May 19, 2010

Damallsvenskan 2010, Round 7

Games played May 16-19. Damallsvenskan is now one-third through the 2010 season. It is not too surprising that LdB FC and Kopparbergs/Göteborg top the chart and that KIF Örebro is in third; I feel quite comfortable saying that Jitex, lying fourth, are this year's overachievers so far.

Kopparbergs/Göteborg v. Umeå IK 5 - 0 (3-0)
Goals: 5' Own goal 1-0; 25' Sara Lindén (passning Lisa Ek) 2-0; 28' Lisa Ek (passning Marlene Sjöberg) 3-0; 71' Lisa Ek (penalty) 4-0; 86' Linnea Liljegärd 5-0
Warnings: K/G Lisa Dahlkvist 41'; UIK Emma Berglund 45'
Sources: damfotboll, KGFC, svenskfotboll
Pictures here

K/G's Johanna Almgren started for the first time the year, and could not have had a better time of it; already in the 5th minute, she made a good run on the right side, got the ball and caused the first goal, which has since been officially credited as an own goal as it went off of UIK's Frida Östberg. Almgren and Linnea Liljegärd continued to create confusion in the UIK defense, which was trying to play in an unfamiliar low style. Lisa Ek dominated the midfield with hard running and precision passing, serving a ball to Sara Lindén who scored with her head, and then getting a goal of her own a few minutes later. Ek added a penalty goal to her tally late in the 70th minute, and then late in the game Liljegärd added a goal with an elegant lifted ball, after some sloppy play in the UIK defense. Defender Stina Segerström is also mentioned as being a key player in the game.

K/G went into the locker room up by three goals to nil for the fourth game in a row; and perhaps not too surprisingly, their play deteriorated a little early in the second half, but coach Torbjörn Nilsson admonished his players which seems to have worked to good effect. He was not too happy with their perceived lapse in concentration, saying afterward that his team did not hold up well, although he also credited UIK with playing the ball around well. UIK defender Emma Berglund also said that her team played better in the second half even though it is not reflected in the game statistics.

K/G now lies second in the league, one point behind LdB FC after the latter's win against Sunnanå. In their next game they travel to Malmö, in a game that will be televised and should be quite good. "It will be fun, we have a really good feeling in the team right now," said Nilsson.

Sunnanå SK v. LdB FC Malmö 1 - 2 (0-2)
Goals: 9' Manon Melis (passning Therese Sjögran) 0-1; 27' Lina Nilsson 0-2; 80' Perpetua Nkwocha 1-2
Warnings: SSK Emelie Lövgren 27'; LdB Emma Wilhelmsson 65'; LdB Malin Levenstad 75'
Source: damfotboll, svenskfotboll

It was a quite even match between these two teams, and Sunnanå had several good counter attacks early on, although LdB took the lead already in the 9th minute. SSK's Emelie Lövgren's yellow card was issued at the same time that LdB's Lina Nilsson scored her goal, which suggests that something interesting may have happened but I don't know what. LdB went into the locker room two goals up, and apparently came out fighting as well, with several good chances in the second half. SSK's Perpetua Nkwocha reduced LdB's lead in the 80th, and SSK then took over the game as they tried to equalize, but LdB held on.

SSK coach Krister Lundgren congratulated LdB and was proud that his team showed that it could keep up with the best. Hanna Marklund was on the field again for SSK, and it was the last game in a SSK shirt for their Brazilian Luana Gomes.

LdB coach Martin Sjögren was much less pleased, saying it was his team's worst game of the year and that they lost the ball too easily. Still, LdB FC now leads the league, with Kopparbergs/Göteborg one point behind; LdB hosts K/G next weekend in a game with obvious implications for the league title. Sjögren is looking forward to it, and thinks that his players are better on an individual basis.

Jitex BK v. Kristianstads DFF 2 - 2 (1-1)
Goals: 36' Kajsa Tornfalk (passning Elin Carlsson) 1-0; 40' Margret Lara Vidarsdottir (passning Susanne Moberg) 1-1; 54' Kajsa Tornfalk (passning Annica Sjölund) 2-1; 68' Margret Lara Vidarsdottir 2-2
Warnings: JBK Kajsa Tornfalk 37'; JBK Elin Sandgren 90+' (ejection)
Source: damfotboll, Jitex, still and moving pictures also courtesy of Jitex (I recommend the movie for the excellent work of the trumpet section, audible in the first few seconds)
Also, here's a short video about Jitex, including the goals of this game, a short history about them (Pia Sundhage played for them), and a peek inside the locker room (go to minute 29; the clip on Jitex is about 4 minutes long). I am not entirely sure if this will be viewable in the US.

By all reports this was the best game of the weekend: the air was cold and the wind biting but the game was a good fight and a fair result ("a tough but honest game"), with the visitors coming back to tie it up twice, and one player on each side scoring twice (a "doublefish"). The home side thought they had won it with a goal in the 90th minute but it was called back on account of roughing KDFF goalkeeper Sandra Wahldén, who is back from a several games off due to concussion. She says that she was "attacked" by two JBK players and if the referee had not blown the whistle, she would have gotten protested enough to get a card. (In the video linked above, it's kind of hard to see the contact, though...)

Kajsa Tornfalk's first goal came from a nice ball headed through the middle by Elin Carlsson, leaving her in a one-on-one with Wahldén, who got a piece of the ball but not enough to keep it out. Margret Lara Vidarsdottir's equalizer came from a nice simple though ball from Susanne Moberg; her run took her far to the left side, from which she made the shot from an acute angle. Tornfalk's second was a really nice one-touch off her right foot into the left side of the goal, from a ball headed back to her after a throw-in. Vidarsdottir's second equalizer came after the ball was bouncing around in the box a bit after a KDFF free-kick.

Besides the goalscorers, other players singled out for praise were Wahldén, Antonia Göransson, Emelie Johnsson, and Katrin Omarsdottirs for KDFF ; for JBK, Frida Höglund, Sofia Karlsson, and Annica Sjöland.

The game was marred only by the poor field conditions, and the red card issued to Elin Sandgren two minutes into stoppage time (the reason for her ejection is either kicking an opponent's shin guard instead of the ball, or protesting that she should get penalized for doing so). Italian goalkeeper Anna Maria Picarelli, who was brought to the club to substitute for Wahldén, will remain with KDFF for at least the rest of the month.

AIK v. Tyresö FF 0 - 2 (0-1)
Goals: 23' Jennifer Egelryd (passning Elin Ekblom Bak) 0-1; 66' Karin Lissel 0-2
Warnings: TFF Line Roddik Hansen 17'; AIK Emelie Ölander 65'; AIK Hanna Folkesson 77'; TFF Azra Durakovic 86'
Source: damfotboll

This was AIK's third game in a row in which they did not score any goals, and it was also TFF's second away win within Stockholm. TFF played aggresively from the start, pushing back the AIK defense, and wasting several good chances to score. AIK came back a little bit in the second half, but their offense is young; 16-year-olds like Therese Boström and Malin Diaz are talented, but are not going to get the better of experienced defenders like Elin Ekblom Bak and Line Röddick Hansen.

Defenders Karin Lissel and Johanna Frisk did not start again for TFF, but Lissel came in shortly after the second half started, and made the second goal. TFF coach Tino Katsoulakis said that he was pleased with the game, but also that his team needs to take their chances at goal and not shoot straight at the goalkeeper.

KIF Örebro DFF v. Hammarby IF DFF 2 - 1 (0-1)
Goals: 45' Nazanin Vaseghpanah (penalty) 0-1; 55' Marie Hammarström (passning Edda Gardarsdottir) 1-1; 70' Sanna Talonen (passning Elin Magnusson) 2-1
Warnings: KIF Marina Pettersson 29'; KIF Edda Gardarsdottir 33'
Source: damfotboll

HIF's goal came through a penalty kick, after KIF defender Susanna Lehtinen dragged down HIF's Daniela Chamoun. KIF's Marie Hammarström equalized early in the second half through a low shot on a corner kick. KIF dominated the start of the half, with halftime substitute Sanna Talonen eventually scoring their second goal. Coach Richard Holmlund thought his team was too passive in the first, and should have scored, but he praised their character in the come-back.

HIF goalkeeper Minna Merluoto was singled out for praise, making several good saves. Coach Lars Pihl said they had their chances, but the they played okay and their only really poorly played game was against Jitex.

Linköpings FC v. Djurgården 2 - 1 (1-1)
Goals: 6' Josefine Öqvist 1-0; 9' Ellinor Lindbom (passning Emma Lundh) 1-1; 57' Josefine Öqvist 2-1
Warnings: DIF Caroline Frånberg 73'
Source: damfotboll, svenskfotboll, LFC

LFC ended their goalless streak at two games, as Josefine Öqvist scored two classy goals and seems to be on her way back to her national team form. As the match went on LFC became more dominant, but the second half seems to have been better than the first. DIF had some chances from corner kicks, and Emma Lundh nearly scored from a long-distance shot early; she later provided the assist for Ellinor Lindblom to score her first goal in the league.

Jessica Samuelsson made her debut for LFC, and seemed to be working well with Öqvist—"We will certainly be seeing more of her," said LFC coach Jörgen Petersson. LFC's Maria "Kalle" Karlsson replaced Faith Ikidi, who is away for a World Cup qualifier with her national team Nigeria. There's a little confusion about whether Jonna Andersson replaced Linda Sällström in the starting eleven, or at halftime—one source conflicts with the other two—I'll take the majority vote and say that Sällström, who had a stomach bug yesterday, was subbed out after the first half.

Djurgården coach Daniel Kalles Petersson praised Ann-Marie Norlin (who was hastily called back to duty "but showed no lack of fitness") and the play of keeper Gudbjörg Gunnarsdottir.