Helsingborg and Elfsborg remained the top two teams in the Allsvenskan while Örebro continued its downward slide in the standings.
The 2011 season hasn’t quite played out the way Örebro goalkeeper John Alvbåge expected. The 28-year-old net minder had visions of gold medals dancing in his head back in April as Örebro bulked up its offense for what Alvbåge expected to be a prolonged challenge for the Lennart Johansson trophy.
The rest of the Allsvenskan clearly has other plans. Örebro, after finishing in fourth place last season, went into its Round 15 clash with second-place in the midst of a three-game winless skid that sent the side tumbling from fourth to ninth in the standings.
The slide hit Alvbåge hardest. The goalkeeper was outspoken about his expectations at the beginning of the season and has been outspoken with his criticisms of his team as it failed to meet those expectations. His frustration finally came to a boiling point against Elfsborg
Trailing 1-0 in the 77th minute, Alvbåge came way off his line to coral a cross, leaping past the 18-yard mark to grab the ball. The intentional hand ball earned Alvbåge a red card.
“I was actually hoping for just a yellow, but it was justified,” Alvbåge said. “I had so much adrenaline running through my body. I really thought we should be winning that match but there wasn’t much fire. I wanted to try to start a fast break and I came out too far.”
After leaving the pitch, Alvbåge watched the remainder of the match from the stands, where he stood with some of the nearly 8,000 fans that turned out to Behrn Arena to watch the match.
“I thought it was something nice I could do for the fans,” Alvbåge said. “Penance.”
Elfsborg went on to score twice in the final 13 minutes to complete a 3-0 rout of ÖSK. The victory kept the Borås side in second place, just two points behind league leaders Helsingborg, which drew with resurgent Djurgården. Third-place Kalmar and fourth-place Gefle also claimed wins. For Gefle, the victory came at the expense of its shutout streak as Hugo Mattiasson allowed a pair of goals in the win.
by Chipp Reid
Elfsborg 3, Örebro 0 ÖREBRO – Elfsborg took advantage of a red card to Örebro goalkeeper John Alvbåge to claim a 3-0 July 4 at Behrn Arena. Stefan Ishizaki gave the visitors a 1-0 lead just 10 minutes into the match. Alvbåge, the iconic Örebro goalkeeper, got his walking papers in the 77th minute for an intentional hand ball, and Elfsborg quickly put the game out of reach as Amadou Jawo and Johan Larsson scored in the waning minutes.
Kalmar 3, Trelleborg 2 KALMAR – Daniel Mendes put on a show, scoring once and assisting twice as Kalmar raced out to a 3-0 first-half lead then held on for a 3-2 win over Trelleborg July 3 at Guldfågeln Arena. Sobralense scored in the second minute of the match, then set up Daniel Sobralense in the 27th minute and Tobias Eriksson at the 45-minute mark. Trelleborg mounted a second-half comeback but goals from Andreas Grahm and Kristian Haynes came too late.
Gefle 3, GAIS 2 GÖTEBORG – GAIS did something no one had done in 709 minutes – score on Gelfe goalkeeper Hugo Mattiasson – but it wasn’t enough to avoid a 3-2 loss July 2 at Gamla Ullevi. Gefle raced out to a 3-0 lead on a pair of goals from Mikael Fahlberg and one from Jakob Orlov. GAIS snapped Mattiasson’s streak at the 51-minute mark as Romario Pereira Sipiao scored his first career Allsvenskan goal. Wanderson do Carmo also beat Mattiasson three minutes into second-half stoppage time.
AIK 3, Halmstad 1 HALMSTAD – The Bangura Boys continued their torrid scoring pace as Ibrahim and Mohamed Bangura led AIK to a 3-1 win over Halmstad July 3 at Orjans vall. Ibrahim Bangura scored twice and Mohamed once as AIK erased an early 1-0 deficit after Joe Sise gave Halmstad the lead in the 17th minute. Ibrahim Bangura has 10 goals this season while Mohamed raised his count to five.
Malmö 2, Norrköping 1 MALMO – The defending champions inched a little closer to the top four with a 2-1 win July 3 over Norrköping at Swedbank Arena. Jimmy Durmaz and Daniel Larsson tallied first-half goals to stake Malmö to a 2-0 lead. Imad Khalili pulled a goal back for Peking in the 78th minute.
IFK Göteborg 2, Syrianska 1 SÖDERTA]ÄLJE – Hannes Stiller scored the game-winner for the second straight game as IFK Göteborg beat Syrianska 2-1 July 2 at Södertalje Footballarena. Göteborg took the lead in the 30th minute on a goal from Mikael Dyrestam. Sharbel Touma tied the match in the 54th minute. Stiller scored the match winner at the 70-minute mark.
Häcken 6, Mjällby 0 GÖTEBORG – John Chibuike scored twice and Mattias Ranegie hit his league-leading 13th goal to lead BK Häcken to a 6-0 rout of Mjällby July 4 at Rambergshallen. René Makondele Muzola, Kari Arkivuo and Peter Nyström also scored for Häcken.
Djurgården 1, Helsingborg 1 STOCKHOLM – Djurgården remained unbeaten in five matches as it played to a 1-1 draw July 4 with Helsingborg at Stockholm Stadium. Philip Hellquist put DIF in front after 37 minutes. Alexander Gerndt tied the match at the 69-minute mark.
Örebro goalkeeper John Alvbåge makes a save prior to his sending off July 3 against Elfsborg. Bildbyrån photo