IFK Göteborg evened its record with a 2-1 win over Åtvidaberg.
A trio of familiar faces lifted IFK Göteborg to its second-consecutive victory, a 2-1 decision over Åtvidaberg April 29 at Gamla Ullevi Stadium in Round 6 of the Allsvenskan.
Hannes Stiller, a starter last season but relegated to the bench early in the season, celebrated making his first start for Göteborg (2-2-2, 8 pts) by scoring twice to lead IFK past a slumping Åtvidaberg (3-0-3, 9 pts). Stiller was a regular starter last year but found himself on the bench after IFK’s million dollar makeover during the offseason.
Stiller hooked up with Stefan Selakovic in the 41st minute to put IFK up 1-0. Selakovic was also making his first start of the season. Just four minutes later, Tobias Hysén set up Stiller for a second goal and the 34-year-old midfielder easily headed the ball home.
Stiller’s performance was simply proof of how much quality IFK has in its team, said team captain Hysen.
“We’re really built to play in Europe,” Hysén said. “We have 21 players on the first team and any of them can start, plus we always have a couple of guys up from the youth team. It makes for a lot of competition.”
Same play but now scoring Göteborg once more held possession for nearly 70 percent of the match—the sixth game in row in which the Angels have limited their opposition to a possession percentage of 30 or less. The difference is IFK is now scoring and not allowing its opponents to long-ball its way back into a match. Hysen credited Pontus Farnerud, one of Göteborg’s offseason acquisitions, with controlling the midfield.
“Pontus is dictating the play. He’s really that good,” Hysén said. “I think the difference now is everyone is starting to step up. We’re not just looking for one or two guys to do everything.”
The Angels gave Åtvidaberg a chance to get back into the match a quarter of an hour into the second half when defender Kjetil Waehler received a red card in the 68th minute after his second bookable offense. Jesper Arvidsson made Göteborg pay when he beat goalkeeper John Alvbåge off a free kick a minute after Waehler’s expulsion.
The goal was all Göteborg would concede as Philip Haglund moved into Waehler’s center defender spot and the Angels clamped down in the midfield, controlling the ball for the remainder of the match.
It was the third straight loss for Åtvidaberg since it won three straight matches at the start of the season.
by Chipp Reid
IFK Göteborg midfielder Hannes Stiller moves down and scores twice to lead the Angels to a 2-1 win over Åtvidaberg. Bildbyrån photo