Scandinavian weekly round up

by Ben Cullimore

 Scandinavia

Danish Superliga – Rounds 31 and 32

After being involved in a fierce scrap with Midtjylland for almost the entirety of the season, Aalborg were finally crowned Danish Superliga champions this weekend, and with one game (at home, fittingly) to spare. Despite Sunday’s result – a goalless draw away to ninth-place Vestsjælland – not being as glamorous or offensively brilliant as many have been throughout the course of the campaign (particularly their thrilling 4-2 win against Nordsjælland during the week), it was the most important, allowing the northern club to win their first league title since the 2007-08 season, and the fourth in their history.

Whilst Aalborg’s draw against Vestsjælland, it was thanks to København that they were able to avoid a last day scrap for the crown, as the reigning champions scored in the 91st minute to win 3-2 away to Midtjylland, meaning that the latter side would have to wait another year at least to lift their first ever league title. With just two points separating the two sides going into the final game of the season, København, who were victorious in both of their games this week, as they won 2-0 against Viborg on Thursday, are also now in a position to overtake Midtjylland, who lost 3-1 away to Brøndby in their midweek game, at the last minute and claim second place, as well as the much sought after Champions League qualifying spot.

A point for København against Odense on Sunday will be enough for them to finish in third place, as Brøndby were unable to capitalise on their midweek victory and had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Randers on the weekend, leaving them two points behind in fourth. As for Randers, they sit in eighth place with 38 points, two points behind Odense, who beat them 2-1 on Thursday before going on to lose 2-1 to Esbjerg. This weekend’s win, coupled with Wednesday’s victory by the same scoreline at home to SønderjyskE, means that Esbjerg are guaranteed to qualify for the Europa League next season even if they do not overtake Brøndby on the last day, as Aalborg and København will face each other in the final of the Danish Cup on Thursday evening and both have already qualified for Europe.

Meanwhile, it was heartbreak for Viborg and AGF this week, as both sides will be playing in the 1st Division next season after their relegation to the second tier of Danish football was confirmed on Sunday. Viborg lost 3-1 against Nordsjælland, whilst AGF were beaten 2-1 by Vestsjælland on Thursday, after a 86th-minute Lasse Nielsen goal ruined their hopes of picking up their first league point in almost two months, before going on to be comfortably beaten 3-0 by SønderjyskE, who confirmed their place in the Superliga next season by winning this weekend. Viborg return to the 1st Division after only one season in the top tier, whilst AGF, who have been crowned champions of Denmark five times in their history and finished in seventh place last season, drop down after two seasons in the Superliga.

Allsvenskan – Rounds 8 and 9

Malmö FF remain top of the Allsvenskan table for yet another week, still two points ahead of nearest challengers Elfsborg after both sides were victorious twice this week. The league leaders narrowly won 1-0 away to Helsingborg on Thursday evening, thanks to a Guillermo Molins penalty, before going on to win 3-1 at home to Halmstad on Monday, despite only being 1-0 ahead when the clock struck 90 minutes. Malmö FF had led since the 10th minute thanks to an early Markus Rosenberg goal, but two quick-fire goals from 20-year-old substitute Paweł Cibicki and captain Molins put them 3-0 ahead two minutes into injury time. There was one more goal to come, however, as Richard Magyar hit the back of the net two minutes later to pull a goal back for Halmstad, but the 20-year-old defender from Malmö’s successful shot would prove to be one of the last kicks of the game.

As for Elfsborg, their midweek clash saw them involved in a thrilling 3-1 win at home to 15th-place Mjällby. The visitors, who scored first through youngster Mattias Håkansson just before the half-hour mark, were set to pick up their sixth point of the season after heading into the final moments of the game with the scoreline level at 1-1, but Lasse Nielsen and Viktor Claesson, the latter of whom had equalised for the hosts four minutes into the second half, scored within a minute of one another to steal all three points for Elfsborg and condemn Mjällby to their fifth league defeat of 2014, which was then extended to six when they were beaten 2-1 by AIK on Sunday afternoon. Elfsborg then went on to narrowly win 1-0 away to 13th-place Gefle, who had drawn 1-1 with IFK Göteborg during the week, with their winning goal being scored by Viktor Prodell in the 70th minute.

The victory not only keeps them hot on the heels of Malmö FF but also means that they stay one point ahead of Kalmar, who remain the only Allsvenskan side yet to lose a league game this season. This week saw them draw 0-0 against Djurgården in Stockholm before going on to beat Norrköping 2-0 at home on Saturday, thanks to two goals from Tobias Eriksson in the second half.

Häcken, who were equal on points with Kalmar before this weekend thanks to their 3-1 win against Brommapojkarna on Wednesday, now lie three points behind in fourth place after they were beaten 1-0 by Åtvidaberg, who had lost 2-1 to Norrköping during the week, allowing IFK Göteborg, who beat eighth-place Örebro 2-1 on Sunday, to move equal on points with them. AIK are also now just one point behind in sixth place, thanks to their win against Mjällby on the weekend.

Mjällby remain equal on points with bottom side Halmstad, who were denied a second league victory of the year by AIK during the week when the Stockholm side equalised on the stroke of full time through Kennedy Igboananike to steal a 2-2 draw. Brommapojkarna are also equal on points with both Mjällby and Halmstad after they narrowly lost 1-0 to Helsingborg in a game that saw them reduced to 10 players at the end of the first half when Jacob Une Larsson was shown a second yellow card. The victory means that Helsingborg, who have had a lacklustre start to the new season, finish Round 9 in 11th place, two points ahead of Falkenberg, who held Örebro to a goalless draw away from home during the week before going on to unexpectedly beat Djurgården 1-0 at home on Monday evening to pick up their second ever Allsvenskan victory, thanks to a last-minute goal scored by 19-year-old Ghanaian striker Godsway Donyoh, who is on loan from Manchester City and a former Djurgården player.

Tippeligaen – Round 8

Two points still separates league leaders Molde and second-place Strømsgodset after the two sides were involved in a 2-2 draw with one another at Aker Stadion on Sunday evening. The hosts seemed to be set to pick up a seventh victory of the season, one that would extend their gap at the top of the table to five points, when Mohamed Elyounoussi scored his second goal of the game with little over 10 minutes left to play, but veteran striker Péter Kovács, who equalised for the reigning champions earlier in the half, snatched the win away from Molde with a 91st-minute goal.

Luckily for Strømsgodset, Viking were unable to capitalise on the draw in Molde by picking up a win, as they were held to a 1-1 draw by sixth-place Vålerenga, whilst Rosenborg are now just a point behind in fourth place thanks to their 2-0 win away to bottom-of-the-table Sandnes Ulf on Monday evening.

Lillestrøm’s impressive start to the season continues, as they are now unbeaten in their last four league games. This weekend saw them beat Odd 2-0 in Skien, thanks to first-half goals from Stian Ringstad and Marius Lundemo, extending their winning streak to three games and moving them up to fifth place in the table, one point behind Rosenborg and equal on points with Vålerenga.

At the foot of the table, Haugesund dropped back into the relegation zone after Sogndal moved off the bottom thanks to a 2-1 win at home to Start, with the winning goal being scored in the 89th minute by Gustav Valsvik.

Struggling Brann also won this weekend to move away from the relegation zone, narrowly winning 1-0 away to Aalesund, whose dreadful start to the season shows little signs of improving anytime soon. Youngster Andreas Vindheim scored the all-important goal shortly before half time, sending Brann up to 12th place and Aalesund into 14th, whilst Haugesund, who lost 2-1 away to 10th-place Bodø/Glimt, now lie one point behind in 15th.

Meanwhile, Stabæk moved back into the top half of the table after beating fellow newly-promoted side Sarpsborg 08 3-2 at home on Sunday, with all three of their goals coming in a seven-minute period at the end of the first half. The defeat means that Sarpsborg 08 end Round 8 one point behind in eighth place, equal on points with Odd.

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply