There’s no better way to open a season than with a win, and for title-hopefuls IFK Göteborg, Helsingborg and Kalmar, Opening Day of the 2013 Allsvenskan was an unmitigated success.
All three teams won their first match of the new season with identical 3-0 scores, For IFK Göteborg, the win was especially sweet as it came in a derby match against city rival BK Häcken. More important for the Blåvitt, the victory helped to ease some of the sting of the past few years when early season success seemed out of reach.
“We have not started particularly well the past few seasons and it feels very good that this could become a trend, so to speak, knowing that we can be good at the beginning of the season,” said midfielder Jakob Johansson. “We can take this with us and build on it.”
Göteborg was the biggest flop in the league last year finishing a dismal eighth after adding a galaxy of stars to it roster. The Blåvitt opened the 2012 with a loss to Syrianska and didn’t claim their first victory until May. The Opening Day win, Johansson said, helped erase some of those memories.
“It is a fantastic start for once and hopefully we can carry a positive feeling from this game,” he said. “Now we can work with a little peace of mind.”

Göteborg manager Mikael Stahre didn’t even have his full team available as midfielders Pontus Farnerud, Daniel Sobralense and Nordin Gerzic and defender Ludwig Augustinsson continue to nurse preseason injuries. Augustinsson will miss at least five months with torn cartilage in his right knee. Stahre had an answer to the injuries as he welcomed Adam Johansson and Mattis Bjärsmyr back to the team after both spent last season overseas. He also turned to 19-year-old Sam Larsson to start on the left side of the midfield. Larsson responded by scoring once and setting the other two goals in Göteborg’s win.
Helsingborg and Kalmar had just as enjoyment on Opening Day as HIF slammed Djurgården 3-0 while Kalmar handed Syrianska a 3-0 defeat. Kalmar captain Henrik Rydstrom was just as happy as Göteborg’s Johansson after the win.
“I am very happy because I don’t think we’ve ever won on Opening Day,” Rydström said. “The first goal really set the tone for the rest of the match. We had some periods in the match where we didn’t play as well as we can, but always we were working to get goals.”
Rookie Mårs Söderqvist matched Sam Larsson as he also had a goal and two assists.
Helsingborg, meanwhile, made a winner out of first-year head coach Roar Hansen. David Accam, a summer signing last year, scored twice as HIF ran roughshod over Djurgården at Olympia Stadium. Although the players won the field, fans from both clubs lost off it as clashes outside the stadium threatened to disrupt the match. Police arrested 12 people – including 10 Djurgården fans – after the melee broke out just before the kick off. Police said one person was hospitalized with “minor injuries.”
by Chipp Reid


Allsvenskan Round 1 Results

IFK Göteborg 3, BK Häcken 0
GÖTEBORG – Rookie Sam Larsson had a goal and two assists to lead Göteborg to a 3-0 over BK Häcken March 31 at Nya Ulllevi stadium in the first Göteborg derby match of the year. Larsson set up Jakob Johansson in the 22nd minute for a 1-0 lead. Mattias Bjärsmyr celebrated his return to the Blåvitt by scoring in the 40th minute off a Larsson feed. The 19-year-old winger netted his first career goal in the 65th minute to complete the win. IFK goalkeeper John Alvbåge made five saves to collect the shutout.

Kalmar 3, Syrianska 0
SÖDERTÄLJE – Kalmar kicked off of its 2013 campaign with a 3-0 win over Syrianska March 31 at the Södertälje Football Arena. Måns Söderqvist had a goal and an assist in his debut, giving Kalmar a 1- in the 14th minute, He set up Måns Solheim for a 2-0 lead at the 57-minute mark and setup Jonathan McDonald two minutes into stoppage time to complete the win.

Helsingborg 3, Djurgården 0
HELSINGBORG – David Accam scored twice to help first-year manager Roar Hansen claim a win in his first match as Helsingborg whipped Djurgården 3-0 March 31 at Olympia Stadium. Mattias Lindström put HIF in front after just five minutes. Accam notched his first goal of the game in the 31st minute and hit his second at the 34-minute mark. U.S. international Alejandro Bedoya set up Accam’s first tally.

IFK Norrköping 2, Mjällby 1
SÖLVESBORG – IFK Norrköping held on to beat Mjällby 2-1 April at Strandvallen after going a man down late in the match. An own goal put Mjällby in front after 25 minutes. Christopher Telo tied the match for Peking in the 53rd minute while Gunnar Heidar Thorvaldsson picked up where he left off last year as he scored the game winner at the 68-minute mark. Thorvaldsson was second in the league in scoring last year with 17 goals. Norrköping played the final eight minutes down one player after David Wiklander received a straight red card for nasty tackle-from-behind, but Peking held on for the win.

Gefle 1, Åtvidaberg O
GÄVLE – Gefle started its 2013 seasonoff on the right foot thanks to the left foot of Alexander Faltsetas April 1 as it beat Åtvidaberg 1-0 at Strömvallen. Faltsetas, who had three goals last season, scored the lone goal of the match in the 51st minute. Gefle net minder Emil Hedvall picked up the shutout in his first start since 2005. Hedvall got the start in place of Mattias Hugosson, who was out with the flu, breaking the 39-year-old Hugosson’s streak of 228 consecutive games played.

Elfsborg 2, AIK 2
BORÅS – A battle between gold medal contenders ended in a draw as Elfsborg and AIK played to a 2-2 tie April at Borås Arena. James Keene, celebrated his return to Elfsborg after spending last year on loan at Djurgården by scoring both goals for the defending champions. Nabil Bahoul scored in his AIK debut to put the visitors in front after 53 minutes. Keene tied the match two minutes later. Henok Goitom them scored in the 61st minute in his debut match for AIK. Keene again tied the score in the 75th minute. A crowd of 15,861 packed Borås Arena to watch the game.

Brommapojkarna 2, Östers 2
BROMMA – League newcomers Östers had a semi-successful debut, picking up a point after a 2-2 draw with Brommapojkarna April 1 at Grimsta IP. Osters took an early lead thanks to a 29th-minute own goal. BP tied the game seven minutes later on a Andreas Hadded strike. Östers went back on top when Vladica Zlojutro scored in the 75th minute. Pontus Segerström scored the equalizer for Bromma nine minutes from time.

Malmö 1, Halmstad 1
MALMÖ – Halmstad returned to the Allsvenskan on a positive note, snatching a point in a 1-1 draw April 1 with Malmö at the Swedbank Arena. Tokelo Anthony Rantie fired Malmö in front after 48 minutes. Gudjón Baldvinsson tied the game for Halmstad five minutes later. The two team battled in front of a crowd of 19,577 fans.