Damallsvenskan - Matchday 21 Review: Eskilstuna keep hopes of third alive

In the penultimate week of fixtures in the Damallsvenskan there was still chances for teams to play for places. Eskilstuna and Pitea are locked in a battle for third as Umea, Mallbacken and Kristianstad all had a chance to boost their chances of safety.

More draws than an IKEA

In a bumper-packed Sunday draws were the dish of the day, as Piteå held Rosengård at 1-1, Umea kept it scoreless against Göteborg and Kvarnsvedens played out an exciting 2-2 at home to Kristianstad.

Rosengård were looking to bounce back from two consecutive defeats that confirmed they’d be relinquishing the Swedish title but were lucky to escape with a point away from home. Having taken the lead mid-way through the first half when Natasa Andonova had calmly converted from the spot after Gaëlle Enganamouit was adjudged to have been fouled in the box. The hosts resorted parity just before the break when Tempest-Marie Norlin peeled away from the pack to volley a flicked free kick high into the net, giving Zecira Musovic no chance. The game remained open in the second-half but neither could find a way to beat both keep and post and were forced to share the spoils.

Still battling for safety Kristianstad got off to a great start away from home, taking the lead fifteen minutes in when Mia Carlsson fired past Lina Lundqvist from the edge of the box following a deep free kick that caused nothing but confusion. Tabita Chawinga found an equaliser for the hosts just before the hour, when the talented Malawian attacker took the ball around three defenders before knocking the ball past the closing defence and 'keeper.

Clear chances were at a premium but those who’d made the journey to the Ljungbergsplanen were treated to a frantic end to the game as the hosts took the lead three minutes into stoppage time, Chawinga’s attacking instincts to thank once again before Kristianstad got a vital equaliser two minutes later, Carlsson’s looped header just too much for Lundqvist to deal with.

Desperate for points in a last-gasp effort to avoid slipping into the Elitettan, Umeå were more than a little unlucky to only take a point from a dominant home display against a sub-par Göteborg. The away defence pushed to the limit throughout the match as the hosts threw all bar the kitchen sink at their opposition, Lisa Lantz left to rue her tame penalty, Jennifer Falk reading the spot kick well to redeem an early error that could have resulted in a dismissal. Nothing less than a win will do for Umeå against fellow strugglers Kristianstad if they want to avoid the drop.

Improved goal difference

After their triumph over Rosengård last week, Eskilstuna recorded a sterling 3-0 over KIF Örebro. After Petra Andersson went close for the hosts the game opened up, Mimmi Paulsson-Febo well-worked throughout as Emelie Lundberg was relieved to see Ogonna Chukwudi smash a shot against her up-right.

The deadlock broken just before half-time when Louise Quinn poked home from very close range following a scrappy corner, the hosts imperious after the break Ingrid Schjelderup’s neat finish five minutes after the restart enough to make sure Örebro weren’t coming back, Mimmi Larsson’s header from half a yard out at another poorly defended corner the cherry on top. Although it could have easily been more as the hosts dominated the second-half, they’ve given themselves a great chance to pip Piteå to third – although they end their season away to the still unbeaten Linköping next week.

Having secured the title last week, Linköping were in no mood to take their foot off of the gas against a Mallbacken side looking for vital points. Fridolina Rolfö strong to shrug off her marker before nutmegging Lee Alexander to open the scoring less than ten minutes in, the lead doubled ten minutes later when Sarah Bergman deflected Stina Blackstenius’ cross into the open net.

Rolfö on hand to make it three on the half-hour, blasting the ball into the turf at the far post for it to slam into the roof of the unguarded net. The second-half continued in the same vein as the first, Pernille Harder the thorn in Alexander’s side as the potent Dane leapfrogged teammate, Blackstenius in the race for the Golden Boot as she completed a sublime hat trick.

Off of the mark immediately after the break, carrying the ball beyond the midfield to let fly just inside of the box, making it two just ten minutes later as she ran through the box at a short free kick before slotting the ball past the defence and plush inside of the post. Wrapping up a fine half fifteen minutes from time, side-footing Alexander’s parry into the hungry net to leave Mallbacken needing something very special against Rosengård to avoid the drop, their goal difference taking a heavy hit.

Having taken the lead two minutes into their match against Djurgården, Vittsjö looked to punish their visitors at every turn but were pegged back half an hour in when Carolina Mendes blasted the ball past Katie Fraine from ten yards out. The comeback was however short-lived as Vittsjö reopened their lead just two minutes later, Ngozi Sonia toe-poking the ball past Gudbjorg Gunnarsdóttir before Carla Markstedt got her second, rolling Linda Sällström’s looped ball past Gunnarsdóttir.

Markstedt rounded off of her hat trick on her back, having gotten into a tangle with Gunnarsdóttir as she’d gone in for a loose ball, able to get her boot onto the offending object despite being sandwiched between the 'keeper and Michaela van den Bulk. Vittsjö ending the season strongly, Djurgården not at the races.