As regular visitors will know, I love my Swedish football and thought I would briefly summarise the dramatic last day of the season in the Allsvenskan today.
Going into the last game, both Kalmar FF and IF Elfsborg could win the league. The former simply needed a draw, assuming that Elfsborg won at Gelfe, whilst Malmo were playing their last game at their historic stadium before moving across the car park to the new stadium in March 2009. Their visitors GIF Sundsvall knew that only a win would keep them up, otherwise they would be joining Ljunskile in the second division.
In the penultimate set of games the goals had been flowing as Kalmar’s striker David Elm helped himself to five in their 6-0 win versus Norrkoping, and Malmo stunned Hammarby by winning 6-3 in the Soderstadion in Stockholm. This set things up nicely for the final set of games as not only was the Championship to be decided, but also the newly formed Europa Cup spots with both Helsingborgs and Goteborg in the running, and meeting each other in Helsingborgs as if the season needed any more drama.
So with 20 minutes gone in the final round of games, Kalmar were a goal up and looking like they were heading for the title. The only other real story was that IF Hammarby appeared to have put their poor form behind them and were already 2-0 up away to Norkopping thanks to Charlie Davies’s brace.
At Half Time the scores that mattered were:-
Gefle IF 0 IF Elfsborg 1
Halmstads BK 0 Kalmar FF 1
Helsingborgs IF 1 IFK Goteborg 1
Malmo FF 3 GIF Sundsvall 0
Orebro SK 2 Ljungskile 0
Which basically meant that Kalmar were going to be champions, and Sundsvall would be joining Ljunskile in the second division.
Within twenty minutes it had all changed at the top as Elfsborg had taken a 2-1 lead and Halmstad’s had taken a 2-1 lead at home to Kalmar thus promoting the team from Boras to the top of the league. Malmo were signing off in style having netted a 5th and Henrik Larsson had scored his last ever goal for Helsingborgs to put them in the lead against Goteborg.
With just three minutes of the season left, Kalmar’s Patrick Ingelsten struck in the game at Halmstad to equalise and thus render Elfsborg’s win meaningless and give them their first ever Swedish National Title. Two more goals from Malmo meant they signed off in style, scoring six for the second time in a week and thus condeming Sundsvall to the 2nd division. So that was it for another season. The Allsvanskan had produced more goals this season than any other one in its history, and one of the closest finishes in memory. Roll on March 2009.
64pts Kalmar FF 2009 Champions League Qualifier
63ptsIF Elfsborg 2009 Champions League 1st Round
54pts IFK Gothenburg Europa Cup Qualifier 2009
54pts Helsingborgs IF Europa Cup Qualifier 2009
44pts Malmo FF
42pts Orebro SK
41pts Halmstads BK
40pts Trelleborgs FF
24pts Ljungskile Relegation play off with IF Brommapokkarna
22pts GIF Sundsvall Relegated – to be replaced by Orgrytes
20pts IFK Norrkoping Relegated – to be replaced by BK Hacken