August 28, 2010

Damallsvenskan 2010, round 16

Three Swedish ex-WPS players (Madelaine Edlund, Johanna Frisk, and Elaine) had themselves a pretty good weekend in Damallsvenskan, with their team Tyresö FF.

28 august
Hammarby IF v. Djurgården IF 0 - 2 (half - half)
Goals: 20' Rebecca Johnson (passning Klara Lindberg) 0-1; 74' Ahkeela Darcel Mollon (passning Rebecca Johnson) 0-2
Warnings: Team Name x'
Sources: damfotboll matchreport, on Bengtsson, and svenskfotboll,

Djurgården came out looking more alert, and Johnson's goal came as no surprise, as she was well-placed and Djurgården had the run of play. Hammarby came back to threaten somewhat in the last fifteen minutes, but Djurgården keeper Gudbjörg Gunnarsdottir (exhausted from illness and travel to and from World Cup qualifiers) was never too worried. She singled out the fine play of defenders Elin Cederroos and Onome Ebi.

Last year I went to the Hammarby-Djurgården fixture, which was touted as Kicki Bengtsson's last game... this year, that same game saw her home-field comeback as she played in her 398th game for the league. The team celebrated its 40th birthday both before and after the game, although celebrations must have been somewhat muted by the realization that it's going to take some hard work and luck if they are to stay in Damallsvenskan; Hammarby is tied with AIK at the bottom of the table, and both teams face relegation to the second division next year unless some team above them stumbles badly.

28 august
AIK v. Kopparbergs/Göteborg 0 - 4 (0 - 2)
Goals: 28' Linnea Liljegärd (passning Johanna Almgren) 0-1; 43' Lisa Dahlkvist (passning Linnea Liljegärd) 0-2; 79' Marlene Sjöberg (*note that the match report credits Dahlqvist*); 83' Linnea Liljegärd (passning Sara Lindén) 0-4
Sources: svenskfotboll, damfotboll

A convincing win for K/G, which assistant coach Christian Andersson credited in part to AIK's poor clearances; he praised AIK goalkeeper Maja Åström for several saves, and the "young and brave" AIK team. Liljegärd opened the scoring, but the best goal of the day was Dahlqvist's smoker from 30m out. She added a third goal with ten minutes to go, a goal that has been officially credited to Sjöberg, but "...Lisa says herself that she was the last to touch it," said Andersson. The final goal came through the unselfish play of Lindén to Liljegärd, thereby making the two teammates tied again for league-leading scorers, at 14 goals each.

29 august
Umeå IK v. Kristianstads DFF 2 - 1 (1 - 0)
Goals: 36' Sofia Jakobsson (passning Maija Saari) 0-1; 53' Anna Westerlund (passning Maija Saari) 2-0; 54' Margret Lara Vidarsdottir 2-1
Warnings: UIK Rita Chikwelu 59'; UIK Anna Westerlund 82'
Source: svenskfotboll, damfotboll

"The three points were very important for us to regain a little self-confidence," said UIK coach Joakim Blomkvist. "We fought well," said KDFF coach Elisabet Gunnarsdottir, "not enough for the whole game but we are on our way back." She named UIK's Rita Chikwelu as 'extremely useeful' and the important difference between the two teams in this game.

29 august
Tyresö FF v. Sunnanå SK 6 - 1 (4 - 0)
Goals: 14' Madelaine Edlund (passning Azra Durakovic) 1-0; 31' Sofie Persson (passning Kirsten van de Ven) 2-0; 35' Madelaine Edlund (passning Katrin Schmidt) 3-0; 44' Kirsten van de Ven (passning Azra Durakovic)4-0; 47' Azra Durakovic 5-0; 52' Azra Durakovic 6-0; 70' Josefin Johansson (passning Perpetua Nkwocha) 6-1
Warnings: SSK Magdalena Esseryd 59'; TFF Johanna Frisk 78'
Source: svenskfotboll, damfotboll

It only took 14 minutes for "Madde" Edlund (last seen playing for St. Louis Atheltica in the WPS) to score a goal with her new team; around 1000 people saw a real goal-fest at Tyresövallen, with the scoring and assisting spread neatly around. "Clearly our best home game," said TFF spokesperson Hans Löfgren. "The team raised its level for the whole game." He further named Johanna Frisk and Elaine as key players in the convincing win. TFF now is in 5th place, just one point behind Jitex.

29 august
Linköpings FC v. LdB FC Malmö 2 - 1 (2 - 0)
Goals: 5' Manon Melis (passning Frida Nordin) 0-1; 37' Linda Forsberg (passning Frida Nordin) 0-2; 57' Josefine Öqvist 2-1
Warnings: LFC Josefine Öqvist 25'; LdB Amanda Ilestedt 85'
Sources: damfotboll, my own eyes

Last year's champions Linköping had been the only team to take points away from league-leading LdB FC, a 0-0 draw back in spring. LdB played a nice calm possession game; they looked quite competent and in control. LFC also played very well, but simply not as precisely as LdB; the importance of Faith Ikidi to LFC's backline cannot be overstated. LdB frankly looks unbeatable by any other Damallsvenskan team, and if they can hold on to these players in this form, I feel pretty good about their chances in the Champions League next year. Here's a longer summary of the game.

29 august
KIF Örebro IF v. Jitex BK 1 - 1 (0 - 0)
Goals: 72' Kristin Carlsson 0-1; 87' Sanna Talonen (passning Maria Nordbrant) 1-1
Source: svenskfotboll, damfotboll

A physically tough match, but a fair one, with lots of close combat, agreed the two coaches. Jitex still lies in 4th place in the league, with fellow newcomers Tyresö in 5th place, only one point behind.