Two late goals from substitute Ebba Hed helped Vittsjö take a hard-fought point off of Kvarnsvedens.
The hosts fired out of the blocks, taking residence in Kvarnsvedens’ box from the off, Rachel Mercik's speculative effort less than three minutes into the game left Lina Lundqvist scrambling to tip the ball onto and over her bar for the first corner of the game.
The visitors startling to settle, Tabita Chawinga going on a run with the ball, her touch into the box just too heavy, giving Katie Fraine time to come out and smoother. From one end to the other, Lundqvist’s goal under threat again as Linda Sällström nodded her rising effort just over the bar, once more possession turned over and Kvarnsvedens had their own corner.
The game delightfully end-to-end, the visitors took the lead just over a quarter of an hour into the game, Michaela Hermansson lofted ball met by Chawinga, holding her line to perfection, meeting the ball in mid-air to nod past the advancing Fraine. Vittsjö looked for an immediate equaliser as Johanna Andersson forced Lundqvist into conceding another corner and once more the ball was cleared long for Chawinga to chase, Fraine first to it.
Although more measured in their approach and build-up play, Vittsjö stuggled with the last ball, Sällström and Emmi Alanen a constant threat but the away defence standing firm and looking dangerous on the counter.
The visitors unlucky not to be two up as Tiffany Weimer chased down a weak back-pass, her first touch to make it around fellow American, Fraine was poor and the ball rolled into the keepers’ grasp. The ball sent back to the other end of the pitch, Alanen’s free kick held by Lundqvist as the second time of asking.
Two for the travelling team
The second-half continued in the same vein as the first; both teams full-blooded going for goals and points. The home defence continuing to struggle with the wily Chawinga, the visitors holding their shape well to transition smoothly.
Their advantage doubled ten minutes after the restart, Chawinga drawing defenders towards her before laying the ball off to Elizabeth Addo, her arced pass perfectly dropping into Weimer’s path. With the angle against her and the defence massing, Weimer was nonplussed firing the ball above Franie at the near post, the ball rolling inside of the net.
Still Vittsjö got forward well in numbers, utilising all their outfielders, but the visitors held, consistently getting numbers around the ball, refusing to be broken down before looking to hit the hosts on the counter.
As the game wore on the visitors began to tire, leaving more spaces for the home side, Sällström forcing Lundqvist off of her line twice in quick succession, the keeper first to the ball but the defence nowhere to be seen. Sällström’s header at a corner, held by Lundqvist under pressure, the cracks beginning to appear as Vittsjö amped up the pressure looking for their opening.
Less than ten minutes after her introduction Ebba Hed gave the home fans something to cheer about, the away defence in knots as she was given the space to turn in front of the box before digging her shot out and letting fly past Lundqvist and plumb into the top corner. Once more the team to have conceded right back on the attack from the restart, Chawinga’s snapshot rifled narrowly over Franie’s bar.
Their tails up, the hosts began to turn the heat up, more and more red shirts flooding the away box, those in white pulled left and right, as the home side looked for their equaliser. Chawinga left stranded in the Vittsjö half, chasing long ball, doing her best to work the centre backs.
One home corner followed another as the clock ticked into the last minutes of normal time, the away side under a barrage, desperately trying to hold on but with no avail. The introduction of Hed an inspired one as the substitute found parity, firing past Lundqvist from close range at the splitting corner.
Joy for the hosts, two points as good as dropped for the tired visitors, just stoppage time left to claim an unlikely win. Chawinga, Weimer and Toohey all launched forward in search of last minute magic but the home defence stood tall, denying them a clear chance, Fraine happy to claim the last hopeful cross.
With just two points seperating the two, just south of the middle of the table in seventh and eight it was always set to be a tight game, fatigue ultimately cosing the visitors, Jonas Björkgren will do well to pick the team up before their next game against Mallbacken.
Technically sound, the tactics were spot on throughout and suggests a strong future ahead for Kvarnsvedens. On the other side of the coin, although Thomas Mårtensson might not have liked how muted his side became in the attacking third, as the game wore on taking anything from it seemed less and less likely and Vittsjö should be able to carry their positivity into their next game (against Kristianstad).