Damallsvenskan Round 21: The Championship Match is set

by Rainer Fussgänger

Sweden has finally gotten its thrilling final. The championship will be decided in Malmö next Saturday when defending champions Malmö will play challenger Tyresö FF in what is already regarded as the most exciting finish of Damallsvenskan in many years. On the other side of the table AIK is definitely leaving the league after losing at home against Linköping while Djurgården has a tiny little chance to continue playing DA in 2013.

Tyresö FF vs Jitex BK 3-0
Attendance: 2173
Tyresö: Vero Boquete 10′, Madelaine Edlund 25′, Vero Boquete 92′

Tyresö did what it had to do to keep the championship race alive. As usual they almost totally dominated the game, esepcially in the first half where Jitex’ keeper Minna Meriluoto had some great saves and did not allow more than two goals by Vero and Madelaine Edlund who was assisted by the Spanish midfielder who had taken her national team to the EURO 2013 only 48 hours earlier by scoring in overtime of extra time against Scotland.
The second half saw a better guest team, but it seemed like Tyresö wanted to win this, but did not believe that they still had a realistic chance to claim the championship. Malmö needed ‘only’ to win their away game at Umeå the day after in order to secure its third consecutive title. Vero finally crowned her excellent performance with her second goal.

AIK vs Linköpings FC 1-3
Attendance: 84
AIK: Clara Markstedt 62′
Linköping: Lisa DeVanna 69′, Pernille Harder 81′, Manon Melis 95′

AIK had only a theoretic chance to stay in Damallsvenskan. They had to win their last two matches and KIF Örebro had to lose both games. That did not happen. Linköping extended their winning streak to six victories and sent the youngest team of the league to the second division, Elitettan.
AIK managed to take the lead although Linköping was clearly the better team, but in the end they could not withstand Linköpings attacks. Lisa DeVanna equalized with a header. The Australian striker will be one of many players to leave Linköping after this season since the club can no longer afford to have a team with so many professional players. Emma Lundh and Louise Fors will leave, too, and the future of Manon Melis will also probably be with another team.

Piteå IF vs Vittsjö GIK 2-0
Attendance: 863
Piteå: Jennifer Nobis 46′, Faith Ikidi 86′

Vittsjö GIK will not finish beyond the 6th place in their first season in Damallsvenskan. That can be regarded as a huge success for the team from a little village in Southern Sweden. In Piteå, they did not have a real chance winning. And they probably are looking forward that the season slowly comes to its end, because they lost for the 6th time in their last nine games. Nigerian defender Faith Ikidi reportedly scored her most beautiful goal ever and one of the most spectacular in the whole season with a solo run that started in Piteås own half.

Kristianstads DFF vs Djurgården 4-3
Attendance: 368
Kristianstad: Emmelie Johnson 30′, Margret Lara Vidarsdottir 43′, Johanna Rasmussen 48′, Johanna Rasmussen 72′
Djurgården: Renée Slegers 62′, Renée Slegers 80′, Mia Jalkerud 82′

Although delivering a great finish with a lot of fighting spirit, Djurgården did not manage to take those three points that would have been necessary to come close to KIF Örebro and making it really possible to survive in Damallsvenskan. Kristianstad was too strong and led 4-1 after 72 minutes with Danish striker Johanna Rasmussen being the best player on the pitch. Djurgården can only avoid relegation if they win 6-0 against Piteå at home while Örebro loses at home to AIK.

Kopparberg/Göteborgs FC vs KIF Örebro 2-1
Attendance: 243
Göteborg: Anna Ahlstrand 17′, Yael Averbuch 80′
KIF Örebro: Marina Pettersson Engström 29′

A draw would have sent Djurgården to the second division already this Sunday in round 21, but Yael Averbuch wanted something else and decided the game with a late goal. Göteborg could still finish third and win what the Swedes call the “little silver”.

Umeå IK vs LdB FC Malmö 1-1
Attendance: 263
Umeå: Emmelie Konradsson 51′
Malmö: Elin Rubensson 85′

What a game! And what a game it will be next Saturday. Almost everybody thought that Malmö would take its 14th consecutive win in Damallsvenskan and therefore secure the third championship. Umeå was criticized by Tyresö’s Caroline Seger that they had allowed their Nigerians Rita Chikwelu and Ogonna Chukwudi to leave Umeå for the African championships which are not an official FIFA event where the club has to release its players. But Umeå played an excellent game and although Malmö had more posession and chances, Umeå was very dangerous in counter attacks. Ramona Bachmann saw a yellow card due to a handball at 28 minutes and it got worse. Eight minutes into the second half Ramona once again used her hand and saw her second yellow which implied a red card and her being sent off. By that that time, Umeå had scored and led 1-0 and for 37 minutes after Bachmann went into the locker room, Malmö desperately tried to equalize and even win that game. Lots of chances were created which only led to one goal of youngster Elin Rubensson while Malmö’s keeper Thora Helgadottir showed a world class performance saving her side a couple of times.
With Bachmann out of play Sweden is looking for a big final next Saturday between Malmö and Tyresö. With a win, Tyresö could surpass Malmö on the very last day of the season and win the championship.