The 2014 FIFA World Cup is in full swing, and so, too, is the Allsvenskan break. Although Sweden failed to qualify for Brazil 2014, the Allsvenskan, like most leagues around the world, is on break during the tournament in deference to wishes from FIFA.
Malmö continues to lead the league, garnering 29 points in its first 12 games. The defending Lennart Johansson trophy holders have lost just once in their first dozen matches. Malmö has nine wins and two draws and while not every victory has been pretty, so far MFF is perfect against its closest competitors for the 2014 crown. Malmö has already knocked off AIK and IFK Göteborg, and, on June 6 in its last match before the World Cup break, MFF defeated Elfsborg 1-0 at Borås Arena.
Former Sweden international Markus Rosenberg scored his fourth goal of the season to lead Malmö to the win. Rosenborg has enjoyed a renaissance to his career since returning to Sweden from Germany. He is second in the league with 10 points from four goals and six assists, one point behind teammate Guillermo Molins.
Molins, the Malmö captain, has been the catalyst behind Malmö’s success this season. He came back to Skåne after three disappointing and injury-filled seasons in Belgium. When Anderlecht released him, Malmö was quick to sign the Uruguayan-born midfielder. He has thrived since his return to the Swedbank Arena, scoring eight goals and registering three assists.
Elfsborg, despite the June 6 loss to Malmö, sits in second place with 23 points. The Borås outfit has seven wins and two draws to go along with three losses. Elfsborg has already qualified for the Europa League next – at least, it has qualified to play in qualifiers – after it beat Helsingborg to win the 2014 Swedish Cup.
Third-place Kalmar is level with Elfsborg at 23 points but has one fewer win. Kalmar played to an ugly 1-1 draw with second-from-last-place Halmstad at Örjans vall. Kalmar had seven players booked with Tor Øyvind Stensæter Hovda picked up two. Hovda will miss Kalmar’s first match after the break as he serves a one-game suspension. Nenad Djordjevic scored an injury-time equalizer for Kalmar. Kristinn Steindórsson scored his team-leading fifth goal of season for Halmstad.
AIK sits in fourth place with 22 points. The Gnaget stepped up their pace just and went into the break with a four-game unbeaten streak which included three wins. AIK beat Elfsborg before drawing with Malmö. AIK knocked off Brommapojkarna 4-2 in its last game before the World Cup. Eero Pekka Sakari Markkanen and Nabil Bahoui each had two goals in the game. Gabriel Petrovic and Dardan Rexhepi scored for Bromma, which is in last place with just one win and five points.
High-scoring BK Häcken holds the fifth spot in the standings, Häcken leads the league in scoring with 25 goals in 12 matches and has six wins and three draws for 21 points. Moestafa El Kabir (seven goals) and Simon Gustafsson (six goals) lead the potent Häcken attack, although both fizzled somewhat June 6 as Hacken drew with sixth-place IFK Göteborg 1-1 at Gamla Ullevi. Göteborg took the lead through an own goal while Gustafsson tied the match early in the second half.
Draws have been the bane of Göteborg in the first half of the season as the Angels continue their search for a true striker to replace Tobias Hysen, who is playing in China. Göteborg have drawn seven of its 12 matches, winning just four and have 19 points. Aging midfielder Lasse Vibe leads the team with five goals, but the Dane isn’t the answer to the Angels’ scoring woes. Göteborg also played with goalkeeper John Alvbåge, who is nursing an injury.
Djurgården is in seventh place with 18 points from a 4-6-2 record. DIF grabbed its fourth win of the season when it beat 11th-place Orebro 1-0 just before the break. Emil Bergstrom scored the game winner four minutes into second-half stoppage time. Djurgården is a team in search of identity. Head coach Pelle Olsson continues to look for a core side he can field from week to week, although much of the tumult surrounding Djurgården the past years looks to have subsided. Orebro has 13 points.
Åtvidaberg is in eighth place with a 4-4-4 record. ÅFF lost to 13th-place Mjällby 1-0 in the run up to the break. Åtvidaberg played much of the match a man down after Daniel Hallingström received a straight red card for a flagrant foul. Mjällby, which moved to 11 points with the win, got the game-winning goal from Robin Stromberg.
Ninth-place IFK Norrköping moved to 15 points when it beat 14th-place Gelfe 1-0 before the break. AlHaji Kamara scored the lone of the match for Peking, which now has four wins and three draws in its 12 matches. Gefle has 9 points and is currently in the relegation playoff spot in the standings.
A disappointing Helsingborg side sits in 10th place with just four wins and 14 points. Helsingborg ended the first half of the season on a positive note, beating 12th-place Falkenberg 1-0. David Accam scored the lone goal. Falkenberg has just three wins and 12 points.