Two points in four matches is nothing to sing about, especially not for a team that expects to win a title. Still, the players and coaches at IFK Göteborg will take those two points, while also calmly criticizing their own sloppy play.
Göteborg (0-2-2) picked up its second point of the season April 15 in a 2-2 draw with Örebro (0-3-1) at Gamla Ullevi. Head coach Michael Stahre viewed the match as two points lost rather than a point won.
“I am very disappointed that we did not get three points,” Stahre said. “We play slow when it should be easy and too fast when we should go slowly.”
IFK felt somewhat cheated it didn’t take the full points after referee Martin Strömbergsson disallowed an apparent injury-time game-winning goal by Hannes Stiller. Stahre, however, said the match should never have come down to late-game calls.
“We must improve our defensive play,” Stahre said. “We must get better at taking care of the chances we create. We should not let in two goals at home.”
Göteborg looked sloppy at times against Örebro, controlling the match for short periods before ceding control to the guests. Göteborg managed to put together a strong end to the first half and Tobias Sana capped a 10-minute offensive flurry with his first goal of the season. Sana finished off a pass from Daniel Sobralense right at the stroke of halftime to put IFK up 1-0.
Despite the goal, Stahre wasn’t happy with a first half in which his team controlled possession by 67 percent to 33 percent but could not score more than one goal.
“It was shaky and not very good,” Stahre said.
The start of the second was even worse for "Real." Örebro exploited large open areas IFK left exposed as it looked to attack, allowing the visitors to counter with a long-ball offense that troubled the Blåvitt back line. OSK tied the game just two minutes into the second half when former Angel William Atashkadeh blasted a shot that hit the post and rebounded right to the striker’s feet. He cracked a second shot that beat IFK net minder John Alvbåge to knot the game at 1-1.
Göteborg once more held possession and dictated play but could not find the goal. Tobias Grahn made the Angels pay. The former Swedish international caromed a shot off defender Kjetil Waehler past Alvbåge in the 75th minute for a 2-1 Örebro lead. The goal finally woke IFK out of its offensive slumber.
“We attacked for the last 15 minutes,” said striker Tobias Hysen. “They had the lead so they didn’t need to go forward but we held them in their own end. All they could do was put 11 players behind the ball and defend.”
With four minutes left to play, Göteborg equalized. Emil Salomonsson carried the ball along the right side and lofted in a cross. Pontus Farnerud calmly settled the ball and volleyed it into the net for his first Allsvenskan goal since he returned to Sweden.
IFK maintained the pressure and in injury time Hysen cracked a shot off the post. Joel Allansson followed up on his shot and sent a cross slashing in front of the net. Hannes Stiller headed the ball past Örebro goalkeeper Tomer Chencinski for a seeming 3-2 lead. Assistant referee Henrik Bogdan however called the goal offsides. Subsequent replays showed the call was wrong.
“That was a bad decision,” said Hysen. “That’s how our first four games have been. We’ve had some bad luck and some bad calls.”
Although the one point was better than no points, no one at IFK was ready to celebrate the draw.
“We got punished severely for our mistakes,” said Farnerud. “We controlled the game and put a lot of pressure on them, but defensively we were poor across the field. Now, all we can do is focus on our next game.”
by Chipp Reid