Damallsvenskan week 20 review: Linköping crowned as champions
Credit: scanpix

At the tail-end of the season was was little goalmouth action to be had across Sweden – with one notable exception – however the lack of goals didn’t stop Linköping from sealing their first back-to-back title win with a draw over Kvarnsveden.

Not the only teams to play out a scoreless draw, Vittsjö and Hammarby kicked the weekend off with a 0-0 before Rosengård followed suit at home to Piteå, the draw enough to them to confirm European football for next season. Elsewhere, Göteborg came from behind to cause an upset in Eskilstuna as they leapfrogged KIK out of the relegation zone and forced United to fight for a third-place finish as Kristianstad bounced over LB with a home win. In the only Monday night game, Örebro were officially relegated at home as they fell to a loss against Djurgården.

Vittsjö 0-0 Hammarby

Vittsjö and Hammarby set the tone for the weekend when they met in the only match on Saturday, the pair playing out an attacking yet scoreless draw that saw both ‘keepers come out on top, Emma Holmgren ably assisted by the woodwork before and after the break.

With both still in danger of relegation, Vittsjö looked the better of the two in Hässleholm as both struggled for an opening goal, though it was ultimately fruitless and both were forced to settle for a point a piece, precariously hanging above the drop zone. 

Rosengård 0-0 Piteå

Coming into the match, FCR knew that they were still mathematically in with a chance albeit a very slim one of catching Linköping, though Piteå were in no mood to hand them three points. Just as it had been elsewhere in Sweden, the two teams in Malmö attacked until the last though neither could break the deadlock, the hosts having the better of it though receiving no change from Hilda Carlén and her defence.

The draw enough to see LFC crowned as champions no matter the outcome in Borlänge, a loss for Eskilstuna elsewhere meaning that Rosengård themselves couldn’t be caught and will finish the season second and will therefore be playing Champions League football next season. Despite the dropped points, PIF remain able to slip ahead of United and finish the season third should results go their way. 

Kvarnsveden 0-0 Linköping

Needing just a lone point from their last three games, Linkoping travelled to the Ljungbergsplanen looking to get the season wrapped up with a flourish so they could focus on their upcoming European tie. Whilst LFC were hopeful of confirming their title sooner rather than later, Kvarnsveden were in dire need of a win to give their survival a boost, the hosts with the trickiest run-in of all the teams in danger.

With so much on the line the fans found themselves frustrated by the football, neither team on form, the game stilted at best, the chances there but the quality lacking from both sides, Marija Banušić’s lash against the upright five minutes after the restart the closet either came.

Despite the lack of goals the point was indeed enough for Linköping to claim their third Damallsvenskan title, and first as reigning champions – the lone point not enough to keep KIK out of the bottom two heading into the penultimate match day.

Kristianstad 2-0 Limhamn Bunkeflo

Therese Ivarsson’s bicycle-kick from just inside of the box gave Kristianstad the lead at home half-way through the first-half, her skilful goal somehow the first of a quiet weekend. A goal down but given a good chance to level the scores after Rebecca Edwards felled Julia Welin in the area, things went from bad to worse for LB. First, Anna Welin saw her low penalty saved by Brett Maron before Nellie Lilja was shown a straight red just before the break though a scramble at Tine Schryvers’s free kick was somehow enough to keep it out after it had initial clipped the underside of the bar.

Having the better of it, KDFF extended their lead just after the hour after some nippy footwork from Amanda Edgren to pivot in the box before feeding Ogonna Chukwudi for the attacker to fire home. 

Eskilstuna United 1-5 Kopparbergs/Göteborg

A similar prospect to the one taking place in Borlänge, when Eskilstuna squared off against KG one was chasing down a top two finish whilst the other was looking for a helping hand in their league survival.  The first-half typified the weekend in Damallsvenskan with a distinct lack of goals, the second-half a sponge for all those absent goals elsewhere in Sweden with four alone coming in ten second-half minutes.

Mimmi Larsson was the one to break the deadlock a little less than ten minutes after the restart when she latched onto Malin Diaz’ through ball and lifted the ball over and behind Line Johansen. Adelina Engman restored parity for Göteborg almost instantly, shrugging off Nathalie Björn to reach Nathalie Persson’s lofted ball and nip it around the advancing figure of Emelie Lundberg. With the floodgates suddenly open at the Tunavallen, Pauline Hammarlund added a fast second, nodding Rebecka Blomqvist’s weighted cross home at the far post before completing a one-two with Elin Rubensson that saw the captain knock the ball in at the near post. Two goals to the good and cruising, Rubensson spotted Lundberg off of her line five minutes from time and looped the ball home from 35-yards, the visitors as confident as they’d been all season.  

With goal difference a very real factor up against Tabitha Chawinga’s free-scoring Kvarnsveden, Hammarlund made sure to chip another off of KG’s deficit two minutes from time when she streaked forward and stroked the ball into the top of the net from the corner of the box.

The loss enough to confirm United will be going for a third-place finish this season, Rosengård and second out of reach whilst Göteborg have lifted themselves to tenth two points above a KIK team with a tough run-in.

KIF Örebro 0-3 Djurgården

Needing to be perfect for the last three games of the season if they were to have any hope of staying up, KIF were dealt any early blow when Mia Jalkerud’s deflected effort slipped beyond Carola Söberg. Denied a second in the first half for drifting a shade offside, Jalkerud made up for it when she curled Tempest-Marie Norlin’s lay-off around Söberg early in the second half, making the mountain an insurmountable one for the hosts.

Despite the lack of flow to the game, the whistle routinely blown for fouls and offsides, DIF remained in control and easily added a third when Michelle Wörner knocked the ball into the empty net after Söberg had gone up with Katrin Schmidt and failed to claim. The game wheezed to its conclusion, the fight long-since knocked out of Örebro who half-heartedly looked for a consolation, Djurgården more than able to deal with the pressure.

Damallsvenskan table as it stands (Credit: SvFF)
Damallsvenskan table as it stands (Credit: SvFF)