After Round Ten of the Swedish Allsvenskan, the title race continues to heat up with AIK maintaining their unbeaten season, and Hammarby’s defensive frailties continuing to show.
Meanwhile, Malmo were held to a frustrating draw against a managerless Dalkurd side in the last round of football before a month-long break for the 2018 World Cup.
An action-packed weekend of football in the Allsvenskan was kick-started with a second against third clash between AIK and Norrkoping, and thrilling six-goal encounter left both teams with an even share of the points.
AIK boasted a two goal lead at half time through goals from Mats Olsson and Ahmed Yasin, before a stunning 15 minutes gave Norrkoping the lead inside a packed-out Friends Arena in Stockholm. Centre half Andreas Johansson headed the home the first of three goals from a corner, before his defensive partner Filip Dagerstal found the back of the net, finishing in the manner of a striker from a Karl Holmberg knockdown.
With just nine minutes between the two goals, there would be a six-minute wait before Norrkoping had their third goal of the game and the lead.
AIK had only conceded one goal at home all season before the visit of Norrkoping, but David Mohberg Karlsson topped a defensive day to forget for the Stockholm giants, when he tapped into an empty net when Icelandic international Gudmundur Thorarinsson drilled a low ball all the way to the back post.
At 3-2 down AIK’s unbeaten season looked to drawing to a halt, before the left-foot of Rasmus Lindkvist scored what will be one of the goals of the season across the whole continent. As a corner was headed away by Norrkoping, it only went as far as Lindkvist on the edge of the box, who volleyed the ball into the top bin with remnants of Zinedine Zidane.
Elsewhere at the heights of Swedish football, the leagues leaders Hammarby were held to a frustrating draw at Kalmar who remain unbeaten at home this season.
After suffering their first defeat of the season to AIK last week, Hammarby looked to be in danger of conceding their second defeat of the season when Ramarinho converted a penalty for Kalmar ten minutes after the restart. But midfielder Jeppe Andersen got his first goal of the season when he lashed home the bouncing ball inside the box with 25 remaining.
With already 25 goals this season, it is the first time Hammabry have only scored one goal in a league game – not including the 1-0 loss to AIK last season. But surprisingly, Hammarby chose to start May’s Player of the Month Pa Dibba, whose four goals this month cements his position as the league’s top scorer, on the bench. Whilst at the other end of the pitch, goalkeeper Johan Wiland has kept just one clean sheet in 11 league games this season for Hammarby.
At just Round Ten, we already have our second manager casualty of this season’s Allsvenskan. First was Malmo’s Magnus Pehrsson earlier this month, before second-bottom Dalkurd parted ways with Azrudin Valentic after their 8th defeat of the season at the hands of Elfsborg last week. And it would be the managerless Dalkurd who would travel to Malmo’s Malmo Stadion, where their new boss Daniel Andersson got his first win in charge last week.
It was only Andersson’s third game in charge at Malmo, and his first draw as manager at Malmo where the plucky Dalkurd held them 1-1. The home side started with high intensity and had chances to take the lead early on through Carlos Strandberg, but the striker couldn’t provide and with two minutes remaining in the first half, Dalkurd’s Ahmed Awad rounded a pacey counter attack with a low finish from outside the box.
The noise in the Malmo Stadion was coming from the away end, but Strandberg found his goal ten minutes into the second half when he thundered a low shot past Sixten Mohlin in the Dalkurd goal.
With the game on level terms, it was Malmo’s for the taking but despite the lack of a manager at the helm, Dalkurd withstood the Malmo barrage and held on for a well-earned point – just their second from the previous nine games in the Allsvenskan.
The rumours linking Ostersunds manager Graham Potter with the Swansea job are didn’t affect his team’s performance after moving up to 6th place with their third consecutive victory on Saturday.
It was a routine win for the league’s most Northern team, with goals either side of half time from Dino Islamovic and Englishman Jamie Hopcutt secured the 2-0 win. It comes as Hacken’s fourth away loss from six games this season but the Gothenburg team remain 8th after a tough run of games which included fixtures against Malmo and AIK.
There was also a loss for their Gothenburg rivals Goteborg, who succumbed to a 2-0 defeat at Sundsvall. It was the perfect response from a Sundsvall side who had lost three of the last four, claiming their fourth win and fourth clean sheet of the season.
Both goals could’ve and probably should’ve been saved by the young Swede Pontus Dahlberg, who is on a season-long loan from Watford. Romain Gall squeezed in his sixth goal of the season after half an hour from the edge of the box, and David Batanero scored a similar goal in the second half the seal the victory.
Sunday brought with it two fixtures before the World Cup break, Elfsborg found their first home win of the season against their lowly counterparts Trelleborgs, whilst Djurgardens thumped Sirius 5-1 and their free-scoring form continues.
Another win for Elfsborg moves them up to 12th position, with the team losing just two of their last eight games despite their lowered league position. But it was Trelleborgs who took the lead on Sunday, when Sebastian Ohlsson curled into the bottom corner finishing off a slick Trelleborgs move.
But the home side found a stroke of luck on half an hour when Trelleborgs defender Felix Horberg found himself in the wrong position to slot the ball past his own keeper, two minutes before Simon Lundevall pounced on the rebounded ball from an acrobatic Marko Johansson save.
In Sunday’s later fixture, now bottom club Sirius hosted the Swedish Cup victors Djurgardens. Though it finished 5-1 to Djurgardens, it was a relatively close encounter with the games second goal coming as late as the 77th minute.
Tino Kadawere scored his first of four goals in the game on 22 minutes, and a slightly controversial one as the striker headed low towards goal for the keeper to save it, and so unfortunately drag the ball acorss the line. The Djurgardens players saw this and their protests were awarded with the opening goal.
Fast forward an hour and very little had happened but this game was only just beginning. Jonathan Ring added the second for the away side with a thumping effort from the edge of the box.
Kadawere, who continues to attract the attention of FC Union Berlin, flicked home his second and the games third.
Moses Ogbu got a consolation goal for Sirius from the spot, before a couple of poacher’s goals in injury time from the league’s top scorer Kadawere sealed the 5-1 win, showing exactly why the striker is in demand.
The Allsvenskan will now take a month-long break while the World Cup is played, with the fixtures resuming in the first week of July.