No matter where she plays, Brazilian superstar Marta knows how to win.
The four-time FIFA Women’s Soccer Player of the Year took home yet another championship trophy Nov. 3 as she helped lead Tyresö FF to its first-ever Damallsvenskan title as Tyresö knocked Malmö FF 1-0 on the final day of the season. It was the fifth time Marta raised the Crown Princess Victoria Trophy. She won four titles with Umeå IK.
The 2012 championship, however, might be her best. It was certainly her toughest.
Tyresö went into the final day trailing Malmö by two points. All Malmö needed was a draw at home to claim its ninth overall Damallsvenskan crown. Madeleine Edlund spoiled those dreams when she struck in the 82nd minute to give Tyresö the win and the championship.
Tyresö and Malmö finished level on 55 points, but Tyresö took the title with a much better goal difference.
More than 4000 spectators packed Malmö IP to catch the championship match and they cheered as both teams battled for 90 minutes in a match that featured a saved penalty and a controversially denied equalizer.
Five minutes after Edlund scored, Tyresö goalkeeper mishandled the ball right on her own goal line. She dropped the ball, took a step back, then picked it up again off the line. The assistant referee signaled goal. Head referee Jenny Palmqvist, however, overruled her assistant, sending Malmö coach Oeter Moberg into a rage.
“For me it is incomprehensible that she didn’t allow the goal,” Moberg said. “The assistant was standing 20-25 feet away and gave the signal for the goal.”
Malmö had its chances prior to the controversial call, especially in the first half. The best came just 13 minutes into the match when Tyresö defender Elaine Moura took down Anja Mittag inside the penalty area. The German international took the penalty, firing a low shot toward the right post that Söberg just managed to tip wide.
“I do not know what to say. I can find no words for my disappointment," Mittag said with tears streaming down her cheeks.
Mittag was a constant threat to Tyresö’s defense. In the 23rd minute she rounded an onrushing Söberg, and flicked the ball toward Sara Gunnarsdottir but the Icelandic international headed the ball over the open goal.
Malmö came to regret its missed chances when Edlund finished the pass from Seger to give Tyresö the lead.
“There are a lot of emotions right now,” said Tyresö manager Tony Gustavsson. “First I must say that it was an incredibly good final between the two best teams. We played a very good match, we showed patience and coolness, which we had talked about. It's a great bunch to work with.”
The question is how long Tyresö can keep its team together. Although she brings championships, Marta also seems to bring problems to every club team for which she has played.
After five years with Umeå, Marta left for the Women’s Professional Soccer in the U.S. When she left, UIK announced it was broke and the club sold or released nearly all its big stars including Edlund. Marta won championships in each of her three years in WPS with three different teams. Each team with which she won a title folded the following season.
by Chipp Reid