Helsingborg claims first win
Defending Allsvenskan champions Helsingborg went through a transformation last year and despite calm- even confident-sounding words from head coach Conny Karlsson, no one expected the Skåne club to be major factor this season.
That attitude might just change as Helsingborg served notice its new-look team could be just as good as the side that hoisted the Lennart Johansson trophy last year.
Helsingborg went into its second match of the season still smarting from a 1-0 loss in its opener to IFK Norrköping. For its home opener April 8 at Olympia Stadium, Helsingborg drew Elfsborg, which is one of the favorites to take the gold this season. Elfsborg entered the game seeking its second win in as many games. HIF, however, HIF made sure the clash of titans was essentially one-sided.
Newcomer Alfred Finnbogason scored twice to lead Helsingborg to a 2-1 win over Elfsborg. The victory also helped quite some of the criticism of the club, which fielded a team in its home opener with just four players from last year’s championship side.
The 23-year-old Finnbogason didn’t garner as many headlines as some of the bigger-names moves made over the winter, but Karlsson, the Helsingborg head coach, made the Iceland international a priority. Helsingborg picked up Finnbogason on loan from Belgian side Lokeren despite the interest of heavy hitters in England and Scotland such as Glasgow Celtic and Southampton FC.
After a so-so debut against Norrköping, Finnbogason announced his arrival in the Allsvenskan by putting on a solo show against Elfsborg. He opened the scoring at the 15-minute mark when he took advantage of some unusually passive defending from Jon Jönsson to walk in on goalkeeper Kenneth Höje for the goal.
Elfsborg tied the game 25 minutes later when Niklas Hult latched onto a pass from Johan Larsson. It was Hult’s second goal of the season.
Finnbogason, however, went Hult one better. In the 77th minute, he teams up with Matthias Lindström to work the ball down field and was on the receiving end of a through ball that he volleyed past Höje.

‘Real’ Göteborg loses second straight
The unreal start to the 2012 season continued for gold-medal favorite IFK Göteborg. The Blåvitt, with their million-dollar lineup, lost their home opener April 9 against IFK Norrköping in a match Göteborg striker Tobias Hysén called, “crap.”
Playing in front of a packed house of more than 15,000 fans at Gamla Ullevi, Göteborg looked to rebound from an ugly opening-day loss to Syrianska. The heavy rain coming down didn’t dampen spirits any although a scoreless first half had the Göteborg faithful somewhat antsy.
Hysen brought the crowd to its feel six minutes into the second half when he took a pass from Kjetil Waehler following a well-played short corner kick and easily slotted the ball into the net. The lead lasted just six minutes.
Referee Per Hansson called Waehler for a handball in the penalty box after the Norwegian apparently used his arm to settle a long Norrköping clearance. Waehler – and his teammates – argued unsuccessfully that the Blåvitt defender used his shoulder and Hansson awarded a penalty kick. Shpetim Hasani took the spot kick and fired the ball past Göteborg goalkeeper John Alvbåge to level the score at 1-1.
Norrköping needed just 15 more minutes to turn the Göteborg homeowner into a disaster. Another long clearance induced another Blåvitt foul, this time just outside the box. Hasani again took the kick and bent the ball around the wall and past Alvbåge for a 2-1 lead. Göteborg was unable to recover.

Häcken stuns Malmö
BK Häcken ran roughshod over Malmo April 7 in its home opener, beating the gold-medal hopefuls 5-0 behind two-goal performances from Waris Majeed and Rene Makondele.
Häcken and not Malmö looked more likely to compete for the Lennart Johansson trophy as it put on offensive display right from the off. Majeed set up Bjorn Anklev in the fifth minute for the first goal and Hacken was off and running.
Majeed notched his first goal of the game in the 24th minute. The Häcken striker stepped around Malmö defender Pontus Jansson before luring MFF goalkeeper Johan Dahlin off his line and put the ball into an open net. Makondele made the score 3-0 in the 43rd minute when he redirected a Martin Ericsson free kick past Dahlin.
Häcken didn’t let up in the second half. Majeed made the score 4-0 just five minutes into the second half when he tallied off a pass from Makondele. Häcken got its final goal in the 84th minute when Makondele scored from the penalty spot.

Borges rescues AIK
Costa Rican international and AIK striker Celso Borges spoiled the Kalmar home opener April 9 at Guldfågeln Arena when Borges scored in the final minute to hand AIK a 2-1 win.
AIK wasted no time in stealing Kalmar’s home-field advantage as it took the lead in the match in the 22nd minute. Martin Kayongo-Matomba tallied off a pass from Viktor Lundberg to put visitors up 1-0.
The lead held until late in the second half. A pair of new faces for Kalmar, Måris Söderqvist and Archford Gutu combined to equalize, with Söderqvist knocking in a pass from Gutu in the 84th minute. Borges broke the deadlock as time ran out. The former Fredrikstad midfielder followed up on a shot from Helgi Danielsson and pushed the ball into the net for his first goal of the season and first in Sweden.

In other matches

Djurgården 1, Sundsvall 0
STOCKHOLM – Djurgården won what could be its final home opener at Stockholm Stadium, beating Sundsvall 1-0 on April 8. Sebastian Rajalakso scored in the fifth minute off a pass from Peter Nymann Mikkelsen. Djurgården played a man down for 58 minutes after striker Marc Pedersen received a red card for a flagrant foul. Pedersen, however, wasn’t the culprit. DIF midfielder Yussif Chibsah threw a punch at Fredrik Holster. Pedersen stepped in to separate the two and referee Daniel Stålhammar gave Pedersen and not Chibsah the red card.

Åtvidaberg 2, GAIS 1
ÅTVIDABERG – Jesper Arvidsson scored with two minutes remaining to lift Åtvidaberg to a 2-1 win over GAIS at Kopparvallen. Daniel Hallingström put AFF on top in the 61st minute. Jacob Olsson scored for GAIS in the 77th minute to tie the match.

Gefle, Syrianska 1
GÄVLE – An own goal cost Gefle the chance to win its home opener April 7 against Syrianska. Jakob Orlov put Gefle after 13 minutes. The held until 13 minutes into the second half when an own goal equalized the match for Syrianska.

Mjällby 0,Örebro 0
SÖLVESBORG – Örebro grabbed a point on the road as it held Mjällby scoreless April 7 at Strandvallen.