Scandinavian weekly round up

by Ben Cullimore
ScandinaviaAllsvenskan – Round 12

With the Danish Superliga season over and Tippeligaen on a break until next weekend, Allsvenskan was the only Scandinavian top-flight division in action this weekend.

After narrowly managing to draw 2-2 with AIK last week, league leaders Malmö FF returned to winning ways this week. They did so against second-place Elfsborg, and their 1-0 win – thanks to a fourth league goal of the season for former West Bromwich Albion striker Markus Rosenberg – moves them six points clear of the second-place side, who have now lost twice in their last three games and face another potentially tough game away to Djurgården next Monday evening. Elfsborg’s defeat also means that they are now equal on points with Kalmar, who salvaged a 1-1 draw against 15th-place Halmstad at the last possible moment when veteran Serbian defender Nenad Đorđević scored in the 91st minute, despite the fact that his side had been reduced to 10 men five minutes earlier when Norwegian midfielder Tor Øyvind Hovda received his second yellow card of the game.

AIK are also hot on Elfsborg’s heels after they extended their unbeaten run to seven games by beating fellow Stockholm-based side Brommapojkarna 4-2, with all six goals coming in the first 38 minutes of the game. AIK finish Round 12 in fourth place, one point ahead of Häcken, who had to come from a goal behind to draw 1-1 with local rivals IFK Göteborg. The latter lie two points behind in sixth place, unbeaten in their last 10 league games but without a win in almost a month.

IFK Göteborg’s struggle to win games has allowed Djurgården to creep up behind them, and they are now just one point away. Friday evening saw them win for the first time since the end of April, as an 84th-minute Emil Bergström goal helped them to a 1-0 victory away to Örebro, who are now without a win in their last six games and drop to 11th place in the table as a result.

Helsingborg’s poor start to the season has been well documented, but they were given something to shout about this weekend when they beat in-form Falkenberg to move up to 10th place. The latter side struggled in their opening six games of the campaign, but came back in fine fashion by going unbeaten in the next five, with two of those ending in impressive victories. However, their strong run came to an end this week when they were beaten for the first time since the latter part of April on Sunday afternoon, with Ghanaian striker David Accam (who is currently the second highest-scoring Allsvenskan player this year with seven goals, over half of the total amount, 12, that his side have managed to score in their opening 12 games of the season) hitting the back of the net just before half-time to score the clash’s only goal.

At the bottom of the table, Mjällby picked up their third win of the season – and their second in their last three league games – to move out of the relegation play-off spot and up to 13th place. Their victory (a 1-0 win at home thanks to a last-minute Robin Strömberg toe-poke) came against eighth-place Åtvidaberg, who had to play with just 10 men for over an hour of the game after Daniel Hallingström was shown a straight red card in the 28th minute for tripping over Mattias Håkansson when the Mjällby youngster was through on goal. The defeat brings an end to Åtvidaberg’s three-game winning streak and leaves them in danger of dropping out of the top half of the table if they fail to beat high-flying AIK next Monday evening.

Taking Mjällby’s place in the relegation play-off spot is Gefle, who narrowly lost 1-0 away to ninth-place Norrköping on Monday. Gefle’s disappointing winless run has now been extended to eight games, leaving them equal on points with 15th-place Halmstad, who they face in three weeks’ time after tough clashes against Häcken and Helsingborg.

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