Call 2011 the Year of Helsingborg.
The 2011 Allsvenskan champions completed a rare triple Nov. 5 when it knocked off Kalmar 3-1 at Olympia Stadium in Helsingborg to claim the Swedish Cup. The Cup win gave Helsingborg all three major football trophies.
Helsingborg, which won the Swedish Cup last year, beat 2010 league champions Malmö in April to claim the Super Cup, a one-off event pitting the cup and league champs against one another, HIF went on to win the Lennart Johansson trophy, which goes to the Allsvenskan champion and once hoisted the Gustav VI Adolf Trophy, which goes to the Cup winner.
“A totally fabulous season,” said HIF manager Conny Karlsson.”To top it off, we finish by winning the cup final on home ground. Quite remarkable.”
Helsingborg left little doubt it is the top team in Swedish football as it systematically dismantled Kalmar. After a somewhat slow start, Alvaro Santos put HIF up 1-0 in the 25th minute. Santos knocked in a corner kick from Christoffer Andersson.
Andersson nearly doubled the lead just five minutes later when he uncorked a shot that Kalmar goalkeeper Peter Wastå parried into the corner post. The ball caromed back out without crossing the goal line.
Kalmar showed some signs of life just before the interval and in the 45th minute found an equalizer. Erik Israelsson jumped on a rebound of a Tobias Eriksson shot and pushed the ball past Pär Hansson to make the score 1-1.
After the break, it was all Helsingborg. Just 10 minutes into the second half, Allsvenskan MVP May Mahlangu put HIF back in front when he took a pass from Rachid Bouaouzan and walked the ball into the goal. Helsingborg continued to press its attack and Andersson finally got his goal 10 minutes from time when he chipped the ball over Wasta off a free kick.
“This was a totally fabulous season,” Karlsson said. “The win (in the Cup) is really a tribute to all of our players. We were far superior in the second half.”
by Chipp Reid