With just seven matches left in the 2013 Allsvenskan, the championship race remains wide open.
Malmö, with 45 points, holds a one-point lead over Helsingborg and IFK Göteborg while AIK is three points back in fourth place. Defending champions Elfsborg is eight points back in fifth place and still has a mathematical – though realistically slight – chance of repeating.
Malmö squandered a chance to add some cushion to its lead when it lost Sept. 16 at home 2-0 to Djurgården. Helsingborg also lost in Round 23 while Goteborg won, creating the log jam at the top.
All eyes will be on the Friends Arena in Solna on Sept. 23 as AIK and Göteborg lock horns in what could be a pivotal match. A loss would likely knock AIK out of the running for the Lennart Johansson trophy. A loss would be a bitter blow for Goteborg, but would not necessarily destroy its title hopes. The game picked up all the hallmarks of an old-fashioned grudge match after IFK released a promotional poster showing defender Lasse Vibe outplaying a rat at chess. The nickname of AIK – Gnaget – means, literally, “the rat,” and it immediately set off a firestorm of angst among AIK’s notoriously raucous fans.
“We don’t think it is going to cause any problems,” said IFK marketing director Andrej Hägglund. “There is already a lot of antagonism between our two teams. Actually, the poster has drawn a lot of attention and had a very positive reaction, on Facebook and other social media.”
Not all of the comments, however, have been positive. Several AIK fans threatened to target Vibe, a Danish international, with unspecified actions during the match. Vibe said he wasn’t concerned.
“It’s just hot air,” he said. “I am not going to do anything different in the game because some people don’t like a poster.”

Round 23 Results:
Atvidaberg 4, Oster 0
ÅTVIDABERG – Imad Zatara scored twice to lead Åtvidaberg to a 4-0 win over Östers Sept. 14 at Kopparvallen. Zatara scored once in each half while, including the opening goal in the 32nd minute. Kristian Bergstrom made it 2-0 at the 48-minute mark before Zatara struck again. Daniel Sjolund scored in the 82nd minute to make the score 4-0.

Elfsborg 4, IFK Norrköping 1
BORÅS – Elfsborg kept its slim title chances alive with a 4-1 win over Norrkoping Sept. 15 at Borås Arena. Lasse Nilsson had a goal and an assist in the second half to lead Elfsborg. Johan Larsson and Jon Jonsson staked Elfsborg to a 2-0 first-half lead, both coming on feeds from Stefan Ishizaki. Nilsson scored from the penalty spot at the 60-minute mark and set up Niklas Hult for the fourth goal 14 minutes later. Christopher Telo scored the lone goal for Peking.

BK Häcken 3, Helsingborg 2
GÖTEBORG – Simon Gustafsson was a one-man wrecking crew, scoring twice and picking up an assist as he led Hacken to a 3-2 win over Helsingborg Sept. 14 at Rambergsvallen. Gustafsson put Häcken in front after 28 minutes. Peter Larsson and Arnor Smarsson scored in a two-minute early in the second half to put HIF up 2-1. Gustafsson tied the game in the 68th minute and set up Rene Makondele Muzola for the game winner at the 73-minute mark.

Djurgården 2, Malmö 0
MALMÖ – Amadou Jawo scored twice to lead Djurgården to a 2-0 upset win over Malmo Sept. 16 at Swedbank Arena. Jawo struck in the fifth and 55th minutes. His brace gave him a team-leading eight goals this season, one third of the total goals DIF has scored this year.

Mjällby 2, Syrianska 1v
SÖDERTÄLJE – Mjällby collected its first-ever win on artificial turf, knocking off Syrianska Sept. 14 at the Sodertalje Football Arena. Pär Eriksson put Mjallby in front after 25 minutes. Mattias Mete tied the game at the 77-minute mark. Andreas Blomqvist scored the game winner eight minutes from time.

Göteborg 1, Halmstad 0
HALMSTAD – IFK Göteborg moved into position to challenge for the league title with a 1-0 win over Halmstad Sept. 15 at Örjans vall. Sam Larsson scored the last-second game-winning goal.

Gefle 1, Brommapojkarna 0
GAVLE – The ageless Mattias Hugosson collected his fifth shutout of the season to help Gelfe knock off Brommapojkarna 1-0 Sept. 16 at Strömvallen. Hugosson, 40, is playing in his 22nd season with Gefle. Jakob Orlov scored the lone goal of the game in the 13th minute.

AIK 0, Kalmar 0
SOLNA – AIK could not solve Kalmar goalkeeper Erit Berisha and settled for a goalless draw Sept. 16 with Kalmar at Friends Arena.