “Certainly it’s going to be a difficult match.”
While most of the attention focuses on the Skåne derby, Djurgården has turned into the juggernaut of the league. DIF moved into fifth place after beating Örebro 2-1 on Sept. 11 and now is just two points out of a European spot. Djurgården has won seven matches in the second half of the season and manager Carlos Banda said the team has yet to reach its potential.
“It’s really fun to look at the table right now,” Banda said. “We’re not really talking about a spot in Europe – that might be too high to aim. All we want to do is finish as high up in the standings as possible.”
Helsingborg 3, Gefle 1
HELSINGBORG – Alexander Gerndt slammed his former team as he scored his second hat trick of the season to lead Helsingborg to a 3-1 win over last-place Gefle Sept. 11 at Olympia Stadium. Gerndt scored twice in the first half and once in the second for HIF. He now has seven goals in eight matches for Hesingborg and 15 overall. The victory moved Helsingborg into a tie for first place with Malmö.
Djurgården 2, Örebro 1
STOCKHOLM – Sharbel Touma had a goal and an assist to lead Djurgården to a 2-1 win over Örebro Sept. 12 at Stockholm Stadium. The win vaulted DIF into fifth place in the standings while Örebro remained in third despite the loss. Touma scored in the 79th minute to erase a 1-0 deficit and set up Joona Toivo three minutes later to give DIF the win. Magnus Wikstrom scored for Örebro.
Elfsborg 2, Mjällby 0
BORAS – Elfsborg moved within a point of third place thanks to a 2-0 win over Mjällby Sept. 12 at Boras Stadium. Stefan Ishizaki celebrated his return to action by notching an assist on Daniel Nordmark’s 90th-minute goal. Martin Ericsson also scored for Elfsborg.
Göteborg 2, GAIS 1
GÖTEBORG – Tobias Hysén scored for the first time in more than two months as IFK Göteborg beat GAIS 2-1 Sept. 12 at Gamla Ullevi in a Göteborg derby. Hysén, last year’s league-leading scorer, notched the game-winning for IFK at the 85-minute mark. Hannes Stiller put IFK in front after 15 minutes. Björn Andersson tied the score in the 65th minute for GAIS.
Häcken 2, Halmstad 0
GÖTEBORG – John Chibuike had a pair of assists to lead Häcken to a 2-0 win over Halmstad Sept. 10 at Rambergsvallen. Chibuike set up Josef Karlsson in the 33rd minute and Rene Makondele seven minutes later.
Kalmar 3, Brommapojkarna 0
KALMAR – Henrik Rydström had a goal and an assist to lead Kalmar to a 3-0 win over Brommapojkarna Sept. 13 at Fredriksskans. Daniel Mendes had a first-half tally for Kalmar while Rydström set up Erik Israelsson in the 60th minute before scoring five minutes later.
Trelleborg 4, AIK 1
TRELLEBORG – Fredrik Jensen scored twice as Trelleborg deepened the gloom at AIK, hammering the defending champs 4-1 Sept. 12 at Vängåva. Jenseon notched both his goals in the first half as TFF put the Gnaget team in an early hole. Andreas Drugge scored the first goal for Trelleborg while Kristian Haynes notched the fourth. Viktor Lundberg scored for AIK, which slipped back into the relegation playoff spot..
Åtvidaberg 3, Malmö 3
ÅTVIDABERG – Malmö squandered a two-goal lead and needed a last-minute equalizer to salvage a point in a 3-3 draw Sept. 11 with Åtvidaberg at Kopparvallen. Agon Mehmeti and Daniel Larsson put MFF in front after 35 minutes but Jesper Arvidsson and Paulus Roiha scored in a minute span just before the interval to knot the score at 2-all. Oscar Möller put AFF on top in the 65th minute. Yago Fernandez scored a minute from time to give Malmö a point.