Damallsvenskan - Matchday 20 Review: Linköping make it official

It was an historic day for Linköping.

Damallsvenskan - Matchday 20 Review: Linköping make it official
Linköping nervously watch the end of the Rosengård match (credit: Bildbyrn)

After twenty long weeks LFC have finally pulled away from Rosengård to confirm their league triumph as KIF Örebro secure safety.

Stand up for the champions

The big news of match day 20 was Linköping securing top spot with two games left to play, taking the title away from Rosengård for only the second time in seven years as LFC claim the prize for just the second time in Damallsvenskan history.

Having gotten over a prolonged September wobble, Linköping had taken a huge advantage with their win over Rosengård last week and carried the momentum with them through to their commanding 2-0 win over Vittsjö GIK. Dominant from the off, Kristine Minde settled the nerves after the half hour with a point-blank header either side of Stina Blackstenius cannoning the woodwork. The visitors kept the pressure on throughout the second-half although might have been thinking it wasn’t their day when Pernille Harder crashed her free kick against the upright before Blackstenius broke in behind and dragging two defenders behind her, slotted the ball past a tireless Katie Fraine.

With LFC having won their earlier match, Rosengård had even less room for error at home to Eskilstuna United, the 2015 champions’ only chance of retaining their crown was to win each of their last remaining games and hope that the table-toppers slipped up. But after having suffered their first league defeat of the year last week, they were dealt a body blow as Eskilstuna – fresh off of their UWCL round of 32 triumph over Glasgow – put the title challenge to bed with a dominant 2-1 win in Malmö.

Mimmi Larsson fired the visitors ahead half-way through the first-half as she struck low beyond Zecira Musovic but the hosts failed to respond well and it was Eskilstuna who continued to look dangerous until Marija Banušić finally doubled their advantage after the hour with a fantastically curled free kick. Suddenly needing three goals with less than half an hour on the clock, Rosengård finally started to wake up and Natasa Andonova clawed one back with fifteen minutes left to play but despite their hopeful finish the ten-time champions never looked like snatching the three points and are forced to settle for second.

Örebro safe

At the other end of the table KIF Örebro confirmed their safety with 2-1 away win at Djurgården, with finishing at a premium for both it wasn’t until the second half that the visitors took the advantage as Ogonna Chukwudi’s shot rolled off of the inside of the post and in. Far too hasty in attack most of Djurgården’s better efforts were from distance and were easily caught as Chukwudi made it two with a neat stooping header before Alexandra Höglund pulled back a late great consolation from an unfathomable angle just inside the box.

A glimmer of hope

Meanwhile Mallbackens gave themselves a hope of avoiding the drop with an incredibly tight 1-0 win over fellow strugglers Umeå IK, through a combination of determined defending a poor finishing the two remained deadlocked until Antonia Göransson’s 75 minute side-footed winner. The win takes them level on points with Kristianstad who lost out to away to Piteå.

With Stina Lykka-Petersen well worked throughout the first-half it was Piteå’s prolific Tempest Marie Norlin who opened the scoring before the break with a composed curler before the visitors pulled un unlikely equaliser back as Faith Ikidi misplaced her clearance to see beat her own keeper. But well on top on the day, the hosts regained the lead with a peach from Nina Jakobsson, the attacker’s 19-yard half-volley into the top corner too much for any keeper to deal with, although the game remained open throughout Piteå couldn’t add to their tally again.

Strong finish

Finally, Kopparbergs/Göteborg made it four from their last four as they look to end the season on a high with a 2-1 win over Kvarnsvedens. Pauline Hammarlund got the ball rolling for the hosts seven minutes into the game, knocking Rebecka Blomqvist’s low cross beyond Adelaide Gay before the evergreen Tabita Chawinga equalised ten minutes later, the visitors taking advantage of some slopping defending for Chawinga to roll the ball into the empty net under challenge. The game was settled early into the second-half when Beata Kollmats poked the ball into the far corner beyond the hard-working keeper.

Dam table as it stands (credit: Svenskfotboll)
Damallsvenskan table as it stands (credit: Svenskfotboll)