The 2011 Allsvenskan wrapped up the season with every team in action on the final day of play.
It took 12 years and three weeks, but Helsingborg finally got its chance to hold the Lennart Johansson aloft as the Allsvenskan champions.
HIF mathematically clinched its seventh overall title and first since 1999 Oct. 3, but it had to wait until Oct. 23 to make that championship official. At the end of Helsingborg’s season-ending 1-1 draw with AIK, the players and coaches poured onto the field at Olympia Stadium, to the cheers of the more than 16,000 fans that packed the arena.
“We will celebrate all week,” said goalkeeper and team captain Pär Hansson. “This is something you dream about as a little kid.”
The 16,530 fans in attendance began their celebrations somewhat early in the second half, with several hundred rushing the field with 10 minutes left to play. However, referee Markus Strömbergsson simply had police usher the spectators back to the stands.
AIK had thoughts of spoiling the golden celebration as it looked to hold off Elfsborg for second place. Helgi Danielsson scored just three minutes into the match to give AIK a 1-0 lead, but that was about all the Solna side could muster.
Alvaro Santos tied the game in the 42nd minute and nearly won the match with a brilliant strike early in the second half that AIK goalkeeper Ivan Turina barely managed to turn around the post.
As the match remained tied, the fans roared with approval at every Helsingborg touch. AIK continued to look for a go-ahead goal, but HIF withstood the challenge. At the final whistle, fans and players alike ran to the center circle to celebrate the championship. Departed players Alexander Gerndt, Rasmus Jönsson, Peter Larsson and Marcus Nilsson were all on hand to receive the Championship trophy and participate in the celebrations.
Erik Edman, who was with Helsingborg when it last won the title in 1999, said despite the presence of the departed stars, this championship belonged to Hansson.
“Without him it would not have any gold,” Edman said. “May Mahlangu and (Ardan) Gashi had been spot on every game, so the three of them were key, but especially Hansson.”
Helsingborg still had two games left to play, as it faced Örebro in the semifinals of the Swedish Cup Oct. 30 at Behrn Arena (3-1). The Cup final against Kalmar is set for Nov. 5 at Råsunda Stadium in Solna.
Although it settled for a draw, AIK still took home the silver as it finished one better than Elfsborg. The Borås side beat Trelleborg 3-0 to finish with 57 points.
Helsingborg, AIK and Elfsborg all finished the season with 18 victories a piece, but the champions only suffered three losses.
Malmo came from the middle of the table to claim fourth place, which sends the 2010 champions back to the Europa League.
Djurgarden knocked off Halmstad 3-1 on the final day to secure its place in the Allsvenskan next season. Both Trelleborg and Halmstad drop to the Superettan while Syrianska faces Angelholm in the relegation/promotion play off.
By Chipp Reid
Helsingborg 1, AIK 1
HELSINGBORG—Alvaro Santos scored the tying goal for Helsingborg as the 2011 Allsvenskan champions played to a 1-1 draw with second-place finishers AIK at Olympia Stadium. Helgi Danielsson put AIK in front after just three minutes. Santos tied the match three minutes before the half.
Elfsborg 3, Trelleborg 0
BORÅS—Elfsborg swamped relegation-bound Trelleborg 3-0 at Borås Arena to finish in third place. Johan Larsson, Johan Karlsson and Daniel Mobaeck all scored for Elfsborg, which took the bronze medal for the second-straight year. Trelleborg finished second from the bottom and is in the Superettan next year.
Malmö 2, Orebro 1
ÖREBRO—Malmö needed a late rally to knock off Örebro 2-1 at Behrn Arena and complete its trip up the ladder to finish in fourth place. The 2010 champions trailed after 47 minutes on a goal from Paulo De Oliveira. Malmö went a man up after 76 minutes when Eidur Aron Sigurbjörnsson picked up his second yellow card of the match. Pontus Jansson scored the equalizer in the 82nd minute. Daniel Larsson struck the game winner four minutes into stoppage time. Örebro finished a disappointing 12th.
GAIS 2, Syrianska 0
SÖDERTALJE—GAIS shut out Syrianska 2-0 at Södertälje Football Arena to finish in fifth place in the 2011 Allsvenskan. Romario Pereira Sipiao scored his first career Allsvenskan goal to put GAIS up 1-0 after just four minutes. Calum Angus doubled the lead when he scored at the 53-minute mark. Syrianska finished third-from-bottom and is in the relegation playoff.
Kalmar 2, Häcken 1
GÖTEBORG—A pair of first-half goals gave Kalmar a 2-1 win over Häcken at Rambergsvallen. Erik Israelsson and Daniel Sobralense staked Kalmar to a 2-0 lead. Dioh Williams cut the lead in half when he struck just before the interval. Despite the loss, Häcken finished in sixth place while Kalmar finished eighth.
Göteborg 3, Norrköping 0
GÖTEBORG—Tobias Hysén scored his team-high 16th goal of the season to lead IFK Göteborg to a 3-0 win over IFK Norrköping at Gamla Ullevia. Hysen assisted on Emil Salmonsson’s goal in the 22nd minute before blasting home his 16th of the year at the 57-minute mark. Hannes Stiller added the third in the 70th minute. Göteborg finished seventh in the standings while Norrköping was 13th.
Djurgården 1, Gefle 1
STOCKHOLM—Djurgården claimed a valuable point and remained in the Allsvenskan following a 1-1 draw with Gefle at Stockholm Stadium. Sebastian Rajalakso put DIF in front after 35 minutes. Markus Hansson tied the game at the stroke of half time. Gefle finished ninth in the standings while Djurgården settled for 11th.
Mjällby 2, Halmstad 0
SÖLVESBORG—David Löfquist had a goal and an assist as Mjällby made Halmstad’s departure to the Superettan official with a 2-0 win at Strandvallen. Löfquist set up Markus Ekenberg in the seventh minute before scoring his own goal at the 22-minute mark. Mjällby finished in 10th place in the standings while Halmstad ended the season in last place.