After opening a 10-point lead only to lose it, Elfsborg is once again on top of the Allsvenskan standings, but the perch atop the table isn’t comfortable.
Elfsborg holds a five-point lead over Malmö, Häcken and AIK after 21 rounds of the 2012 Allsvenskan. The Borås side has 45 points from a 16-2-5 record, BK Häcken is a surprising second, on goal difference, with a 12-3-6 record and 39 points. Malmö and AIK, also with 39 points, are tied for third 11-6-4 records and identical goal differences.
The league leaders scraped out a 1-0 lead over Syrianska in Round 21 then had to watch as the rest of pack inched a bit closer. Malmö actually lost ground as it played to a 1-1 draw with Mjällby while Häcken jumped into second place with a 5-2 win over Åtvidaberg. AIK pulled level with both when it beat defending champions Helsingborg 2-1.
Victor Claesson, one of Elfborg’s core of young stars, said he thinks the close race makes the league more interesting.
“I think it’s fun for the fans and the players,” Claesson said. “I also think we will win. Elfsborg is the best team in the league right now.”

Elfsborg 1, Syrianska 0
BORÅS—Elfsborg picked up a crucial win to open a five-point lead at the top of the standings, knocking off Syrianska 1-0 Sept. 2 at Borås Arena. Anders Svensson scored the lone goal off a pass from Niklas Hult in the fifth minute. Ken Stuhr Ellegaard made seven saves to preserve the Elfsborg win.

Häcken 5, Åtvidaberg 2
GÖTEBORG—Waris Majeed and Rene Makondele Muzola each notched a brace of goals to lead BK Häcken to a 5-2 win over Atividaberg Aug. 31 at Rambergsvallen. Majeed broke open a 1-1 game when he scored his first goal of the match in the 58th minute. Nasiru Mohammed gave Häcken a 3-1 lead in the 64th minute. Majeed and Muszola then capped the wins with goals in the closing minutes. Mohamed Abubakari and Mattias Mete scored for AFF.

AIK 2, Helsingborg 1
SOLNA—AIK pulled level with the pack chasing Elfsborg with a 2-1 win over defending champions Helsingborg Sept. 2 at Råsunda Stadium. Celso Borges scored the game winner in second-half injury time as AIK rallied from a 1-0 deficit. David Accam scored in his debut for HIF in the 9th minute. Martin Lorentzson tied the game in the 77th minute for AIK. U.S. international Alejandro Bedoya made his debut for Helsingborg in the match.

Kalmar 2, GAIS 1
GÖTEBORG—Kalmar leveled its record for the season at 8-5-8 with a 2-1 win over GAIS Sept. 2 at Gamla Ullevi. Erik Israelsson and Abiola Dauda scored on either side of the half to stake Kalmar to a 2-0 win. Erik Johansson scored off a pass from Wanderson do Carmo to pull GAIS close. The assist was the Brazilian’s last point in the Allsvenskan as GAIS loaned its star to Krasnodar of the Russian Premier League.

Djurgården 3, Örebro 2
ÖREBRO—Djurgården squandered a two-goal lead but still came away a winner Sept. 1 with a 3-2 victory over Örebro at Behrn Arena. Kasper Woldemar Hämäläinen and Philip Hellquist gave DIF a 2-0 lead after 21 minutes. Karl Holmberg and Magnus Wikström scored just before the interval to tie the game. Erton Fejzullahu scored in his Djurgården debut to give DIF the win.

Gefle 1, Norrköping 0
NORRKÖPING—Jonas Lantto scored in second-half injury time to give Gelfe a 1-0 win over IFK Norrköping Sept. 2 at Nya Parken. Lantto scored in the 91st minute off a pass from Par Asp.

IFK Göteborg 3, Sundsvall 3
SUNDSVALL—IFK Göteborg scored three times in the final 13 minutes to claim a point Sept. 2 in a 3-3 draw with Sundsvall at Norrporten Arena. Emil Forsberg scored twice and Robin Sellin once as the Giffarna built a 3-0 lead after 49 minutes. Nordin Gerzic started the IFK comeback when he scored in the 77th minute. Hannes Stilller made it 3-2 in the 85th minute and Mattias Bjärsmyr tied the match two minutes from time.

Malmö 1, Mjällby 1
MALMÖ—Mjällby held Malmö to a draw Sept. 1 at Swedbank Arena. Tokelo Anthony Rantie scored in his debut to put Malmö in front after 13 minutes. Pär Eriksson tied the game at the 54-minute mark.

by Chipp Reid