It was a big weekend in the Damallsvenskan as Linköping caught up on games played to the rest, but not everything went to plan for the league leaders.
The visitors started brightly and looked to get on the scoresheet from the off but the hosts did well to dispel the pressure however giving away needless set pieces that they struggled to deal with. Linköping with the break through half-way through the half, Göteborg unable to fully clear a free kick, Stina Blackstenius will claim the goal but her header ricocheted off of Catrine Johansson’s shoulder, Jennifer Falk unable to her a hand on the deflected ball. Linköping continued to get forward well, using the width of the pitch, the home half overloaded as red shirts flocked forward, Falk on hand to turn Janni Jensen’s angled header around the post on the stroke of half-time.
Five minutes after the restart, Cajsa Andersson was diving towards the same corner to fall on Sara Lindén’s close range effort, the hosts continuing to look half-dangerous in spells. The game as good as over when the visitors doubled their advantage five minutes later, the ball once again coming off of a defender’s right shoulder, Falk’s attempted clearance of Pernille Harder’s header bouncing off of Beata Kollmats and into the waiting net.
However, there was still hope for luckless Göteborg as Elin Rubensson opened her account for the season, rising above Jensen to head Nathalie Persson’s cross past Andersson. Although Linköping continued to threaten they were unable to extend their lead and once again claimed all three points in a nervous game.
Rosengård got their game against Umeå off to a flying start, Lina Nilsson sweeping the ball to the near post for Lieke Martens to poke past Tove Enblom, the keeper caught out as the ball flicked off of the back of Lotta Schelin’s heel and into the goal. The hosts doubling their lead just two minutes later, Iva Landeka sending the ball into the box for Emma Berglund nod back across goal, Schelin involved once again, making the run behind Enblom to tap is as the keeper let the ball get past her.
However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the current champions as the league strugglers clawed a goal back, covering every blade of grass (or 3G crumb) for her team Rita Chikwelu rose above Ella Masar at a routine corner to catch Zecira Musovic out at her near post. The visitors held out to the break and even looked a little dangerous going forward but couldn’t find a way to beat Musovic again.
Ahead but not cruising, Jack Jensen introduced Marta into the game early in the second-half and the Brazilian with an instant impact to reopen a two goal advantage just three minutes after coming on. Martens’ speculative effort caught between the upright and Enblom, rebounding past the keeper’s parted boots and into Marta’s path for the substitute to fire into the gaping net. The hosts continued to exploit the width of the pitch, consistently attacking down the right, Umeå failing to cover the danger.
Nilsson’s 70th minute ball into the box met by Masar, the striker ahead of her marker slipping the ball under the advancing keeper. As she opened the scoring, Martens was the one to close it too, with little over ten minutes left, her lofted shot from 17 yards floated over a rooted Enblom and curling inside of the net. The fight long-since taken out of Umeå.
Vittsjö 2-2 Kvarnsvedens
In Saturday’s early kick-off, Vittsjö and Kvarnsvedens set the pace for the weekend matches; both teams going hammer and tong from the off. Tabita Chawinga the one to open the first-half scoring, beating the offside trap to ghost behind her marker and meet Michaela Hermansson’s deep ball in the air, Katie Franie left helpless as it sailed over her and into the waiting net.
The game was wide open as both teams went for the win in a muted season, the hosts much better in the build-up, red shirts flying forward but largely unable to break down the stubborn away defence. Emmi Alanen and Linda Sällström close for the hosts but unable to best Linda Lundqvist. Kvarnsvedens’ doubling their advantage not long after the break, Elizabeth Addo well weighted pass fell to Tiffany Weimer on the overlap, the attacker carried the ball into the box and fired past Franie at her near post, a tricky finish made to look easy.
The late introduction of Ebba Hed proved to be the catalyst for the hosts as the visitors began to sag. Receiving the ball just outside of the box, Hed readjusted her feet before unleashing a stunner to curl over Lundqvist’s head and slam into the top corner, the net still shuddering as the visitors readied themselves for another attack.
The goal only giving them another yard of pace as Kvarnsvedens looked as if they were ready for the full-time whistle with ten minutes left on the clock. Unable to fully clear the ball, the visitors were forced to surrender two late corners just before the end of regulation, white shirts frantic for the whistle, Hed swarmed by her teammates once more after getting the decisive touch at the scrappy corner. The net bulging, parity restored in the 89th minute.
Göteborg 3-1 Kristianstad
Despite having only played three days previously the hosts took the impetus early, Rubensson forcing Stina Petersen into a fine diving save just four minutes into the game, the tempo set. The captain a real driving force in the team, set the ball rolling for the hosts, her hooked delivery across goal too lively for Sif Atladóttir to clear properly, Adelina Engman sweeping in behind to tuck the ball past Petersen. Little more than ten minutes on the clock.
Responding well, Amanda Edgren bent one from the centre of the D for Falk to turn around the post for a corner that caused all sorts of problems just in front of the goal-line, Falk eventually dropping on the ball with Mia Carlsson ready to pounce. The keeper called back into action minutes later to fall on Nellie Karlsson’s headed effort.
With Kristianstad two points from safety at the start of the day the visitors took the game by the scruff, looking for an equaliser to give them breathing space at the bottom of the table. Falk finally beaten in the last quarter of the game, Atladóttir’s equaliser an absolute peach, coming onto the ball just inside of the box, the defender lifted the ball over the bodies in front of goal for it to curl just under the bar and give the visitors some wiggle room.
Far safer in terms of relegation but hardly having a season to remember, Göteborg weren’t ready to drop more points at home and went in search of a winner, late in the game. Eight minutes after coming on Annahita Zamanian was wheeling away in celebration having fired her side ahead with just five minutes left on the clock.
Fed by Sara Lindén, Zamanian pulled the ball across goal and burying it beyond Petersen into the far corner. Zamanian turned provider in stoppage time after a light one-two with Engman, the young Finn racing into the box to knock the ball past the onrushing Petersen and put the gloss on the win.
The home side took an early lead as Emilia Appelqvist sent the ball long for Johanna Kaneryd to chase, gliding through the defence without much hassle, Emelie Lundberg raced off of her goal line, her attempted clearance mistimed, Kaneryd only having to roll the ball into the waiting net. Despite the early setback, Eskilstuna responded well, settling into the game and restoring parity just after the half hour.
Another goal and another long ball, Malin Pettersson lofted the ball over the defence for Mimmi Larsson to race onto, a heavy first touch pushed her wide but young Swede was untroubled by the angle, firing low under Gudbjörg Gunnarsdottir and into the far corner. Djurgården restored their advantage on the stroke of half-time, Sofia Nilsson delivered a deep free kick that Lundberg failed to successfully clear with Mia Jalkerud on hand to nod over the scattered defence, a suggestion that Ingrid Schjelderup got the last touch before it crossed.
The hosts did well to hold the team immediately above them in the table throughout the second-half but were undone just after the hour, Olivia Schough carried the ball to the by-line before sweeping it in for Larsson. The striker killed it with her first touch, rolling it from one foot to the other as she spun in place, her follow through putting it beyond the keeper for her brace.
Larsson completed her fine game in style, taking home the match ball after rounding off her hat trick fifteen minutes from time, reacting first after Marija Banušić slipped as she went for the ball in the six-yard box. On the stretch, her first touch strong enough to divert the ball past Gunnarsdottir and plush into the bottom corner.
After having lead twice and been pegged back, the Blue Stripes weren’t willing to relinquish all three points at home, Michaela van den Bulk’s 90th minute wonderstrike earning them a point. With a line of bodies ten yards in front of her and the clock against her, van den Bulk took aim from 35 yards, the arced ball flying into the top corner with Lundberg grabbing at air. The visitors stunned and forced to settle for a point.
Piteå 2-1 Mallbacken
Piteå started smartly against a Mallbackens side that have just two wins from seventeen games, coming close at an early free kick Lee Alexander left flapping at thin air as the ball sailed over her head and just wide of the far post. However it didn’t stay scoreless for that long, Nina Jakobsson with the breakthrough for the hosts late in the first-half; Tempest-Marie Norlin did well to stay on her feet after a knock from Frida Broström, strong on the ball the attacker fed the ball across goal for Jakobsson to slot into the empty net.
The home side almost doubled their advantage on the hour as Alexander got a strong hand to Norlin’s deft volley but Alexander could do nothing about Felicia Karlsson’s effort six minutes later. Norlin was one again the provider, fighting her way into the box with the ball she squared for Karlsson to knock around the back of Sandra Andersson and into the net, the keeper blindsided.
Two goals to the good and cruising, sloppy defending let Madelen Janogy cut the deficit in half to make for a nervy last ten minutes. Zoe Ness’s flat ball into the box evaded Faith Ikidi for Janogy to poke a boot at and knock into the goal under no challenge, Hilda Carlén forced to surrender her clean sheet. The keeper turned hero deep into stoppage time, forced to slam Julia Karlenäs’s wicked volley against the bar for her defence to clear for a corner, and strong hand to deny the strugglers a point.
KIF Örebro 2-2 Linköping
Following two shaky wins, Linköping set themselves away perfectly against Örebro, taking the lead just seven minutes into the game. The hosts failed to clear an early corner, inviting Jonna Andersson to chance her arm, the ball blocked back at her, Andersson opted for a layoff for Pernille Harder, the prolific striker slipped the ball across goal with three teammates arriving it was left for Janni Jensen to knock past Carola Söberg.
After Harder spurned the chance to make it two-nil, her sidefooted effort glancing wide of Söberg’s upright, the hosts got themselves back into the game. Julia Spetsmark given space to run into in the box before crossing to the far post, top goalscorer Melissa Tancredi well in front of her marker to firmly head into the turf in front of goal, Cajsa Andersson near but beaten by the bounce.
Although well on top throughout the league leaders struggled for a meaningful break, left to hang their heads when the hosts took the lead five minutes after the break. Spetsmark once again the danger-woman, charging into the box with the ball, her whipped delivery too much for Andersson, the ball bouncing out of her gloves and into Jensen’s path, momentum taking the ball off of the defender’s shins and into the goal.
Staring their first loss of the season in the face, LFC rallied and clawed a point back late in the day, Kristine Minde cleaning up the scraps after a sloppy move. Harder fought her way into the box before setting up Stina Blackstenius, the latter’s goal-bound shot blocked by Anna Björk Kristjansdottir, pinging from her legs to Minde’s, Söberg already gone to ground the ball ricocheted from one player to the other before Minde fired the ball off of Kristjansdottir’s thigh and into the net.