Malmö FF put on an offensive show in its opener against Gefle, doing everything but scoring.
Malmö FF did everything but throw the kitchen sink at Gefle goalkeeper Mattias Hugosson on Opening Day of the 2012 Allsvenskan April 2 at Swedbank Arena. It probably would not have mattered if the Sky Blues did throw hardware at the Gefle net minder.
Hugosson, who had a league-high 800-minute scoreless streak last year, was at his acrobatic best as he stymied Malmö, forcing the home side to settle for a point in a scoreless draw.
Playing in front of a packed house of 16,632, Malmö put on an offensive show, nimbly passing the ball around, through and over the Gefle defense, only to see its finesse fizzle in front of goal. MFF had four golden chances in the first half to take the lead. Matthias Ranegie found himself alone in front of the goal in the 14th minute and shot the ball wide. Three minutes later, Jiloan Hamad fired a shot that looked set to hit the net before Daniel Bernhardsson slide along the goal line, clearing the ball away.
Three minutes after that, Hamad again attacked the goal, blasting a volley on target that Hugosson somehow managed to steer aside. In the 26th minute, Hugosson robbed Brazilian defender Ricardinho with a reflex save.
The second half saw little let up in the onslaught, and once more it was Hugosson who saved the day for Gefle. Wilton Figueireido, who came on as substitute for Simon Thern, watched in agony as Hugosson stopped a pair of his shots while Ranegie and Daniel Larsson also lamented missed chances.
Malmö’s dominance was so complete that its goalkeeper Johan Dahlin didn’t have to make a save.
by Chipp Reid
Alex Nilsson, right, and Matthias Ranegie show their disbelief as Gefle goalkeeper Mattias Hugosson comes up with another big save on Opening Day of the 2012 Allsvenskan at Swedbank Arena. Bildbyrån photo