Match-day 22: Qbik wins and stays

Bälinge - Kopparbergs/Göteborg 2 - 6 (1-3)
Christina Lundholm - Heidi Mattinlassi (Karolina Mats), Lina Andersson, Fanta Cooper, Nera Smajic - Anna Bergendahl (Emilia Appelqvist), Mikaela Björklund, Mona Nayib (Maria Thuré), Kirsten Karniski - Minna Mustonen, Julianne Sitch
Göteborg: Maria Edman - Maria Nilsson, Sofia Dammström, Frida Höglund, Camilla Schelin - Emmelie Farfa, Jessica Julin, Salina Olsson, Maria Karlsson - Lotta Schelin, Sara Lindén
0-1 Lotta Schelin (7), 0-2 Lotta Schelin (11), 1-2 Lina Andersson (13), 1-3 Lotta Schelin (22), 2-3 Julianne Sitch (50), 2-4 Sara Lindén (53), 2-5 Salina Olsson (89), 2-6 Lotta Schelin (94 PK)
Four goals from Lotta Schelin took her past Victoria Svensson, Asthildur Helgadottir and Mafrta in the goal-scoring list to make her the scoring queen of the season with 21 goals. Schelin once again showed her importance for her team when she played a major patrt in 5 of their 6 goals. Bälinge, where Minna Mustonen was really dangerous in the attack, kept up fairly good with the visitors at least the first half of the match, but visibly missed their regular goalkeeper Maja Åström.
Schelin vann skytteligan efter hattrick

Hammarby - Linköping  3 - 0 (1-0)
 Camilla Halonen - Annica Svensson, Karolina Rinman, Josefin Christensen, Elin Härén - Louise Fors (86 Caitlin Fisher), Therese Sandström, Jennie Jonsson, Marijke Callebaut, Jessica Landström - Emma Lundh (83 Lisa Björkvik)

1-0 Marijke Callebaut (7), 2-0 Louise Fors (46), 3-0 Marijke Callebaut (73)
After a couple of really disasterous matches (against Qbik and Mallbacken), Hammarby got their act together and defeated newly crowned cup winners Linköping. Hammarby started with a defensive 4-5-1, but pretty soon took command over a surprisingly pale and inefficient Linköping, that maybe still were celebrating their cup win. Milbrett and Öqvist had several chances good opportunities and should have scored, but their missed opportunities reflected their teams performance. If Linköping had won, they would have passed by Djurgården, who were losing at Sunnanå, and won the 2nd place and a possible UEFA Cup spot next fall (that is, if Umeå wins the whole thing and Sweden gets a second team in the competition). But not even that was enough get the players really interested.
Corren: LFC får vänta på Europacupspel

Jitex - Kif Örebro  0 - 3 (0-1)
Kristin Luckenbill - Jenny Ringquist (58 Sofia Skog), Sophia Lindorsson, Amelie Rybeck, Caroline Lindblad - Therese Björk (70 Linda Fyhr), Malin Normelli, Amelie Olausson, Emma Herbring - Katie Eriksson (70 Therese Bjurenlind), Sara Sjöstedt
Kristin Hammarström - Caroline Näfver, Keeley Dowling, Stina Segerström, Ingrid Ericsson - Emelia Erixon, Lena Andersson, Marie Hammarström, Elin Magnusson (65 Hodan Siid-Ahmed) - Sandra Persson (79 Malin Nilsson), Pavlina Scasna
0-1 Sandra Persson (33), 0-2 Emilia Erixon (54), 0-3 Pavlina Scasna (69)
There had been some speculation before the match, if Pia Sundhage really wanted to kick her former club Jitex out of Damallsvenskan. The match put an end to that kind of speculations. Örebro has been on a roll lately and didn't have much problems with Jitex. Dowling and Segerström in centre defense were flawless and Pavlina Scasna excelled in the attack.
Nerikes Allehanda: KIF skickade ner Jitex
Göteborgsposten: Sundhage skickade ned Jitex

Malmö FF - Umeå IK  0 - 4 (0-2)
Caroline Jönsson - Lina Nilsson, Therese Jönsson (Malin Levenstad), Emma Wilhelmsson, Dora Stefansdottir - Frida Nordin (Johanna Rosén), Therese Sjögran, Nilla Fischer, Emma Stålhammar - Asthildur Helgadottir, Therese Lundin
     Sofia Lundgren - Anna Paulsson (79 Emma Berglund), Karolina Westberg, Sanna Valkonen, Maria Bergkvist (65 Johanna Frisk) - Lisa Dahlqvist, Malin Moström, Anne Mäkinen - Anna Sjöström, Hanna Ljungberg (60 Lise Klaveness), Marta
0-1 Hanna Ljungberg (39), 0-2 Anna Sjöström (39), 0-3 Marta (47), 0-4 Lise Klaveness (68)
Malmö kept up with Umeå the first 30 minutes and even had the best scoring chances. The two quick Umeå goals within a minute killed the match. Even if Malmö even after that managed to fight back, Umeå  dominated and showed why they are one of the best teams in the world. Faster play, better movement in the team, better delivered and better recieved passes - a great team machine but also better individual skills on almost every player, not just Marta (who was in an extraordinary form). For the first time you could hear a Malmö coach using the phrase "a valuable experience" after an Umeå match.
Sydsvenskan: MFF:s sämsta placering sedan 1985
SVT: Hanna Ljungberg interview (video)

Qbik - Mallbacken  2 - 0 (1-0)
1-0 own goal (12), 2-0 Linda Gull (86)
Attendance: 2,726
A big crowd came to watch the relegation deciding derby. Both teams knew what was at stake and it marked the play. Qbik's first goal came from a missed clearance of a Jennifer Meier cross. Mallbacken pressed for an equaliser (and needed a winning goal too, to avoid relegation), but great play from Maria Yatrakis in goal saved the day for Qbik. That, and substitute Linda Gull's late goal from a Jennifer Meier assist.
SVT: match clip

Sunnanå - Djurgården/Älvsjö  3 - 2 (2-1)
Sunnanå: Åsa Berglund – Kicki Wiklund, Hanna Marklund, Rebecca Smith, Sandra Berggren - Maria Nordbrandt (87 Johanna Lindahl ), Magdalena Esseryd (70 Lina Johansson ), Sanna Frostevall, Carina Holmberg, Anna Bodén (87 Carolina Marklund ) – Madeleine Edlund
Djurgården: Bente Nordby - Kristin Bengtsson, Therese Brogårde, Jane Törnqvist, SaraThunebro - Katrine Pedersen (68 Anna Hall), Linda Fagerström, Dorte Dalum Jensen, Elin Ekblom - Laura Österberg Kalmari, Victoria Svensson
Goals: 1-0 Madelene Edlund (12), 2-0 Madelene Edlund (25), 2-1 Sara Thunebro (37), 2-2 Laura Kalmari (75), 3-2 Rebecca Smith (79)
Attendance: 304
Djurgården had decided to keep Pedersen and Dalum Jensen with the team, instead of letting them join Denmark's national team on a tournament in Korea, because the last match would decide the second place in the league. And Djurgården were everywhere and won almost everything, except the goalscoring. Just like the Malmö match the weekend before, they had huge problems converting attacks to goals. Instead Sunnanå could score on fast counters, where Edlund showed both her speed and shooting skills. Finally Sara Thunebro managed to score on a direct free-kick and Laura Kalmari head in a beautifull pass from Kicki Bengtsson to equalise. But only minutes later Rebecca Smith (who had been great in defense the whole match) scored the final goal on a pass from Madelene Edlund. Still, Hammarby's victory over Linköping saved the day and the second place for Djurgården.
Norra Västerbotten:  Smiths minnesvärda mål sänkte Djurgården

Players and coaches signing on

Hammarby has signed a new coach to replace En Perlskog. Anders Bengtsson is a former player with experience from most levels of the men's football series and currently working as a highschool football coach.
Ny tränare klar för Hammarbys tjejer

Several Hammarby players have signed contracts for 2007. Among them several key players like Sara Johansson, Louise Fors and Annica Svensson. Others are Sara Andersson, Therese Sandström, Josefin Christensen, Lisa Björkvik and Therese Dahlberg.
Hammarby:  Lollo, Sara x 2, Annica och flera klara för nästa år

Zaine Söderlund has signed a 2 year contract as head coach for Bälinge. He coached the club already the 2000 and 2001 seasons and has also coached Uppsala's two main men's teams, Sirius and Gusk. Zaine Söderlund tillbaka i Bälinge

Swedish Cup final: Linköping crush Umeå's dreams of a treble

Umeå IK - Linköping FC  2 - 3 (0-1)
Umeå: Sofia Lundgren - Anna Paulsson, Sanna Valkonen, Karolina Westberg, Maria Bergkvist - Lisa Dahlkvist (63 Lise Klaveness), Malin Moström, Anne Mäkinen - Anna Sjöström, Hanna Ljungberg, Marta
Linköping: Hedvig Lindahl - Frida Östberg, Sara Larsson, Marie-Louise Skålberg, Charlotte Rohlin - Anna-Kaisa Rantanen, Caroline Seger, Tiffeny Milbrett (81 Petra Larsson) - Josefine Öqvist, Maria Aronsson, Maria Karlsson (74 Ann Westermark)
Goals: 0-1 Maria Aronsson (18), 1-1Sanna Valkonen (47), 1-2 Maria Aronsson (49), 1-3 Josefine Öqvist (62), 2-3 Sanna Valkonen (87)
Attendance: 731
A lot of the pre-match talked been around the possibility for Umeå to win the treble, Swedish league, Swedish Cup and UEFA Cup, with the UEFA Cup as the uncertain factor. But Linköping showed there are ways to defeat Umeå. The used the same recipe that Djurgården/Älvsjö with success used 2004 and 2005. Playing aggressive from the start, keeping very close, pressuring hard and high to disturb Umeå's playmaking midfield and making fast counters when Umeå lose possession. Linköping dominated most of the fiorst half, as Umeå had problems getting back in the game after Maria Aronsson headed a goal from a cross by Maria Karlsson. When Sanna Valkonen could equalise only minutes into the half, heading in an Anne Mökinen free-kick, the match could have turned, but almost immideately after another Maria Karlsson-Maria Aronsson combination gave Linköping the lead again. And at least on TV it looks like the Umeå defense gives Aronsson all the time in the world to dribble her way through to goal. And when Josefine Öqvist caught a careless Umeå pass in midfield, advanced 25 meters on her own and fired away from just outside the area to make it 1-3, the match was over. Umeå pressured, Linköping defended and Hedvig Lindahl saved everything except a late Valkonen goal.
This was Linköping's first title, and part of the reason they won might be found in just that fact. They wanted it more.
match clip
Corren:  coming home pics
Aftonbladet: Maktskiftet
Västerbottens Folkblad: Linköping satte stopp för UIK:s segerrad
Västerbottenskuriren: Frida Östberg tillbaka som segrare

Sweden Football Gala Player nominees: No Marta?!

The Swedish Football Association has released the nominees for (most of) the Player of the Year categories:

Coach: Andrée Jeglertz, Umeå IK; Martin Pringle, Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC; Jörgen Petersson, Malmö FF
While not in anyway dismissing the challenges it brings to coach an all-star team, I still can't help thinking "who could possibly fail with the players Jeglertz has to his disposal?". My heart is more with Jörgen Petersson, who took on the task to live up to Malmö's reputation, while having to work with 4-5 rookies in every match.

Breakthrough: Lisa Dahlkvist, Umeå IK; Stina Segerström, KIF Örebro; Emma Wilhelmsson, Malmö FF
This should be Stina Segerström's price, coming from nowhere (ok, not really nowhere, just Örebro) and creating a starting position for herself on the national team, competing with the likes of Jane Törnqvist and Karolina Westberg. But Lisa Dahlqvist has also impressed a lot on me - getting regular time on Umeå's midfield means keeping the likes of Lise Klaveness and Elaine Moura on the bench.

Goalkeeper: Caroline Jönsson, Malmö FF; Hedvig Lindahl, Linköpings FC; Carola Söberg, Mallbackens IF
Should be Caroline Jönsson, at least in my opinion. Steady grip on the starting position in the national team, great job in her club both tending goal and breaking in a bunch of teenagers, that now by the end of the year almost resembles a decent defense

Defender: Hanna Marklund, Sunnanå SK; Stina Segerström, KIF Örebro; Frida Östberg, Linköpings FC
Harder to tell here, Hanna could very much deserve her second appointment here, but Frida has impressed in this position and contributed to the fact that Linköping actually has one of the best defenses in the league. Stina will get another price.

Midfielder: Malin Moström, Umeå IK; Anne Mäkinen, Umeå IK; Caroline Seger, Linköpings FC
Unlike the two others, Mäkinen is one of those less flamboyant players that are extremely vital for her team but not that much noticed. She's the hub in Umeå's midfield and I would like to see her getting the price. Seger has been growing a lot this year, but is seriously speaking not a player of Mäkinen's or Moström's quality yet.

Forward: Asthildur Helgadottir, Malmö FF; Lotta Schelin, Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC; Victoria Svensson, Djurgården/Älvsjö
All three great forwards, all of them of crucial importance for their teams. But while Helgadottir is your text-book target-player, Schelin has all the qualities a target-player needs and Victoria Svensson has been playing target most of the season, we don't see any fast forwards here. No Hanna Ljungberg or Josefine Öqvist. Or Marta. Why isn't Marta here? The only reasonable explanation I can see is that she has been slotted for the big price, the Player of the Year price, the big diamond ball.

This is by the way the first time ever non-swedish players can win a Player of the Year price. And there are of course some predictable complaining from Umeå over Marta's absence, but also someone like Johan Esk, influental columnist in Stockholm daily Dagens Nyheter, searched in vain for a reasonable explanation.
Svensk Fotboll:
Västerbottenskuriren: Gunnar Johnsson: Marta bäst i världen - men inte i Sverige
Dagens Nyheter: Det är ett galet skämt

Mmadu, Ikidi and Kudaisi has arrived in Nigeria

The Nigerian website reports that the Qbik trio of Maureen Mmadu, Yinka Kudaisi and Faith Ikidi arrived at the team camp on Monday, October 23. They had a short meeting with national team coach Ntiero Effiom and participated in the evening training session.

The also reported on the ultimatum Ntiero Effiom issued to the players last week, probably the factor that made the players decide to leave their club in Sweden.
Swedish Falcons arrive, begin training with mates,  Ntiero may shut door on Kudaisi, Ikidi

Arsenal interest for Hedvig Lindahl

England's perennial champions Arsenal LFC has contacted Linköping FC and goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl to discuss a possible transfer. Lindahl is as previously reported negotiating a new contract with Linköping, but there seems to be some problems reaching an agreement.

Hedvig Lindahl confirms that Arsenal has taken contact, "but I haven't talked to them myself yet". She says that Arsenal would be a very exciting alternative if things doesn't work out with Linköping, but she is a little bit worried about how a move to England would affect her national team career.

Arsenal visar intresse för LFC-målvakten

Kacey White interview

The American web magazine Kicking It Around has an interview with Bälinge's Kacey White. Of course, from the interviewers point of view she's more the girl from University of North Caroline that is about to make her debut for the US national team. But there is a lot of talk about Damallsvenskan - why she chose to go to Sweden, the differences, the level of competition and so on. A good read!
Kicking It Around With Kacey White 

Qbik's Nigerians jumped ship

Qbik will have to try to escape relegation without their Nigerian internationals Maureen Mmadu, Faith Ikidi and Yinka Kudaisi. They disappeared from their home in Karlstad last Friday.

"I don't know where they are, but they have probably returned to Nigeria", says Qbik chairman Lars-Inge Hallstenson.

Mmadu, Ikidi and Kudaisi were, as previously reported, called up by Nigeria for the Africa Championships that starts next weekend. In the conflict between Qbik and the Nigerian FA that followed, FIFA decided that the Swedish club didn't have to release the players.

The players didn't show up for training on Friday, two days after the FIFA ruling, and haven't been heard from since. Qbik's Hallstensson states that the club considers the players in breach with their contracts, which will be cancelled. Qbik will also inform FIFA and the Nigerian FA about the breach of contract, which might affect their playing eligibility.

With Qbik only 1 point up to safety in Damallsvenskan, the season final, against fellow relegation candidate Mallbacken, next weekend will be crucial. Qbik will now have to win points without three of their starters. "We will prepare our best, but it will be a tough match", says coach Kjell Petersson.
Tre landslagsspelare rymde från Qbik

Match-day 21: Mallbacken trash Hammarby to grab last chance in relegation struggle

Djurgården/Älvsjö - Malmö FF  1 - 1 (0-1)
Djurgården: Bente Nordby - Kristin Bengtsson, Therese Brogårde, Jane Törnqvist, Sara Thunebro (79 Anna Hall) - Katrine Pedersen, Linda Fagerström, Dorte Dalum Jensen (66 Anne-Marie Norlin), Elin Ekblom - Laura Österberg Kalmari, Victoria Svensson
Malmö: Caroline Jönsson - Jenny Engwall, Malin Levenstad, Dora Stefansdottir, Lina Nilsson - Emma Stålhammar (66 Nanna Johansen), Therese Sjögran, Nilla Fischer, Frida Nordin - Asthildur Helgadottir, Therese Lundin
Goals: 1-0 Therese Lundin (30), 1-1 Elin Ekblom (90)
Attendance: 1,317

Umeå IK - Qbik  6 - 0 (5-0)
Umeå:  Johanna Baecklund - Emma Berglund, Karolina Westberg (46 Erika Karlsson), Johanna Frisk, Maria Bergkvist - Lisa Dahlqvist (55 June Pedersen), Malin Moström, Anne Mäkinen - Anna Sjöström, Lise Klaveness, Marta (70 Johanna Andersson)
Goals: 1-0 Marta (14), 2-0 Maria Bergkvist (24), 3-0 Malin Moström (27), 4-0 Anna Sjöström (36), 5-0 Lise Klaveness (38), 6-0 Marta (72)
Attendance: 503
Mallbacken - Hammarby  4 - 1 (2-0)
Goals: 1-0 Erla Arnardottir (9), 2-0 Helena Nilsson (19), 3-0 Jenny Monsén (58), 4-0 Helena Nilsson (79), 4-1 Emma Lundh (90)                            
Attendance: 781

Kif Örebro - Bälinge  3 - 1 (2-1)
Goals: 1-0 Keeley Dowling (16), 1-1 Minna Mustonen (35), 2-1 Own goal (40), 3-1 Lena Andersson (56)

Attendance: 489

Kopparbergs/Göteborg - Sunnanå  1 - 0 (0-0)
Göteborg: Maria Edman - Maria Nilsson, Sofia Dammström, Frida Höglund, Marlene Sjöberg - Camilla Schelin, Lisa Ek, Salina Olsson, Sofie Andersson - Lotta Schelin, Sara Lindén
Goals: 1-01 Lisa Ek (67)
Attendance: 235

Linköping - Jitex  4 - 0 (1-0)
Linköping:  Hedvig Lindahl - Frida Östberg, Sara Larsson, Charlotte Rohlin, Karin Lindström -Ann Westermark (74 Sandra Landberg), Anna-Kaisa Rantanen, Caroline Seger, Maria Karlsson (81 Lotta Runesson) - Tiffeny Milbrett (74 Petra Larsson), Maria Aronsson
Jitex: Kristin Luckenbill - Jenny Ringquist, Sophia Lindorsson, Amelie Rybeck, Caroline Lindblad - Therese Björk, Malin Normelli (59 Kajsa Tornfalk), Amelie Olausson, Leah Robinson - Katie Eriksson (45 Linda Fyhr), Sara Sjöstedt (59 Sofia Skog)
Goals: 1-0 Maria Aronsson (30), 2-0 Maria Aronsson (53), Maria Aronsson (76), 4-0 Anna-Kaisa Rantanen (91)
Attendance: 868

UEFA Women's Cup: Umeå walks through to the semis

Umeå - Saestum  5 - 2 (3-1)
Umeå: Sofia Lundgren - Anna Paulson (55 Maria Bergkvist), Karolina Westberg, Sanna Valkonen, Johanna Frisk - Anne Mäkinen, Malin Moström (65 Elaine), Lisa Dahlqvist - Lise Klaveness, Hanna Ljungberg, Marta (60 Anna Sjöström)
Goals: 1-0 Malin Moström (12), 2-0 Lise Klaveness (21), 3-0 Malin Moström (23), 3-1 Lisanne Vermuelen (42), 4-1 Lise Klaveness (46), 4-2 Lisanne Vermuelen (63), 5-2 Lise Klaveness (76)
Attendance: 2,053

With a 6-1 win from the first quarter-final leg, Umeå didn't have to make too much of an effort, but still played great in the first half, fast passes, good movement and almost never giving the ball away. This gave them a solid 3-0 lead in just a little bit more than 20 minutes. In the second half Umeå's pace slowed and they seemed satisfied just to guard their lead for the rest of the match. The Dutch team's coach Rik de Groot commented that Umeå was by far the best team they've ever played and joked that he would have needed all his 17 players on the field to get an even match.

Västerbottens Folkblad: UIK plockade tulpanerna
Västerbottenskuriren: UIK slaktade holländskorna
SVT: Video clip
TV4: Video clip  

Elsewhere, Arsenal defeated Breidablik 4-1, thus advancing to the semifinals with a 9-1 aggregate. Another semifinalists will be Kolbotn, that came back from being under 3-0 in their away match against reigning champions Frankfurt, to make it 3-2 and advancing on away goal from the 4-4 aggregate. Also Turbine Potsdam managed to win their home leg, but 2-1 was not enough since Brøndby brought a 3-0 home win with them.
Umeå will play Kolbotn in their semifinal, first leg at Kolbotn November 4 and the second at home November 12. Umeå got a 2-1 win against the Norwegian team in their encounter in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Women's Cup in September.

Transfer rumour mill, Part II

Linköping FC is determined to reinforce their team with "an established, top class player", says sport director Bengt Ekholm. Malmö's Icelandic target player Asthildur Helgadottir seems to be on top of their list. Helgadottir, Damallsvenskan's leading goal scorer so far, comments that she will listen if Linköping wants to talk to her, but that she doesn't want to get too much into discussions about the next season yet. Linköping has besides Helgadottir also notified Malmö FF that they want to talk to Therese Sjögran, who refused a Linköping offer already last year.
Two Linköping key players in the defensive half of the team, Charlotte Rohlin and Finnish international Anna-Kaisa Rantanen, are rumoured to be close to renew their contracts with the club.
LFC vill ha Helgadottir

Local daily Västerbottens Folkblad reports that Umeå IK's tenacious Brasilian midfielder Elaine E Moura, who took off to Argentina for Brasil's World Cup qualifacations yesterday, probably won't get a renewed contract, and the reasons are according to the paper "not entirely football related". Umeå's manager Roland Arnqvist only comments "I don't know if she will be back".
Rumours like this is by the way really frustrating. I can see that Elaine maybe doesn't quite make the cut anymore. She made a great 2005, but this year it has looked a lot like Lisa Dahlqvist is the preffered choice at her position. But what are they implying with that "not just football" thing?
Västerbottens Folkblad: Elaine får inget nytt kontrakt

FIFA decision: Qbik Nigerians can stay with the club

Qbik's Nigerian trio Mmadu, Ikidi and Kudaisi will stay with the club until the end of the season. FIFA's answer to the question the Swedish FA posed about Nigeria's demand that the club should release them to the national team came yesterday. The African Championships is not in FIFA's international calendar, so Qbik are not obliged to release their players.
It is crucial to Qbik's chances to remain in Damallsvenskan that they can put up their best team and the three Nigerians are all part of that. Chairman Lars-Inge Hallstenson is pleased with the way it turned out, but adds that he understands that the players have mixed feelings about this. He hopes that this will not cause problems for the players national team careers in the future.
Värmlands Folkblad:
Qbiks nigerianskor stannar säsongen ut

Marta chooses Umeå over Brasil

Marta will not join Brasil's national team for the South American World Cup qualifications in Argentina. She has had talks with the Brasilian Football Association and obtained a permission to finish the season with Umeå. She will also have a minor throat surgery to fix some respiratory problems after the season.
The South American qualification tournament starts November 10 and coincides with Umeå's UEFA Women's Cup semifinals. Marta's Umeå teammate Elaine has already joined the Brasil team.
Västerbottens Folkblad:
Marta väljer UIK framför brasilianska landslaget

Qbik Nigerians worries about national team future

Maureen Mmadu, Faith Ikidi and Yinka Kudaisi, all certain starters with Qbik, are caught in the middle of the struggle between Qbik and the Nigerian Football Association. They are not happy with the situation. "We're just standing in the middle of this and can't really do anything", says midfielder Mmadu. "We want to help keeping Qbik in Damallsvenskan, but we also wants to help Nigeria. The African Championships is the qualification tournament for the 2007 World Cup, so it's really important for the country." The Nigerian FA has told them that they expect them to turn up at camp immideately and the players are now worried that their national team careers might be in jeopardy.

Qbik chairman Lars-Inge Hallstensson has also been having discussions with people at the Nigerian FA. The talks has been "straight forward" and from the Nigerian side "rather demanding". He understands that his players are worried and frustrated, but explains his position: "We are the ones that are paying their wages. Unless we get a FIFA decision that says otherwise, they're playing for us." Head coach Kjell Petersson adds that he hasn't even thought about what a team without these three players would look like.
Värmlands Folkblad:
"Vad ska vi göra?"

Transfer rumour mill, Part 1

As previously reported, Bälinge wants Johanna Frisk back from Umeå. Frisk says she's undecided and Umeå manager Roland Arnqvist says he wants to keep her. Another of Umeå's young benchsitters, attacker Johanna Andersson, is more likely to leave the club. She's mostly been on loan to 2nd tier Umeå Södra and she confirms that there is an offer from Jitex.

Umeå's big names are usually contacted by several teams in the late season. Their Finnish internationals Anne Mäkinen and Sanna Valkonen has recieved contract proposals from the Stockholm side AIK, that has just secured promotion to Damallsvenskan. Both Mäkinen and Valkonen were seriously considering leaving Umeå already last year and Valkonen says she would like to move to a bigger city or home to Helsinki, but adds that she will not make any decisions until after the season.

Västerbottens Folkblad: Flera UIK:are kan vara på väg bort

Close to relegation Mallbacken will lose players if they fail to remain in Damallsvenskan. KIF Örebro has announced their interest in defender Therese Stolpe, probably Mallbacken's best player this season. Mallbacken goalkeeper Carola Söberg, usually considered one of Sweden's 5 best goalkeepers, has attracted interest from several different clubs, of which Umeå is one. Neither of the players wants to comment on the offers until after the season has finished.

Umeå's interest in Söberg and their earlier approach on Linköping's Hedvig Lindahl suggests that they really want to have two top class keepers in the team. Probably a good idea, both in case of injuries and to create a more competitive environment for the goalkeepers, but history has shown that it is really hard to keep a good goalkeeper on the bench and happy with the club at the same time.

Värmlands Folkblad: Det tunga stjärnfallet

Linköping's Ann Westermark is one of the few players in the club that still hasn't signed a new contract. Westermark says both she and the club are undecided so far. She has been contacted by two other Damallsvenskan sides, one of which is her old club Bälinge.

Corren: Osäkert om Westermark stannar i LFC

Nigerian call-up gives Qbik problems

Three Qbik players, Faith Ikidi, Yinka Kudaisi and Maureen Mmadu, has been called up for Nigeria to play in the African Championships from October 28 to November 12. According to the call-up, the players should already have shown up at Nigeria's pre-championship camp. But Qbik recieved the papers from the Nigerian FA October 9th, which is less than the 30 days notice they should have, and refuses to let their players go. The matter has now been put at FIFA's table for a decision.

Qbik's last two matches, one of which is the crucial match against relegation zone competitor Mallbacken, are scheduled for October 22 and 29. Should FIFA decide in Nigeria's favour, Qbik will demand that the matches will be resheduled to a time where the club can use their entire squad. The Swedish FA has commented that it would be very hard to make such an adjustment of the match calendar this late in the season.

Värmlands Folkblad:
Qbikstjärnornas öde kommer att avgöras av Fifa

Linköping's coach turns down contract renewal offer

Linköping's successfull coach Per-Johan Karlsson has turned down the clubs offer to renew his contract. He says he will not be able to give the 100 % committment the club and the team deserves. As I interpret his statement, there are family reasons behind his decision.

The club says they've been very pleased with Karlsson and are sorry to see him go.

Linköping FC: 
PJ tackar nej till förlängning  

Match-day 20: Qbik grabs first win

Umeå IK - Djurgården/Älvsjö  2 - 1 (1-1)
Umeå:  Sofia Lundgren - Johanna Frisk, Sanna Valkonen, Karolina Westberg, Anna Paulson - Anne Mäkinen, Malin Moström, Elaine - Marta, Hanna Ljungberg, Anna Sjöström
Djurgården: Bente Nordby - Kristin Bengtsson, Therese Brogårde, Jane Törnqvist, Sara Thunebro - Katrine  Pedersen, Linda Fagerström, Anne-Marie Norlin (67 Dorte Dalum Jensen), Elin Ekblom - Laura Kalmari(46 Anna Hall), Victoria Svensson
Goals: 0-1 Victoria Svensson (23), 1-1 Malin Moström (41), 1-2 Marta (46)
Attendance: 1,908

The match between the league's two dominant powers the last 4 years turned out to be a good one, fast and well played. Djurgården started as the better team, but already towards the end of the first half Umeå began to take control, even if the never dominated. Marta was behind both Umeå's goals, setting up Hanna Ljungberg for the first and scoring the second herself. It was a lot of Marta this match, working hard, winning balls on Umeå's own half and directing the attacks. Djurgården's coach Benny Persson noted after the match that his players had been too kind to Marta, giving her too much space. Some previous matches between the teams has shown that it is possible to shut Marta out of the game, but that requires a tougher attitude and harder work than Djurgården showed this time.
Västerbottens Folkblad:
Marta på spelhumör
Västerbottenskuriren: 19:e segermatchen - tacka Marta för det
SVT: video clip

Bälinge - Linköpings FC  1 - 5 (0-2)
Bälinge: Christina Lundholm - Carolina Mats, Lina Andersson, Fanta Cooper, Nera Smajic - Maria Thuré, Linda Sembrant, Anna Bergendal, Kacey White - Minna Mustonen, Julianne Sitch
Linköping:  Hedvig Lindahl - Frida Östberg, Sara Larsson (72 Emma Claesson), Charlotte Rohlin, Maria Karlsson - Josefine Öqvist (80 Petra Larsson), Anna-Kaisa Rantanen, Caroline Seger, Ann Westermark (72 Karin Lindström) - Tiffeny Milbrett, Maria Aronsson
Goals: 0-1 Tiffeny Milbrett (26), 0-2 Josefine Öqvist (29), 1-2 Anna Bergendahl (47), 1-3 Maria Aronsson (51), 1-4 Josefine Öqvist (53), 1-5 Maria Aronsson (90)
Attendance: 477

Linköping dominated big against a rather pale Bälinge and the win was thoroughly deserved. Bälinge's rookie goalkeeper Christina Lundholm got a rough first match as starting goalkeeper and the numbers probably wouldn't have been so big if injured Maja Åström had played.
Upsala Nya Tidning:  Jossan tvåmålsskytt mot Bälinge
Corren: Ingen fortsättning i LFC för Karlsson

Malmö FF - Kopparbergs/Göteborg  3 - 0 (1-0)
Malmö: Caroline Jönsson - Lina Nilsson, Malin Levenstad, Dóra Stefánsdóttir, Jenny Engwall - Frida Nordin, Therese Sjögran, Nanna Johansen, Emma Stålhammar - Therese Lundin, Ásthildur Helgadóttir (84 Linda Blom)
Göteborg: Maria Edman - Marlene Sjöberg, Frida Höglund, Sofia Dammström, Maria Nilsson - Sofie Andersson (60 Frida Thydén), Jessica Julin (60 Lisa Ek), Salina Olsson, Camilla Schelin (88 Rebecca Ljungdahl) - Sara Lindén, Lotta Schelin
Goals: 1-0 Jenny Engwall (6), 2-0 Asthildur Helgadottir (48), 3-0 Asthildur Helgadottir (71)
Attendance: 550

The point with possession, somebody said, is that if the other team doesn't get the ball, they can't score. Malmö FF played that game with success. All the goals came from set pieces, but the key to Malmö's win was not letting Göteborg play their game. Malmö's coach Jörgen Petersson revealed that the key to disarm Göteborg's dangerous Lotta Schelin was not in marking Lotta (even if it was obvious that Malmö's Jenny Engwall had that task), but in cutting off Jessica Julin from the play. If there doesn't come any balls to Göteborg's midfield hub, she can't feed them to Schelin.
Sydsvenskan: MFF:s Asta i skytteligans topp, Jenny plockade ner landslagsstjärna

Qbik - Hammarby IF  2 - 1 (1-0)
Hammarby: Katarina Wicksell - Annica Svensson, Linda Forsberg, Karolina Rinman, Elin Härén (71 Caitlin Fisher) - Louise Fors, Therese Sandström, Jennie Jonsson, Marijke Callebaut - Emma Lundh (80 Daniella Chamoun), Jessica Landström
Goals: 1-0 Anna Nilsson (12), 2-0 Anna Nilsson (84), 2-1 Louise Fors (90)
Attendance: 425
In their 20th Damallsvenskan match this season, Qbik finally managed to win. Anna Nilsson could pick up a misdirected kick from Hammarby's goalie Katarina Wicksell and score already 12 minutes from start. The early goal gave Qbik courage and even if Hammarby had most of the possession, Qbik created more forward. But mostly it was fighting to defend the lead for Qbik. Anna Nilsson could late in the game put in the insurance goal on a rebound from a Rebecca Jonsson shot and without that insurance Hammarby's late goal would have meant Qbik's 10th draw. Instead it became their first victory, enormously important in the relegation struggle.
Värmlands Folkblad: Äntligen, Nilsson! Väntan över: "Vi hade rätta flytet"

Bälinge's Sembrant to join English club

Bälinge's defender Linda Sembrant has agreed to play for the English club Lincoln City Ladies FC. She will join Lincoln after the end of the Swedish season October 29 and stay with the northern English club until the Christmas break. She will then rejoin Bälinge for the preparations for the 2007 season. Lincoln City LFC says that "Linda will be the first of several high-profile signings for the Club over the rest of this season and also next season".

19 year old Sembrant has been a member of the starting 11 for Bälinge the entire Damallsvenskan season, mostly as a defensive midfielder. She has played more than 20 matches for the Swedish U19 (team captain this year) and got her first call-up for the U21 team in September. She came in as a second half sub in the successfull match against Norway (2-0).

Lincoln City is leading the "FA Nationwide Women's Premier - Northern Division", which is the second highest level of women's football in England.

Fair Game: Lincoln Land Linda Sembrant
Lincoln City LFC: Lady Imps snap up young Swedish star

Match-day 20: Jitex defeats Mallbacken in relegation struggle

Jitex - Mallbacken 1 - 0 (1-0)
Jitex: Kristin Luckenbill - Sophia Lindorsson, Emma Herbring, Amelie Rybeck, Caroline Lindblad - Therese Björk, Malin Normelli, Amelie Olausson, Leah Robinson (88 Kajsa Tornfalk) - Katie Eriksson (85 Therese Bjurenlind), Sara Sjöstedt (74 Sofia Skog)
Goals: 1-0 Amelie Olausson (25)
Attendance: 612
Both teams knew the match could be decisive in the relegation struggle, and it showed. It was two nervous teams that walked on the pitch and it wasn't really the beautiful game they played. A lot of long balls without any address and missed passes from both teams. Mallbacken still managed to get a grip on the match during the first half, but it was Jitex that scored. Katie Eriksson - Jitex untiring attacker - ran through Mallbacken's defense and fired a shot that Carola Söberg in goal couldn't hold. Jitex midfielder Amelie Olausson got a shot on it that hit both goalposts before it landed in goal. Olausson played only her second match this season. The 30 year old, who is the club's fitness trainer, had decided to quit playing after contributing to Jitex promotion last year but been persuaded by the coaches to return to the field. After the goal the match turned and Jitex had most of the scoring chances, including a penalty kick from Leah Robinson, that goalie Söberg caught.
Tränaren avgjorde för Jitex Jitex kan andas ut – en vecka till!
Värmlands Folkblad: Förlorade ödesmatchen

Sunnanå - Kif Örebro 0 - 2 (0-2) 
Goals: 1-0 Marie Hammarström (63), 2-0 Louise Östman (70)
Attendance: 247
KIF Örebro has never lost to Sunnanå during the 4 years they've played in Damallsvenskan. Not this time either. Sunnanå, missing Hanna Marklund to a yellow card suspension,  played a tough physical game but had problems getting anything done in their offensive third of the field. Örebro's Marie Hammarström and Pavlina Scasna made the difference. Hammarström scored directly from a free-kick and Scasna was instrumental in the fast counter Örebro started after a Sunnanå corner-kick and made it an easy finish for Louise Östman. KIF Örebro förlängde fyrårig svit
Norra Västerbotten  Kega upprörd efter ny Sunnanåförlust
Nerikes Allehanda: KIF Örebro slog Sunnanå

Asthildur Helgadottir: I might have to quit football

Since February, Malmö FF's star striker Asthildur Helgadottir has taken the three hour flight between Iceland and Malmö 30 times. "And I can't keep on like that, it wears you down", says Asta in a interview with her Malmö local paper Sydsvenskan.

Asta, who is 30 years old, finished her Master of Technology early this year and got a great job with Iceland's leading building consultants, Linuhönnun. Thank's to an understanding employer and a sponsor for the trips back and forth between Iceland and Sweden, she's been able to continue playing for Malmö and is having one of her best seasons ever. "I have to decide about my future now", says Asta. She would like to keep on playing, but in that case needs to do it one a more professional basis. She says Malmö FF is her only alternative: "I've had the best years of my life here".

Asta, who made her debut in the Iceland national team 17 years old and is Iceland's leading player both in matches played and goals scored, studied and played football in Nashville, Tennessee, before she joined Malmö FF.
Asta: Det kan bli så att jag slutar helt

Umeå is courting Linköping's Hedvig Lindahl

Umeå IK's manager today admits that Umeå has contacted national team goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl with the permission from her club Linköping FC. Umeå manager Arnqvist says it is still just talks, no contract has been offered.

Umeå's present starting goalkeeper is another national team player, Sofia Lundgren. She is surprised by her clubs move and thinks it would be a waste to keep two that good goalies in the same club. "But of course it's up to Umeå to decide which players they want", she adds.

Hedvig Lindahl comments that she wants to stay with Linköping, but that she isn't satisfied with the offers from the club so far. "I enjoy it in Linköping and I think we've got something great growing here. But if we can't find an agreement, I'm prepared to look elsewhere." She also feels Umeå's intererst is flattering, "but they've got a great keeper already".

Currently Malmö's Caroline Jönsson has a steady grip on the starting goal-keeper position in the national team with Hedvig Lindahl second and Sofia Lundgren third. Should both Sofia Lundgren and Hedvig Lindahl end up in Umeå, one of them wouldn't get enough playing time to compete for a place on the 2007 World Cup squad.

Umeås stjärnköp hotar VM-succén

Bälinge wants to resign Kacey White - if she gets rejected by USA

Bälinge's Kacey White will play her last match for Bälinge this season on Sunday, before going to Korea to play for USA in the Peace Cup. Bälinge's chairman Conny Sjöberg is happy for Kacey, but says he is eager to offer her a 2007 contract if she doesn't get one with the USA national team. He also wants to keep finnish forward Minna Mustonen, but the team's other foreign players (Fanta Cooper, Julianne Sitch and Heidi Matinlassi) are not in his first team plans for 2007.

A player that is in his plans for 2007 is Umeå's young defender Johanna Frisk, until last year a Bälinge player. Johanna says that Bälinge at the top of the list if she moves from Umeå. She says her year in Umeå has been very rewarding and helped her develop a lot, but she really would like more playing-time.
Upsala Nya Tidning: 
Bälinge vill ha tillbaka Frisk från Umeå

Even more players signs on for Linköping

Josefine Öqvist, Petra Larsson and Marie-Louise Skålberg joins the players that already has signed continued contracts with Linköping Fc for the 2007 season.
Förnyade spelarkontrakt i LFC

Seger re-signs with Linköping

Maria Aronsson and Caroline Seger has signed contracts with their club Linköping FC for the 2007 season, making the total number of signings for the 2007 season 5. "We are in agreement with a couple more players, but we will not announce it until all details are clear", says club chairman Anders Mäki, who is very pleased with the result of the contract negotiations so far. But it is also rumoured that national team goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl still is far from an agreement and that the negotiations, through her agent, isn't going anywhere at the moment.
Seger blir kvar i LFC

Marta out of contract for UEFA Cup semifinal

Umeå's two Brasilians, Marta and Elaine, might not be able to play in Umeå's almost certain UEFA Women's Cup semifinal in the beginning of November. Their contracts with Umeå IK finishes October 31 and they will most probably be with the Brasilian national team to play the South American qualifications for the 2007 World Cup no later than November 5 - the qualification tournament starts November 10 in Argentina.

Umeå's manager Roland Arnqvist says they have talked about extending the contract for the players a week or maybe even two. In the latter case they must rely on the Brasilian FA not calling up the players or, more likely, missing calling them up in time - FIFA rules states the club must get a 14 day notice.

Umeå's UEFA Women's Cup semifinals will be played the 4th and 12th November against the winners in the quarterfinal between FFC Frankfurt and Kolbotn.

Marta kan spela i en eventuell semifinal ­ men saknar kontrakt

UEFA Women's CUP: Hanna hat-tricks as Umeå runs over Saestum

SV Saestum - Umeå IK 1 - 6 (0-2)
Umeå: Sofia Lundgren - Anna Paulsson, Karolina Westberg, Sanna Valkonen, Johanna Frisk - Anne Mäkinen, Malin Moström, Lise Klaveness (50 Lisa Dahlqvist) - Anna Sjöström, Hanna Ljungberg (70 Johanna Andersson), Marta (70 Erika Karlsson)
Goals: 0-1 Hanna Ljungberg (8), 0-2 Marta (43) 0-3 Hanna Ljungberg (63), 0-4 Marta (64), 0-5 Hanna Ljungberg (66), 0-6 Anna Sjöström (70), 1-6 Shirley Smith (84)

Umeå has effectively secured advancement to the UEFA Women's Cup semifinals by defeating Dutch champions Saestum 1-6 on the road. "It looks pretty good at least", comments Hanna Ljungberg. But a 6 goal defeat at home isn't just unlikely, it's as close to impossible as anything can get in this game.

Saestum had a sharp attack and were good with the ball and Umeå had to work hard for their goals in the first half. But as the game went along the Dutch players grew more and more tired and Umeå's superior strength and stamina made the difference. After the formidable goal explosion between the 63rd and 66th minute, taking Umeå from a 2 goal to a 5 goal lead, Saestum more or less gave up. Marta's 4-0 goal was a great solo performance, taking the ball at midfield, getting past 3 defenders and finishing by dribbling the Saestum keeper before putting the ball in goal.

In other UEFA Women's Cup QF's today Arsenal defeated Breidablik on Iceland with a clear 5-0 and like Umeå more or less securing their semifinal appearence. The two Wednesday matches were closer. Norwegian Kolbotn got the upper hand in their encounter with reigning UEFA champions, German FFC Frankfurt, with a 2-1 win and Danish Brøndby defeated German champions Turbine Potsdam 3-0. A bit surprising that both German teams lost, but last year both Turbine and Frankfurt managed to come back from defeats in their first semifinal matches and advance to the final. I doubt Turbine will repeat it this year, but Frankfurt managed to get that important away goal and has a good chance to repair their loss at home next week.

Västerbottenskuriren: Storseger för Umeå i Womens Cup, Saestum: "Vi spelar för seger"
And a videoclip (Windows media) from Dutch TV - Thank's Hagabo!

Four Damallsvenskan players nominated for FIFA Player of the Year award

Four Damallsvenskan players, Laura Kalmari (Djurgården/Älvsjö), Lotta Schelin (Kopparbergs/Göteborg), Marta (Umeå IK) and Malin Moström (Umeå IK), has been nominated for the FIFA Player of the Year award. This is the biggest number of players from a single league. The 20 nominees has been selected by members of FIFA's women's football and women's competitions' committees and other FIFA bodies. The winner will be decided by the national team coaches and captains.

Lotta Schelin comments her first time nomination to local Göteborgsposten with something like "I had no idea, but Oh my God, that's soo cool!" (Seriously, trying to translate expressions of joyous surprise is really hard)

Preliminary lists revealed, Full list (pdf document)
Göteborgsposten: Schelin - en av världens bästa

Lotta is the referee's pet

SEDD, the association of Damallsvenskan referees, has named Kopparbergs/Göteborg's forward Lotta Schelin their "Player of the Year" for showing "good Fair Play spirit towards referees and players".
Lotta Schelin premieras av domarna
Svensk Fotboll: Lotta årets domarfavorit

Financial crisis in Qbik

Qbik's management announced at a press conference yesterday that the club is in a severe economic crisis. The deficit so far this year is SEK 750,000 and growing. They will have difficulties paying bills and wages the rest of the year. Chairman Lars-Inge Hallstenson says the club has already begun to take measures to avoid an even bigger loss by terminating the contract for their office manager and noticed their head coach that his contract will be terminated by the end of the season.

Qbik made a very ambitious effort this season, with the goal to establish themselves in the middle of Damallsvenskan. They signed full-time office managers, coaches and players and planned to be able to spend more than 2006, when their turn-over was SEK 5,3 millions. But the club has not reached their goals on the field. With a 0-10-9 record so far, the season has been a huge disappointment and it has obviously hurt their earnings. Qbik's budgeted SEK 2 millions in sponsor earnings is so far only 1,5 millions and attendance figures has plummeted from 1,300 last year to around 400 this season.

The club needs to make harsh cuts in spending and will need to renegotiate some player contracts. Their Nigerians Faith Ikidi, Maureen Mmadu and Yinka Kudaisi all have full time contracts at around SEK 18,000 a month, that runs through the 2007 season. German forward Jennifer Meier, that probably is paid a couple of thousands more, is under contract until the end of this month and it is unlikely that Qbik will try to renew it.
Värmlands Folkblad:
Qbik 750 000 kronor back - hotas av kris

Umeå scout impressed by Saestum

Umeå's Hans Aggling warns his club against underestimating their UEFA Women's Cup adversary Saestum. Aggling went to Holland last weekend to see Saestum defeat Wartburgia with 2-0 in the Dutch league. "They are playing 4-3-3 just like us and has a good short-passing play. But their defense looked a little slow and we should be able to exploit that." He was most impressed by forward Lisanne Vermeulen and wingers Nangila Naomi Van Eijk and Shirley Smith. "It's going to be tough down there", Aggling concludes, "It will be a good match between two good teams."

Västerbottens Folkblad:
Saestum en utmaning

Broken finger ends Maja Åström's season

Bälinge's goalkeeper Maja Åström will have to wear a cast for at least three weeks after breaking a finger in her right hand in last weekend's match against Mallbacken. Back-up keeper Christina Lundholm will replace Äström for the last three matches.
Åström bröt fingret
Upsala Nya Tidning:  Säsongen över för Åström

Swedish Cup: Cup final to be played in Umeå

Since Umeå IK's UEFA Cup schedule made it neccesary to move the Swedish Cup final from the planned Råsunda double-header with the men's Swedish Cup final, it has now been decided, by the drawing of lots, that the final will be played in Umeå. Linköping, that has never played a cup final before, are disappointed that they will not be able to play a proper Cup fional at Råsunda. "It couldn't have come as a surpsise that Umeå reached the cup final", says Linköping chairman Christer Mård, who is very critical to the lack of proper planning from the Swedish Football Association.

”Förbundet visar stor nonchalans”

Match day 19: Mallbacken grabs point in relegation battle

KIF Örebro DFF - Malmö FF DFF   0 - 0 (0-0)
Örebro: Kristin Hammarström - Ingrid Ericsson, Keeley Dowling, Stina Segerström, Caroline Näfver - Emelia Erixon, Lena Andersson, Marie Hammarström, Hodan Siid-Ahmed (73 Louise Östman) - Pavlina Scasna, Sandra Persson
Malmö: Caroline Jönsson - Lina Nilsson, Malin Levenstad, Therese Jönsson, Lina Rehov (65 Dora Stefansdottir) - Nanna Johansen, Therese Sjögran, Nilla Fischer, Frida Nordin (71Emma Stålhammar) - Therese Lundin, Ásthildur Helgadóttir 
Attendance:  615
With Jenny Engwall out on yellow card suspension, Malmö had to field yet another teenager in defense, Lina Rehov. Still, the defense did their job well (much thanks to Caroline Jönsson, though) but Malmö's much more merited midfielders got outplayed by Örebro's Lena Andersson and Marie Hammarström. Malmö produced very little forward while Örebro's Scasna once again showed how dangerous she is up front. Örebro's Sundhage was pleased with her team's first ever point against Malmö, while Malmö's Jörgen Petersson thought that his midfield played more nervous and cautious than usual, partly because of the young defense line. He also repeated what he has said several times before; people are having too high expectations on his team, paying more attention to the club's name than to the young and unexperienced squad. A player like Malin Levenstad, 17 years old who had never started for the first team before this season, is replacing Denise Reddy, who had hundreds of matches in Damallsvenskan.
MFF fick bara en poäng mot Örebro
Nerikes Allehanda: KIF Örebro tog poäng mot Malmö FF, pictures (loads of Scasna pictures, but ok, she is good)

Kopparbergs/Göteborg - Umeå IK  2 - 3 (2-3)
Göteborg: Maria Edman - Marlene Sjöberg, Frida Höglund, Sofia Dammström, Maria Nilsson - Sofie Andersson (70 Lisa Ek), Jessica Julin, Salina Olsson, Emmelie Farfa (35 Rebecca Ljungdahl) - Lotta Schelin, Sara Lindén
Umeå:  Sofia Lundgren - Anna Paulson, Johanna Frisk, Sanna Valkonen, Emma Berglund - Anne Mäkinen, Malin Moström, Lisa Dahlqvist (50 Elaine) - Anna Sjöström (60 Marta), Hanna Ljungberg (46 Erika Karlsson), Lise Klaveness
Goals: 0-1 Lisa Dahlqvist (18), 0-2 Hanna Ljungberg (23), 1-2 Sara Lindén (27), 1-3 Malin Moström (33), 2-3 Sara Lindén (44)
Attendance:  2,483
The inauguration of Kopparbergs/Göteborg's new home arena, Valhalla, attracted soccer profiles, local celebrities, a lot of youth teams and enough regular punters to make the small arena look almost sold out. Umeå took control of the match from the start, and when Hanna Ljungberg scored a typical Hanna Ljungberg goal (set up be Lise Klaveness) making it 0-2 already after some 20 minutes you could hear a big sigh from the crowd "Oh no, not one of those games again". But Göteborg tried to be patient, hold on to the ball when they got it and build their attacks carefully. It paid off when Sara Lindén managed to reduce both to 1-2 and 2-3, partly maybe because of a somewhat unexperienced Umeå defense (Maria Bergkvist injured and Karolina Westberg with a virus was missing). In the second half Göteborg even managed to create more situations in front of goal than Umeå did. "Unnecessary exciting", commented Umeå's coach André Jeglertz. It also seems like Umeå is matching their players very carefully in Damallsvenskan: 45 minutes Hanna Ljungberg and 30 minutes Marta seems almost like just enough exercise to keep them in shape for the UEFA cup matches.

The match was originally planned to be televised. But Umeå's early championship win made TV4, that owns the broadcasting rights, schedule a more interesting promotion-struggle match from the men's second tier. The network offered to show the match, if they could move kick-off 2 hours. Göteborg declined, since it by then wasn't possible to change everything around the inauguration ceremony.
Göteborgsposten: Umeå först att vinna på Valhalla
Västerbottenskuriren: UIK fortsätter segersviten

Västerbottens Folkblad: Onödigt spännande när UIK tog ny seger

Djurgården/Älvsjö - QBIK  7 - 0 (2-0)
Djurgården: Bente Nordby - Kristin Bengtsson, Jane Törnqvist, Therese Brogårde, Sara Thunebro - Linda Fagerström, Katrine Pedersen, Anne-Marie Norlin, Elin Ekblom - Victoria Svensson, Laura Österberg Kalmari
Qbik: Maria Yatrakis - Charlotte Nygren, Faith Ikidi, Yinka Kudaisi, Ann-Sofie Halvarsson - Elin Sandgren, Maureen Mmadu, Rebecca Jonsson, Jenny Hallstenson -  Anna Nilsson, Jennifer Meier
Goals: 1-0 Victoria Svensson (18), 2-0 Laura Kalmari (23), 3-0 Ann-Marie Norlin (46), 4-0 Sara Thunebro (73), 5-0 Victoria Svensson (80), 6-0 Victoria Svensson (88), 7-0 Victoria Svensson (89)  
Attendance: 362
Djurgården was in an extraordinary good mood and out-played Qbik over 90 minutes. Qbik didn't have a single shot on goal in the entire match. Still, partly helped by good work from Maria Yatrakis in goal, they were only two goals down after the first half and came out to the second determined to work their way back inte the game. But it only took Victoria Svensson 30 seconds to find Anne-Marie Norlin unmarked by Yatrakis left goal-post. After that, Djurgården continued to play a fast, aggressive game and Victoria Svensson sealed the match with a 10 minute hat-trick against a very tired Qbik.
Dagens Nyheter: Victoria Svensson fyramålsskytt
Värmlands Folkblad: Qbik krossades av Djurgården
Djurgården/Älvsjö: pictures

Hammarby IF - Jitex BK  4 - 0 (0-0)
Hammarby: Katarina Wicksell - Annica Svensson, Linda Forsberg, Elin Sölveskog, Karolina Rinman - Louise Fors (79 Elin Härén), Therese Sandström, Jennie Jonsson, Marijke Callebaut - Emma Lundh (64 Jessica Landström), Sara Johansson (71 Caitlin Fisher)
Jitex: Kristin Luckenbill - Sophia Lindorsson, Emma Herbring (66 Linda Fyhr), Amelie Rybeck, Caroline
Lindblad - Therese Björk, Leah Robinson, Amelie Olausson (86 Kajsa Tornfalk), Sofia Skog - Stacey
Stocco (55 Therese Bjurenlind), Sara Sjöstedt 
Goals: 1-0 Emma Lundh 1-0 (54), 2-0 Sara Johansson (59), 3-0 Jessica Landström (68), 4-0 Jennie Jonsson (89)    
Attendance: 272
After a rather uneventfull first half with a lot of playing mistakes from both sides, Hammarby was the team that came out more aggressive and determined in the second. Emma Lundh, one of Hammarby's teenage talents, scored her first Damallsvenskan goal after great foot-work in the panalty area, leaving two defenders behind her. After Sara johansson made it 2-0, Hammarby dominated the match with a long row of attacks.
Hammarby:  Hammarby vann över Jitex med 4-0

Linköpings FC - Sunnanå SK  2 - 0 (0-0)
Linköping:  Hedvig Lindahl - Frida Östberg, Marie-Louise Skålberg, Charlotte Rohlin, Maria Karlsson - Anna-Kaisa Rantanen, Caroline Seger, Tffeny Milbrett (85 Petra Larsson), Ann Westermark (70 Karin Lindström) - Maria Aronsson (45 Sandra Landberg), Josefine Öqvist
Sunnanå: Åsa Berglund - Kicki Wiklund, Hanna Marklund, Rebecca Smith, Sandra Berggren - Alexandra Nilsson (58 Anna Bodén), Carina Holmberg, Sanna Frostevall, Maria Nordbrandt (78 Magdalena Esseryd) - Lina Johansson, Madelaine Edlund.
Goals: 1-0 Charlotte Rohlin (78), 2-0 Anna-Kaisa Rantanen (85)
Attendance: 667
Sunnanå managed to hold their own against Linköping for almost 80 minutes. "We knew we had to work hard, keep focused and don't make any individual mistakes", said coach Israelsson. And it looked a from Sunnanå's side successfull 0-0, when Frida Östberg took a Linköping corner-shot and defender Charlotte Rohlin could come unmarked from outside and head in the ball. Linköping's coach Per-Johan Karlsson admitted it wasn't a great match, but it's still the result that matters.
Västerbottens Folkblad: Sunnanå tappade på slutet
Norra Västerbotten: Sunnanå förlorade mot Linköping

Mallbackens IF - Bälinge  1 - 1 (0-1)
Mallbacken:  Carola Söberg - Emma Asp, Helena Nilsson, Kathlén Fernström, Louise Jonasson - Linda Nöjd, Therese Persson, Elizabeth Double, Therese Stolpe - Maja Johansson (Julia Spetsmark), Jenny Monsén (Chrisite Swaving)
Bälinge: Maja Åström - Karolina Mats, Lina Andersson, Fanta Cooper, Nera Smajic - Anna Bergendal (79 Mona Najib), Mikaela Björklund (71 Maria Thuré), Linda Sembrandt, Kacey White - Julianne Sitch (79 Emma Lindqvist), Minna Mustonen
Goals: 0-1 Minna Mustonen (13), 1-1 Christie Swaving (86)
Attendance: 1,047
After a tight, but not always that well played match with few scoring opportunities, Mallbacken could force in a tieing goal in the last minutes of the match and win an important point in the relegation struggle. Mallbacken, that had to start without their midfield engine Erla Arnadottir (playing in USA for Iceland's national team), ran a lot and worked hard but not always very contructive in their effort to equalise Bälinge's early lead. Finally Bälinge's keeper Maja Åström was knocked down in a duel with two Mallbacken players and Kristie Swaving put the ball in an open goal. Åström, who injured her hand in the encounter, was very upset with the referee after the match.
Bälinge's point finally put them out of even a theoretical risk of relegation, 10 points away from the relegation line with 3 matches left to play.
Värmlands Folkblad: Kristi frälste Mallbacken i sista stund
Upsala Nya Tidning:  "Jag hatar Mallbacken"

Jitex coaches stays

Jitex coaching duo Hans Prytz and Mats Heed have agreed to stay with the club over the 2007 season, whether it will be in Damallsvenskan or in the 1st division. "No contract is signed yet", says Jitex' sport director Lennart Lindorsson, "but we are very pleased with what Hans and Mats have accomplished the two years they've been with us and we all want to continue."
Jitex tränarduo fortsätter

Linköping resigns key players

Frida Östberg and Sara Larsson was already signed and last Friday left back/winger Maria Karlsson also made an agreement to stay with Linköping FC the 2007 season, this in spite of some interest being being shown from champions Umeå. "Of course it was flattering", Maria comments, "but I like it in Linköping. This is my club and this is where I want to be."

Sport director Bengt Ekholm is especially pleased with the 2 year contract the club signed with Sara Larsson. "It is still very uncommon with contracts this long in women's football and we're very satisfied we managed to agree on it." Ekholm also says they are close to agreements with the other key players, goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl, medfielder Caroline Seger and forward Josefine Öqvist.

As usual Linköping are also keen on signing a couple of top class players. This is of course among other things a question of what they will be able afford, but it's no secret that are looking at Hanna Ljungberg and Victoria Svensson. Tiffeny Milbrett will return to USA after the season, but there is a possibility that she might return next year.

Karlsson blir kvar i LFC ett år till

No player bonus for World Cup qualification

When Germany qualified for the 2007 Women's World Cup in China, the players were awarded a € 200,000 bonus to be shared according to how much they have played in the qualification matches. No such thing will happen in Sweden.

"We're putting much more money into the women's football programme than to the individual players", says Swedish FA's general secretary Sune Hellströmer. "Only this year we've spent SEK 30 millions". And, unlike the men's side, participating in a World Cup is a financial loss. While a men's side get's SEK 40 millions from FIFA just for qualifying, there are no such contributions on the women's side. "The net cost for the 2003 World Cup was SEK 4 millions", says Hellströmer, "and we don't expect to make any money this time either".

Säkrade VM-platsen - men ingen bonus
Corren: VM – en ren förlustaffär

On a personal note, and women's issues aside, I can't really see that defeating Iceland and Czech republic is something that is above expectations and reason for a bonus. But if we get to see them coming home with any silverware from China, I expect the players to be owerwhelmingly gratified.

Norway's resurrected Asker is eyeing Djurgården's Pedersen

Norwegian top club Asker, relegated from the Norwegian premier last year for financial reasons, has now secured promotion back to Toppserien. Asker's coach Eli Landsem lost several influental players last year, among them Lise Klaveness to Umeå and Bente Nordby to Djurgården/Älvsjö. She now states that she wants the resources to compete for the Norwegian championship and names among others Djurgården's midfielder Katrine Pedersen. The danish national team captain came to Djurgården a year ago from another Norwegian club, the 2005 bronze team Fløya.

Krever forsterkninger

"Sunnanå will get renewed Damallsvenskan license"

Sunnanå Sk has submitted their financial standings per August 31 to the Swedish FA's licensing committee and expects to get their Damallsvenskan license renewed. The club's treasurer Torbjörn Bäckström tells local paper Norra Västerbotten that the club has worked hard the entire year to get their balance sheet out of the red. The SEK 847,000 deficit has turned to a small SEK 27,000 surplus. The key factors for the financial success has been Hanna Marklund's continued presence at the club (her winning the Player of the Year award 2005 has made it easier to attract sponsors) and the greatly increased TV revenues.

Sunnanå's financial statement has not yet been audited by the licensing committee. Sunnanå is one of two clubs that failed to pass the 2005 audit and hence ordered to submit new statements after 8 months. The other club is Malmö FF.

Norra Västerbotten: 
Elitlicensen är i hamn

Bälinge forward face longtime rehab after knee injury

Bälinge's young forward talent Madelene Hagberg suffered a serious knee injury in a match with the club's farm team. An ACL rupture has been diagnosed and several months of rehebilitation will follow the planned surgery.

Madelene Hagberg korsbandsskadad Tråkigt besked för Bälinges forwardstalang

Swedish Cup: Umeå to play Linköping in cup final

Umeå - KIF Örebro  5 -1 (4-1)
Umeå:  Sofia Lundgren - Anna Paulson, Johanna Frisk, Sanna Valkonen, Emma Berglund - Lisa Dahlqvist, Anne Mäkinen (46 Elaine), Malin Moström - Anna Sjöström, Hanna Ljungberg (50 Erika Karlsson), Marta (46 Lise Klaveness)
Goals: 1-0 Marta (3), 2-0 Hanna Ljungberg (12), 3-0 Malin Moström (19), 4-0 Hanna Ljungberg (29), 4-1 Emelia Erixon (40), 5-1 Lisa Dahlqvist (58)
A cold and rainy evening, but Umeå made one of their best performances this season, with a virtual exhibition of a versatile and inventive attacking game. Örebro was more out-played than when they visited Umeå last week. In the second half the game was a bit more subdued, as Umeå substituted several key players.

Umeå's victory means that the Swedish FA will look for another date, and possibly venue, for the cup final. The original Nevember 11 date will crash with Umeå's possible semifinal match in UEFA Women's Cup the same weekend, and, seriously, noone expects them go lose their quarters to Saestum.

Nerikes Allehanda:
Femetta av Umeå i cupsemifinalen
Västerbottens Folkblad: Umeå öste på i ösregnet
Västerbottenskuriren: Gladfotboll bakom finalplats
SVT: Umeå till en final de inte kan spela

Linköping - Kopparbergs/Göteborg  4 - 3 (2-2)
Linköping:  Hedvig Lindahl - Frida Östberg, Marie-Louise Skålberg, Charlotte Rohlin, Maria Karlsson - Anna-Kaisa Rantanen, Caroline Seger, Tiffeny Milbrett (90 Karin Lindström) - Ann Westermark, Maria Aronsson (78 Petra Larsson), Josefine Öqvist (80 Sandra Landberg)
Göteborg: Maria Edman - Maria Nilsson, Sofia Dammström, Frida Höglund, Marlene Sjöberg - Camilla Schelin, Lisa Ek, Salina Olsson, Emmelie Farfa - Sara Lindén, Lotta Schelin
Goals: 1-0 Josefine Öqvist (10), 2-0 Tiffeny Milbrett (25), 2-1 Frida Höglund (30), 2-2 Lotta Schelin (45), 3-2 Ann Westermark (48), 4-2 Josefine Öqvist (52), 4-3 Sara Lindén (90)                   
The Linköping players were all smiles after the match. Winning a spot in the Swedish Cup final is not only the young club's greatest achievement so far, but the greatest achievement for any Linköping football team ever, male or female.

Linköping opened strong with a creative and aggressive play and, their trademark, a lot of running forward with the ball and early on took what seemed a convincimg lead. But a goalkeeper mistake gave Göteborg the opportunity to reduce and yet another Lotta Schelin goal made it even. But Linköping came out for the second half in the same spirit as they started the first. Their wing forwards Ann Westermark and Josefine Öqvist both had a great day and together with midfielders Seger and Milbrett they made the difference. But Göteborg never gave up. After Sara Lindén made it 4-3, Linköping's goal was under constant pressure the 5 extratime minutes.

Corren: Trio sköt LFC till finalen Sju mål i andra cupsemin

Pavlina Scasna stays in Örebro

KIF Örebro's czech striker Pavlina Scasna stays another year with Örebro. She has had other proposals, but likes it very much with the team and the town in Örebro: "I love Örebro!".

KIF örebro's chairman Karin Tellås told the press that securing Pavlina's signature had been their top priority in the preparations for 2007.

The future for Americans Kelly Schmedes and Keeley Dowling is more unsure. They haven't made quite the impact that was expected. Pia Sundhage also wants to await the result of Dowling's try-uot with the US national team: "We can't sign players that are going to spend most of next year with their national teams"

Nerikes Allehanda:
Pavlina stannar i KIF Örebro

Bälinge and Mallbacken coaches leaving

Bälinge's head coach Magnus Wikman has announced that he will not seek an extension of his contract. Wikman took over the position when Bälinge got relegated after the 2004 season and has, as Bälinge's board states, done a great job getting them back getting them back to Damallsvenskan and securing their continued stay there.
Uppsala Nya Tidning:
Magnus Wikman lämnar Bälinge

Mallbacken's coaches Mikael Fahlén and Peter Wennberg will both leave after this season. Wennberg will work for the Swedish FA's new talent development program and Fahlén has decided to take a year off from football to get more time for family and his real life job.
Värmlands Folkblad: Lämnar Mallbacken

Umeå's Bergkvist misses season finish with knee injury

Umeå and national team full back Maria Bergkvist will miss out on the rest of the Damallsvenskan season. She's had knee surgery following an in jury she got training for Sweden's World Cup qualifier against Czech republic. The surgeon removed a minor part of the meniskus in her right knee. With successfull rehabilitation she could be back for the Swedish Cup final and the UEFA Women's Cup semifinals in November.
Umeås Maria Bergkvist opererad idag
Västerbottens Folkblad: Maria Bergkvist måste opereras

Sweden qualifies for China 2007

Sweden - Czech republic  2 - 0 (2-0)

Sweden: Caroline Jönsson Malmö FF - Frida Östberg Linköping FC, Hanna Marklund Sunnanå SK, Stina Segerström KIF Örebro, Sara Thunebro Djurgården/Älvsjö - Therese Sjögran Malmö FF, Malin Moström Umeå IK, Caroline Seger Linköping FC (85 Nilla Fischer Malmö FF), Lotta Schelin Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC - Hanna Ljungberg Umeå IK (62 Josefine Öqvist Linköping FC), Victoria Svensson Djurgården/Älvsjö (77 Therese Lundin Malmö FF).
Goals: 1-0 Hanna Ljungberg (5), 2-0 Hanna Ljungberg (30)

Before the match media tried to build up tension, branding it a do-or-die game. But Czech and KIF Örebro star Pavlina Scasna was closer to the truth when she calmly analyzed "If we play on the top of our ability and Sweden has a really bad day and we get the first goal, we might be able to shake them". Already when Hanna Ljungberg headed in the first goal from a great Caroline Seger pass, it was obvious that none of Pavlina's conditions were there. The Czech side hardly managed a single dangerous attempt on Sweden's goal and, in spite of not scoring at all during the last hour of play, Sweden played an attractive, inventive football with a good game flow. Seger, who has made some rather pale performances lately, did great in midfield and Lotta Schelin showed speed and skill.

Post-match comments were very positive. There has been reason to worry about the national team, but this match showed something else, something that gives great promises for Chine 2007. Coach Dennerby has had two major tasks since he took over last summer: qualify for the World Cup and start the generation change. The first one wasn't really that big a task, but sports writers across the Swedish media gives him praise for the manner in which he performed his second task. Lotta Schelin and Caroline Seger, that got their first taste of the national team under Marika Domanski Lyfors, have now established themselves in the starting eleven while this years newcomers Stina Segerström and Sara Thunebro have impressed. Dennerby himself says that next years squad for the World Cup is pretty much set already, but there is still place for one or two new players.

Kina – här kommer vi
SVT: Sveriges damer klara för VM, match clip
Västerbottens Folkblad: Ljungberg sköt Sverige till VM
Västerbottenskuriren: Hanna sköt Sverige till VM
Corren: Fotbollens pigor klara för VM, Svensk seger – och Seger bäst på plan
Dagens Nyheter: Sverige klart för VM, Ljungberg tror på medalj
Expressen: Hannas sköna dubbelsmäll
Göteborgsposten: Dennerby har något stort på gång, Damlandslaget kan packa för VM
Nerikes Allehanda. Stina på väg till Kina, Pavlina är inte på väg till Kina
Sydsvenskan: Landslag i förvandling kan blomma i Kina
TV4: Fotbollsdamerna klara för VM 2007, video clip

Johansson and Dowling called up for national teams

Hammarby's Sara Johansson has been called up by national team coach Thomas Dennerby for the World Cup qualification match against Czech republic. Sickness and injuries in the present squad has made him worried enough to expand the 18 player roster with a 19th player.
Sara Johansson inkallad till Växjö

KIF Örebro's Keeley Dowling has been called up to training camp with the US national team, starting September 26. She is supposed to be back in time for Örebro's home game against Malmö on October 7. KIF Örebro-spelare till Kalifornien

Swedish championship: All hail the conquering heroes

No one is disputing that Umeå is worthy winners. They can field a formidable eleven and still have world class players on the bench. Hanna Ljungberg's long injury absence the first months of the season was hardly noticeable. The depth of the squad has also been mentioned as the key factor in their success. But more important than the great players is the club itself. The club has over their 20 year history managed to build a financial strength, organization and training environment that is challenged by very few, if any, women's football clubs in the world. If they hadn't managed that, most of their players wouldn't be at the club. Umeå's finnish standout Anne Mäkinen simply claimed that it is the best club in the world: "Given the opportunity, everyone should take the chance to play here".

The Swedish championship should be won wearing long underwear and wollen caps, not shorts and sleeveless shirts. Umeå's record early championship victory with four rounds of matches left, makes the remaining month of Damallsvenskan matches less exciting and the big question is if Umeå's superiority has killed the league. Umeå's captain Malin Moström can't see her team's lossless streak as a problem: "We always try to win, we want to win every match." Outside watchers like national team coach Thomas Dennerby chose to point out that Umeå is less superior to their opposition this year. The 5, 6 or 7 goal victories have been sparse this year while the single goal wins have been much more common. Umeå will probably score about 20 goals less than last season, and it's not for lack of shooting power. The other teams are closing up, is Dennerby's interpretation.

Still, Umeå's championship victory gives new fuel to the debate on the league format. Umeå's suggestion to divide the league in half after the first 11 matches, letting the 6 top teams play each other home and away for the championship title and the 6 bottom teams do the same to avoid relegation, has found some support. Malmö's and Bälinge's coaches likes the idea of more matches between the best teams. Other club's, among them Mallbacken and Jitex, points out that the home games against the big teams is what draws attention to their teams. They are also worried about creating a more or less permanent divide in Damallsvenskan, where the lower half teams and players won't get the development that playing really good teams provide.

Swedish FA's  Börje Sandgren simply states that if anyone wanted a change and not just talk about it, they should have put forward a proposition to the FA no later than September 1. Nobody has, so there will be no change in the league format for the 2007 season.

Umeås sköna repris

Dagens Nyheter: Överlägsna Umeå har redan vunnit
SVT: Umeå IK svenska mästare igen
Västerbottens Folkblad: Grattis till ännu ett guld UIK, Umeå IK:s utländska guld-kvintett, Överlägset UIK begår allsvenskt självmord, Äntligen fick Dahlkvist känna på guldruschen, UIK efterlyser ändring av spelsystemet – igen, Hur ska övriga lag nå ikapp Umeå IK?

Västerbottenskuriren: Målet är redan klart, Karros sköna revansch, Mästerligt Marta !