April 5, 2010

Damallsvenskan 2010, Round 1

Newbies come in like lions; favorites go out like lambs

Linköpings FC—Kopparbergs/Göteborg 1-0

Goals: 1-0 Tilda Heimersson (penalty) 61:15.
Pictures at LFC's homepage

The opening game of Damallsvenskan 2010 pitted last year's champions Linköping FC against this year's consensus favorite Kopparbergs/Göteborg. The game was quite well-played, with a decent tempo and both teams looking generally organized and alert. LFC had the offensive advantage early, with no fewer than five corner kicks in the first ten minutes. The K/G defense got itself together, and the game was pretty even overall, with LFC's central defenders Charlotte Rohlin and Faith Ikidi guarding last year's league scoring leader Linnea Liljegärd tightly, which allowed her fellow front-runner Sara Lindén to take a number of shots.

The balance tipped to LFC in the second half when forward Linda Sällström and K/G goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl collided, and Lindahl received a red card. The controversy surrounding the red card has hinged on whether Sällström was in a position to play the ball the when the contact occurred, as it looked as though she had pushed it out of reach, ahead and to her left. In any event, Tilda Heimersson then converted the penalty kick, and K/G had to finish the last third of the game with 10 players and back-up keeper Susanne Nilsson, who acquitted herself admirably. K/G pushed hard in the last few minutes but LFC's defense handled the pressure well and never looked in danger of losing their lead.

Lindahl was laconic but puzzled in an interview afterwards, saying that she asked the referee what the call was, and was told that she had interfered with a goal-scoring chance. "I thought, that is surely why I am here; I am of course a goalkeeper."

This game also saw the return of forward Josefine Öqvist, who has been plagued with injuries for two years now and has not played much for LFC in this time. She had a good first game back, looking active on the left side and holding possession well.

This game counts as LFC's home opener, although the game was played on the artificial surface of Nya Parken in Norrköping, as the natural field at Folkungavallen is still suffering from what has been an unusually long and snowy winter in Sweden.

Kristianstads DFF—Sunnanå SK 3-2
Goals: 1-0 Antonia Göransson (Susanne Moberg), 14:25; 2-0 Susanne Moberg (Mia Carlsson), 26:50; 2-1 Linda Fransson, 41:02; 3-1 Magret Lara Vidarsdottir (Gudny Björk Odinsdottir), 59:04; 3-2 Martina Sandström (Linda Fransson), 77:56.

KDFF won in what was reportedly a much more one-sided affair than the final score indicates; they had, for example, three corner kicks within the first four minutes. KDFF coach Elisabet Gunnarsdottir was pleased and thought that her team could have won by even more, and that this is a nice change form last year, when KDFF lost its first ten games.

Jitex BK—Umeå IK 1-0
Goal: 1-0 Kathlene Fernström, 2:34.
Pictures at Jitex's homepage
Text from Damfotboll, Jitex

Jitex has been a historical force in the Swedish league, although the team has not played in the highest division for four years now, and few would have predicted such success to mark their return to Damallsvenskan—"We hoped for it, but did not dare to say it out loud," says the report at the Jitex homepage, which notes that a final score of 2-0 seemed more likely than 1-1.

Djurgårdens IF DFF—Tyresö FF 0-2
Goals: 0-1 Kirsten van de Ven, 6:12; 0-2 DIF own goal 47:52.
Pictures from Tyresö homepage
Text from difdam, tyresö

Tyresö, like Jitex, is newly promoted, and most of the time such teams talk only about their desire to remain in the top flight for the next year. Tyresö is an exception: people speaking for the club have said in pre-season interviews that they are already thinking about winning it all, and they are off to a good start with their defeat of Djurgården. Reports are that Tyresö dominated the first half, with Dutch international van de Ven scoring her first Damallsvenskan goal early. Djurgården played better in the second half, but not as a team, according to captain Elin Cederoos, who acknowledged her misjudgment that led to an own goal.

The game was moved to a nearby stadium with an artificial surface only three hours before kick-off, because of overnight and morning snowfall on the natural grass at Stadion.

Hammarby IF DFF—LdB FC Malmö 0-1
Goals: 0-1 Nilla Fischer (Lina Nilsson according to svenskfotboll.se's livescore; Kathryn Gill according to TV broadcasters svt) 74:57.
Text from svt

The first half was even, according to Fischer, who was very pleased to have scored for the second time in a week (the first coming in Sweden's World Cup qualifier against Wales). Hammarby's coach also thought that the first half was quite even, and felt that Hammarby were in the whole game. LdB coach Martin Sjögren added a third vote for an even first half, and thought that the result, in combination with the surprise results on the day, indicates that Damallsvenskan is quite evenly contested and he doesn't believe that there will be so many 0-7 results (like there were last year).

Dutch international Manon Melis had to leave in the first half after being kicked in the calf.

KIF Örebro DFF—AIK 4-1
Goals: 1-0, Hanna Ågren 1:46; 2-0, Hanna Ågren 35:12; 3-0, Elin Magnusson (Marie Hammarström) 43:38; 3-1, Emelie Karlsson Wedin, 56:41; 4-1 Emelia Erixon 79:52

KIF was the biggest winner in today's games, which coach Richard Holmlund credited to their solid defensive play. "Time to kill the myth that we can't score any goals," Holmlund said. "We were sloppy and must become tougher," said AIK coach Patric Jildefalk, who noted that his team played better in the second half, which taken by itself ended as a draw.


Haakon on April 5, 2010 at 2:43 PM said...

any comments on LFC's acquisitions from Norway? 11 Holstad Berge (right back) and 20 Schjelderup (midfielder)?

Jitex & Tyresö :O

kc said...

Excellent coverage!

Lindahl's post-game comment will surely be one of the best we'll hear this year.