Damallsvenskan: Super Cup Goes to Göteborg

by Rainer Fussgänger

The Swedish Super Cup, is a one-game championship played between the Damallsvenskan champions and the winners of the Swedish Cup.

For the third time, Tyresö lost a cup final to Göteborg. This time as the reigning Swedish champions and at home. However, once again and for the third time, the decision came after penalties.

On a cold, but sunny afternoon in Tyresö, Marta gave the homeside the lead in the beginning of the second half. Not much had happened during the first 45 minutes where Tyresö had more possession, but did not create much. Instead of securing the game with a second goal, Göteborg started fast counterattacks, mainly trying the left side with new Swedish WNT player Olivia Schough or seeking English striker Jodie Taylor in the middle. Taylor hit the cross bar in the first half and in her first game from the start she showed that she has a lot of speed and that we surely can expect more of her.Annica_Svensson_Olivia_Schough

Schough is an offensive midfielder who is able to do very irrational and unexpected runs. A couple of minutes after Marta’s leading goal, Schough put in a cross from the left side and English WNT midfielder Anita Asante scored the equalizer. Shortly after that Yael Averbuch sent in a freekick and Olivia Schough gave Göteborg a 2-1 lead that Christen Press managed to equalize.

Extra time came and Tyresö dominated, had posession and even opportunities to score, but Göteborg defended extremely well and goalkeeper Kristin Hammarström (Swedens current No. 1) made a lot of saves and kept her team in the game that finally went to PKs.

Hammarström became Saturday’s heroe by saving penalties from Lisa Dahlkvist and then Marta. Young Norwegian striker Cathrine Dyngvold managed to score with the deciding last penalty for Göteborg and Tyresö, that had set out to win all three titles in the coming season, lost the first one before the first league game had been played. However, the champions will certainly learn from that game and come back stronger. They still have to be regarded as the favorite for gold in the Damallsvenskan.

Göteborg_celebratingAfter the match I had the opportunity to speak with Göteborg and USWNT midfielder Yael Averbuch.

About the match: “They put us under a lot of pressure and obviously they are a great attacking team. I think we got a little bit fortunate and we also managed to use our opportunities, we are very happy that we came out with a win, but it is a quality team we won against.”

About the league starting in a week: “I think we had great preparations with the Champions League. Unfortunately we were knocked out and then playing this team which is obviously one of the best teams in Europe, you can’t prepare any better than that. It’s a good feeling going into the season with a big win to start things off.”

How do you put all your recent experiences together, playing against French Juvisy, seeing the German national team and now playing again in Sweden? How was Juvisy to start?

“I was very impressed. It’s very interesting. Every team I play against in every country I play, I will get a little taste of the style. It’s all pieces of a puzzle I am adding in and I am learning a lot.  And it is also helpful now when I go in with the US National Team, now I have a little bit of experience and when we play a European team I see familiar faces and kind of know what to expect and I feel that I have good preparation.”Yael_Averbuch_Kirsten_van_de_Ven

You wrote in your blog that Tom Sermanni is changing the style of play of the USWNT? How, what is he doing?

“You know, he hasn’t done anything drastic yet, because I think it is hard to come in to a winning team and make changes. You don’t really want to do that. So he is just slowly giving some new players opportunities, some younger players, some players who were around, but who weren’t get many chances in games. I think it’s been interesting to see some new faces. It’ll continue to change, slowly though.”

  1. @wosofan: I totally agree with you about Christen Press. She has been one of my favourite players since I first saw her play for magicJack in the WPS (on the internet) and the reason is primarily that she just shoots from every angle and is very fast. We’ll see a lot from her this season, even more than last year. And Hammarström gained certainly confidence of the fact that Pia Sundhage said that she is her current #1 goalkeeper.

    @GambitSWE: You are right, it was the second and not the third PK shoot out between the sides, though even last year’s final was decided by a penalty that Marlene Sjöberg took in overtime like you say. Yael Averbuch was pretty impressed by Tyresö since she said that they’ve been somehow lucky and had played against one of the best teams in Europe.
    However, it is still a long way to go to be able to meet Lyon and have a 50/50 chance of winning against them in two matches. But Olympique Lyonnais is in my eyes the best team in the world. It would be great to see them against the USWNT, Germany or Japan for once.

  2. A nice read, however, it was “only” the second time a final between these two teams were decided in a penalty shooting. The second final, last year, was decided in Extra Time. Though it was a pk that decided that game, when Marlene Sjöberg gave the Gothenburg team the 2-1 lead, that eventually also became the full-time score.

  3. Worth mentioning that Christen Press’s goal was pure class: taking an aerial pass off her chest, while on the move, and then turning it quickly past Hammarstrom. I am consistently impressed by her readiness to receive and take shots — i.e., her first touches are usually good. Remarkable to see the improvement/confidence in a player who first played for Goteborg in Champions League, just one year ago.

    Hard to understand why Goteborg’s Schough was not in the starting IX v. Juvisy, as she is a constant offensive threat. Anyway, Goteborg played much, much better than they did in either match against Juvisy, and I wonder if that’s because of Schough getting more time to play, Goteborg’s familiarity with Tyreso, or maybe Juvisy is that much better an opponent? (Would love to hear Yael’s opinion on that, as she had to agree that they played much better).

    Finally, based on this and other recent performances, I would rate Hammarstrom as among the top few goalkeepers in the world right now, and that’s certainly a big plus for Sweden heading into the Euros.

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