The top four remained unchanged as Göteborg, Rosengård, Piteå and Kristianstad claimed respective wins over Linköping, Djurgården, Hammarby and Vittsjö as Växjö squeezed past Kalmar and Eskilstuna put the sword to LB07.
Still enjoying a second half of the season surge, the hosts got off to the perfect start against a struggling LB side, Mimmi Larsson’s second minute solo goal enough to break the deadlock. A second for Larsson followed five minutes later when she sent Emma Lind the wrong way from the spot, the Swedish international denied her hat trick by some strong defending from the visitors.
Not on a song, LB persisted in trying to make presence felt but too often lacked a clean enough finish, United’s third enough to put the match to bed. A long ball over the top was well picked out by Felicia Karlsson as she slipped around Sofia Wännerdahl and chased unmarked into the box, drawing Lind out before rolling the ball into the empty net. The cherry put on top of the win by Cajsa Åkerberg in the dying moments, the substitute in the right place to send Karlsson’s low cross into the back of the net.
Vittsjö 1-2 Kristianstad
Sandra Adolfsson’s sloppy foul on Ogonna Chukwudi gifted the visitors the chance to take an early lead at the Vittsjö IP, Therese Ivarsson clinical as ever from 12-yards. Involved again half an hour later, Chukwudi’s teasing cross gave Rita Chikwelu something to attack, the experienced Nigerian arriving in the box well to nod her header around the ball of Shannon Lynn. Unable to claim a third, the match was left in the balance after Clara Markstedt’s neat finish to the far corner 20 minutes from time, the hosts without the required punch to find an equaliser.
In a precarious position, relegated to third on goal difference alone behind dominant force Rosengård, PIF registered their best win of the season so far against an ailing Hammarby side. Cecilia Edlund’s controlled bullet finish to the left side of the goal six minutes in left Bajen on the back foot before Ellen Löfqvist’s scrappy finish made it two late in the first half. Having only won two matched by two goals all season, Nina Jakobsson’s delightful curler on the hour ensured the northern side claimed their first win by three goals, their goal difference boosted by still markedly far, far below that of FCR.
Looking for the opening goal from the off, Växjö didn’t have to wait for long until Simona Koren opened her account on her debut for her new club, her intervention seven minutes in enough to break the deadlock. Showing more fight that at previous times in the season, Kalmar played with a renewed vigour, making sure to keep asking questions of Katie Fraine as the hosts were keen to work Tove Enblom.
With little respite for either goalkeeper, Koren added a second with a low finish to the bottom left two minutes into the second half before Folashade Pratt reduced the deficit with a deft strike. Getting to the ball a microsecond before Fraine, Erin Gunther fired the ball home for the equaliser 20 minutes from time, Kalmar heading for their first point since April until Jenna Hellstrom delivered a hammer-blow. A low effort from the left had Enblom picking the ball out of her net yet again, Hellstrom’s first for her new club enough for all three points, Kalmar in desperate need of something special in their last six matches to avoid the inevitable.
Needing several bites of the cherry to get the ball over the line against a resolute Stephanie Labbé, Elin Rubensson’s persistent paid off in the shape of the opening goal on the half hour in Gothenburg. The diminutive midfielder adding a swift second five minutes later with a fine solo effort that saw her carry the ball from 5-yards outside of her own box to two-yards outside of Labbé’s, her thunderous effort enough for a cushion.
Against a resilient Linköping side, the home defence was forced to weather a storm or two until Olivia Schough added a third with a beautifully arced shot from the left side of the goal before Rebecka Blomqvist claimed her eighth of the season. Refusing to let their heads drop, the champions pulled one back 13 minutes from time when Filippa Angeldal unleashed her own thunderbolt from 18-yards. Frida Maanum’s shot to into the roof of the net at the death another conciliation for the visitors, the match well away from them for some time.
Rosengård 2-0 Djurgården
Clinging onto second in a very congested top half of the table, Rosengård made light work of a struggling Djurgården side. Only substituted on six minutes previously for Iva Landeka, Lisa-Marie Utland’s impact was near-instant, the Norwegian in fine form to nick the ball from Guðbjörg Gunnarsdóttir and slam it into the net. Desperately looking for a breather, the Blue Stripes did their best to work Zećira Mušović before Caroline Seger wrapped up the win with a controller curler late in the second half.