Match-day 18: Umeå wins championship

Umeå IK - KIF Örebro  3 - 0 (2-0)
Umeå: Sofia Lundgren - Anna Paulson (85 Emma Berglund), Karolina Westberg, Sanna Valkonen, Maria Bergkvist - Lisa Dahlkvist (70 Elaine), Malin Moström, Anne Mäkinen - Marta, Lise Klaveness (75 Hanna Ljungberg), Anna Sjöström
Örebro: Kristin Hammarström - Ingrid Ericsson, Stina Segerström, Keeley Dowling, Caroline Näfver - Hodan Siid-Ahmed, Lena Andersson, Elin Magnusson, Marie Hammarström - Sandra Persson, Pavlina Scasna
Goals: 1-0 Marta (32), 2-0 Marta (39), 3-0 Anna Sjöström (88)
Attendance: 2,078
With a comfortable 3-0 win, Umeå secured the championship 4 matches from the end of the season. Örebro's coach Pia Sundhage commented that Umeå really are too good for the rest of the teams in Damallsvenskan. "It's really not good for the league with such a superiority for one team." But on the other hand people has been saying that since Öxabäck (6 championships in the 70's and 80's) dominated.

Umeå took control of the match from the start, determined to decide the championship. Örebro managed to hold back Umeå the first 30 minutes. The first goal was very much a trademark Umeå goal. Örebro's Dowling, on one of her offensive excursions, lost the ball to Umeå's Valkonen, who passed it on to Moström, who continued forward and gave a great pass to Marta, who had escaped her defender and could score undisturbed. All this in less than 10 seconds from Valkonen's break to Marta's goal. Shortly after Marta scored directly from a corner kick and the rest was mostly a wait for the championship celebrations.
SM-guldet i hamn - Grattis Umeå IK!
SVT: Video clip

Coaches moving on

Hammarby's coach since 2003, En Perlskog, announced after the Bälinge match that he has agreed with the club to end his tenure with the club at the end of this season. Perlskog is one of the big coach profiles in Damallsvenskan, out-spoken about his own team as well as the competing ones.

Qbik's Kjell Petersson has recieved a three months notice, ending his contract after the season finish. Qbik's management and Petersson himself the club is not changing head coach (assistant coach Jan "Adidas" Svensson has been named as successor), but have to take precautions in case of relegation. "We cannot keep a full-time coach if we have to play in the 1st division next year", club chairman Lars-Inge Hallstensson says.
Hammarby byter tränare
Värmlands Folkblad: Adidas kliver fram

Large drop in Damallsvenskan attendance worries clubs

The average attendance in Damallsvenskan this year has dropped 28 % from last year - from 1,110 to 808. Umeå takes the biggest drop - from last years average 3,271 the might reach over 2,000 this year. This is a huge set-back financially. So far Umeå has lost SEK 800,000 in ticket revenues and it might be more than SEK 1 million if the attendance figures doesn't change for the better. Umeå's manager Arnqvist finds several reasons for this; the cold and wet spring, the strange match scheduling with among other things an unmotivated long summer break and the lack of a championship series. Umeå, as well as other clubs, have argues that Damallsvenskan should be split after the first half of the season in one lower, relegation half and another championship half. That would create more interesting matches and hopefully a greater interest.

In Göteborg the two local teams Kopparbergs/Göteborg and Jitex stands for 8 of the 10 matches with lowest attandance this year. Göteborg's chairman Peter Bronsman finds some other explanations. A more attractive arena - a downtown arena that they actually will be moving in to early October. Umeå's superiority takes much of the interest out of the league. Also the lack of a major international championship on the women's side, while the men played the World Cup moved interest away from the women's game.

Umeå IK förlorar en miljon
Göteborgsposten: Damerna lockar minst i Göteborg

Match-day 18: Sara Johansson leads Hammarby to victory

Bälinge - Hammarby  1 - 3 (0-1)
Bälinge: Maja Åström - Karolina Mats (84 Jenny Jansson), Fanta Cooper, Lina Andersson, Nera Smajic - Kacey White, Linda Sembrandt, Mona Najib (75 Mikaela Björklund), Christen Karniski (75 Anna Bergendahl) - Emma Lindqvist, Minna Mustonen.

Hammarby: Katarina Wicksell - Caitlin Fisher, Elin Sölveskog, Linda Forsberg, Annica Svensson - Louise Fors (75 Elin Härén), Therese Sandström, Jennie Jonsson, Marijke Callebaut - Emma Lundh (80 Jessica Landström), Sara Johansson
Goals: 0-1 Own goal (8), 1-1 Minna Mustonen (53), 1-2 Louise Fors (67 PK), 1-3 Sara Johansson (87)
Attendance: 502
Hammarby's Sara Johansson was tearing huge holes in Bälinge's defense, where usually reliable Fanta Cooper and Lina Andersson probably played their worst match so far this season. The first goal came when Bälinge's defense managed to stear the ball in own goal, trying to clear up after a powerfull Sara Johansson shot. Bälinge managed to equalise on a fast counter, but Hammarby continued to dominate. After Louise Fors' penalty goal Bälinge tried to make it a tie again, making offensive substitutions. But Hammarby's Johansson killed the match when she dribbled through Bälinge's defense and scored alone with Maja Åström in a nice solo performance.
Upsala Nya Tidning: 
Tung kväll för Bälinge
Hammarby:  Hammarby vann med 3-1 borta mot Bälinge

Match-day 18: 10 player Göteborg defeats Djurgården

Malmö FF - Linköping FC  2 - 2 (1-1) 
Malmö: Caroline Jönsson - Lina Nilsson, Emma Wilhelmsson, Therese Jönsson, Jenny Engwall - Nanna Johansen (69 Emma Stålhammar), Nilla Fischer, Therese Sjögran, Frida Nordin - Therese Lundin, Asthildur Helgadottir
Linköping: Hedvig Lindahl - Marie-Louise Skålberg, Frida Östberg, Charlotte Rohlin, Maria Lindström (65 Maria Aronsson) - Anna-Kaisa Rantanen, Caroline Seger, Tiffeny Milbrett - Ann Westermark, Maria Karlsson, Josefine Öqvist
Goals: 1-0 Asthildur Helgadottir (26 PK), 1-1 Tiffeny Milbrett (37), 2-1 Asthildur Helgadottir (55), 2-2 Anna-Kaisa Rantanen (64)
Attendance: 580
Two evenly matched teams met in a fairly entertaining match - 11 of the starters are currently on their national team squads. Malmö had more initiative in the first half, their combinations and short-passing worked out well. Speedy winger Nanna Johansen found her way around Linköping's defense several times and when left back Maria Lindström was left behind after some 25 minutes she found no other solution than to bring Johansen down. And Nanna can do a really good-looking fall. Asthildur Helgadottir made no mistake with the penalty kick. But not long after Linköping got i free-kick and could equalise, Milbrett scoring on a rebound from Malmö keeper Caroline Jönsson. Jönsson was hit in the stomach during her clearing attempt and lied on the ground for several minutes, but could continue.
Linköping came out strong in the second half, making good use of Josefine Öqvist's speed, and beginning to take control in midfield. But Malmö's balls over the midfield to Helgadottir and Lundin were always dangerous. Malmö's second goal was a beautifull piece of cooperation between them, ended with a heel-pass from Lundin to Helgadottir. Malmö's young defense still feels immature and they sometimes had huge problems clearing the ball out of the area. This showed on both Linköping goals, the second also from a free-kick, where Linköping won back the ball after every Malmö clearing attempt.
Player of the match awards went to Therese Sjögran (today working at least as much in defense as in offense) and Linköping's defender Charlotte Rohlin (could be a national team player if the competition for  centre defense position wasn't so hard) and rightly so. They both showed compusure and control and never fell for the temptation to just kick the ball away.
Inget guld för MFF:s damer heller
Corren: Oavgjort i Malmö en besvikelse för LFC
MFF: pictures

Djurgården/Älvsjö - Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC  2 - 3 (1-3)
Djurgården: Bente Nordby - Sara Thunebro, Therese Brogårde, Jane Törnqvist, Dorte Dalum Jensen (46 Annemarie Norlin) - Linda fagerström, Anna Hall, Katrine Pedersen (46 Elin EKblom), Kristin Bengtsson - Laura Kalmari, Victoria Svensson
Göteborg: Maria Edman - Marlene Sjöberg, Frida Höglund, Sofia Dammström, Maria Nilsson - Emmelie Farfa, Lisa Ek (46 Frida Thydén), Jessica Julin, Camilla Schelin (55 Red card) - Lotta Schelin, Sara Lindén (52 Rebecca Ljungdahl)
Goals: 0-1 Sara Lindén (6), 0-2 Lotta Schelin (11), 0-3 Lotta Schelin (38), 1-3 Victoria Svensson (42), 2-3 Elin Ekblom (48)
Attendance: 407
Three goals for Göteborg in less than 40 minutes, Lotta Schelin behind all of them. That was enough to throw Djurgården severly off balance. Göteborg spent much of the remainder of the match defending, and defending fiercly. Djurgården had a constant pressure on Göteborg the second half, the more after Camilla Schelin was shown off the field following her second yellow, and created a lot of corners, free-kicks and other opportunities but without result. This was Djurgården's third disappointing performance in a row.
Djurgården: Förlust mot Kopparbergs/Göteborg

Qbik - Jitex BK  1 - 1 (0-0)
Jitex: Kristin Luckenbill - Sofia Lindorsson, Amelie Rybeck, Emma Herbring, Caroline Lindblad - Therese Björk, Malin Normelli, Leah Robinson, Therese Bjurenlind - Katie Eriksson, Sara Sjöstedt
Goals: 1-0 Maureen Mmadu (52), 1-1 Leah Robinson (89)
Attendance: 578
The could-be relegation deciding match ended in a draw, that probably disappointed both sides, but Qbik the most. Qbik had a 1-0 lead, seemingly controlling the match and not really bothered by Jitex sparse attacks. But still, when the game was almost over, they made a crucial miss in marking and communication in the defense and the match ended with Qbik's 9th draw this season.
Värmlands Folkblad: Här grusas Maureens segerdröm...

Sunnanå SK - Mallbackens IF  2 - 0 (1-0)
Sunnanå: Åsa Berglund - Sandra Berggren, Hanna Marklund, Rebecca Smith, Kicki Viklund (90 Amanda Stenerkrans) - Maria Nordbrandt (83 Johanna Lindahl) , Anna Bodén, Sanna Frostevall, Alexandra Nilsson (73 Carro Marklund) - Madde Edlund, Lina Johansson
Goals: 1-0 Madelene Edlund (18), 2-0 Sanna Frostevall (77)                          
Attendance: 557
Sunnanå won without impressing. When Madelene Edlund scored from a chance ball and gave her team the lead, Sunnanå's defense with Hanna Marklund and Rebecca Smith dominated the match. Mallbacken didn't manage to create much forward and Sunnanå's chances come mostly from Mallbacken's mistakes.
Norra Västerbotten:  Mallbacken bjöd inte Sunnanå på motstånd
Värmlands Folkblad: "Vi behöver sju-åtta poäng för nytt kontrakt"

UEFA Women's Cup: Umeå wins group 2

Umeå IK defeated hosts Kolbotn 2-1 on Sunday afternoon. Umeå started with an early goal from Lise Klaveness in the 4th minute and dominated the play during the first half. In the second half Kolbotn came out better organised and managed to score an equaliser 7 minutes from end and pushed on for the goal that would give them the group win. But instead Umeå got the last minute goal from an Anne Mäkinen direct free-kick.

Umeå's group win puts them against group 3 runners-up, Dutch champions Saestum, in the quarterfinal. Even if Saestum isn't one of the well-known heavyweights of UEFA Women's Cup, they played a tie in their match against Turbine Potsdam and were only one goal away from winning the group.

Umeå till kvartsfinal i Womens Cup
SVT: Video clip

Last minute American recruit to Bälinge

Bälinge's latest additioon, 22 year old left winger Christen Karniski (University of Illinois and FC Indiana), has arrived to the club. Karnski was signed only hours before the international transfer window closed on August 31 to replace Bälinge's Amy Vermeulen. Vermeulen had the day before announced that she had got called up by the Canadian national team for a two month long training camp in  preparations for the North American World Cup qualification tournament in November.

Upsala Nya Tidning: 
Bälinge värvar en ny amerikanska!

Umeå wants to keep Klaveness

Umeå's manager Roland Arnqvist tells Norwegian media that they are very pleased with their Norwegian international Lise Klaveness and is very interested in negotiating an extension of the one year contract. Klaveness herself says "Every time I play a match or go to training, I think I cannot leave this. Buit everytime I talk to family and friends from home I get uncertain."

Vil forlenge med Klaveness

UEFA Women's Cup: Umeå ready for quarterfinals

Umeå defeated Spanish champions Espanyol 3-0 on Thursday afternoon with goals by Hanna Ljungberg (3), Lise Klaveness (27) and an extratime penalty by Malin Moström. With two of the three group matches played Umeå has already advanced to the quarterfinals In UEFA Women's Cup. The final group match against Norwegian Kolbotn will decide the winner of the group. The runners-up will play reigning Women's Cup champions Frankfurt in the quarterfinals, while the winners will meet the runners-up from the so far undecided group 3 where  Saestum (NED), Turbine Potsdam (GER)and Rapide Wezemaal (BEL) are fighting for the two top spots.

Västerbottens Folkblad:
Espanyols grisfotboll kunde inte stoppa UIK 
Västerbottenskuriren: Mosan banade väg till kvartsfinal

Life in plastic is fantastic

Umeå's long turf war seems to have reached a happy end, when FIFA on Wednesday approved Gammliavallen's artificial turf as "FIFA One Star", which makes it possible for Umeå to play their international fixtures at their home arena. "It's a great joy to be able to call Gammliavallen our home arena for all occasions", Umeå's happy manager Roland Arnqvist said. The certificate, that was confirmed by UEFA the same day, is valid for 3 years.

Umeå and plastic has been a long running story, ever since the first UEFA Women's Cup season 2001-2002. The local newspaper Västerbottenskuriren printed a long story about how Umeå managed to play 4 UEFA Women's Cup seasons without an approved field, a story about negotiations, threats and bribes, hope and despair.

The first seasons Umeå's Gammliavallen actually had grass, but that doesn't help when UEFA's schedule forces the team to play in March. The deep snow and frozen ground left no alternative but Umeå's artificial turf reserve field, Sandåkern, for the 2002 quarter-final against Ryazan. Initially Ryazan wasn't happy with the idea, but Umeå paid for a three day extension of their stay in Sweden to give them time to get used to the turf. In april 2003 Frankfurt refused to play on the artificial turf for the semifinal. Umeå offered to change dates with Frankfurt, playing the Umeå home game later and thus being able to use the grass on Gammliavallen. Frankfurt refused this too. There was no solution until the Swedish Football Association contacted their German counterparts. Frankfurt then agreed to play on Sandåkern's artificial turf in order to keep their home field advantage for the last semifinal leg.

In 2003 Umeå city renovated Gammliavallen and put artificial turf on the field. Umeå IK wasn't thrilled by the idea, but there were a process in UEFA towards recognizing field turf on certain conditions and the city promosed the turf would be state of the art. But the UEFA rules still stated that artificial turf could be used only if the guesting team agreed to it.

Negotiating the November 2003 quarterfinal with Russian Voronezh, the Russians, initially unwilling to play on Umeå's field turf, offered a deal including a change of dates with Umeå, since a late November match in Russia could be hard to carry out. Umeå agreed, and then Voronesh walked out of the agreement, again refusing to play on field turf. Umeå went to the Swedish FA, that got in touch with UEFA, that appearently used harsh words with Voronesh. The Russian club complied and played at Gammliavallen.

2004 Frankfurt was the opponent in the final. And no way Frankfurt was ready to concede to play on field turf again. Umeå, seeing no way to even finance a home leg away from home, threatened to leave with a walk-over. The Swedish FA called to negotiations in Stockholm. "There wasn't really any negotiations at all", Roland Arnqvist remembers, "The match should be played at Råsunda in Stockholm and the Swedish FA would take the costs. If we refused we would be fined 100,000 swiss francs and expelled from Damallsvenskan."

The Women's Cup final against Frankfurt was probably from a football point of view Umeå's finest hours - they defeated Frankfurt 8-0 over the two matches, but it took a great toll on the club, both financially (a home final would have been a big money-maker) and on the management. The 2004-2005 season Umeå was eliminated already in the quarter-finals by Djurgården, a club that just like Danish Brøndby never had any qualms about playing on field turf. And after the UEFA decision this week nobody else should for the next three years.

Gammlias konstgräs äntligen godkänt
Västerbottenskuriren: Ett fem år långt helvete i plast

Since nobody took the bait last time I tried to make a funny reference in the title, I don't expect anyone to do now either. But I love comments.

UEFA Women's Cup: Umeå wins first group match

Umeå defeated Ukrainian Legend Chernigov 2-0 in their first match in group 2 in the UEFA Women's Cup second group stage. Umeå's brasilians Marta (15) and Elaine (56) scored. Umeå dominated large parts of the match and could, perhaps even should, have won with a larger margin.

Dagens Nyheter:
Enkel hemmaseger på bortaplan för Umeå Lyckad start för Umeå i UEFA Women´s cup

National team squad for Czech match named

National team coach Thomas Dennerby decided to name just about the same team for the final World Cup qualification match as played against Iceland. The only difference is that Umeå's goalkeeper Sofia Eriksson's spot as back-up goalkeeper has been returned to Linköping's Hedvig Lindahl.

Goalkeepers: Caroline Jönsson Malmö FF, Hedvig Lindahl Linköpings FC
Defenders: Maria Bergkvist Umeå IK, Hanna Marklund Sunnanå SK, Stina Segerström KIF Örebro, Sara Thunebro  Djurgården/Älvsjö, Karolina Westberg Umeå IK, Frida Östberg Linköpings FC
Midfielder: Nilla Fischer Malmö FF, Malin Moström Umeå IK, Caroline Seger Linköpings FC, Therese Sjögran Malmö FF, Anna Sjöström Umeå IK, Josefine Öqvist Linköpings FC
Forwards: Hanna Ljungberg Umeå IK, Therese Lundin Malmö FF, Lotta Schelin Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC, Victoria Svensson Djurgården/Älvsjö

Match-day 17: Last minute win for Umeå

Linköping FC - Umeå IK  0 - 1 (0-0)
Umeå:  Sofia Lundgren - Anna Paulson, Karolina Westberg, Sanna Valkonen, Maria Bergkvist - Anne Mäkinen, Malin Moström, Lisa Dahlqvist (53 Elaine) - Anna Sjöström, Hanna Ljungberg, Lise Klaveness
Goals: 0-1 Maria Bergkvist (93)
Attendance: 3,427

Linköping showed more will and determination and their speedy forwards, not the least Josefine Öqvist on the right wing, created more work for Sofia Lundgren in Umeå's goal than she usually gets in a couple of matches. Öqvist, who didn't impress against Djurgården last weekend, seemed much more at ease against meå's defense. Milbrett, in an offensive midfield position, showed vision and creativity.
Umeå, on the other hand, played at their best calm and safe, at their worst slow and inefficient. Linköping's new centre defense composition Charlotte Rohlin-Frida Östberg, where Rohlin impressed most, contained Hanna Ljungberg and made her seem rather unthreatening. Umeå's usually well working 4-3-3 this time left Ljungberg alone in the centre, to far away from both the wingers and the midfield. Marta's absence from Umeå's attack (yellow card suspension) was very visible. Some time into the second half Umeå substituted Lisa Dahlqvist for Elaine and changed to a 4-4-2, putting Klaveness together with Ljungberg. It still didn't change the picture much.
But in spite of creating much more forward than Umeå, Linköping never managed to break Sofia Eriksson's shut-out. Instead Umeå, in the 3rd minute of extra-time, was awarded a free-kick as Linköping's Rohlin for once was more harsh against Hanna Ljungberg than the situation called for. Anne Mäkinen took a long shot against the far post, where a completely unmarked Maria Bergkvist could score the winner for Umeå.
Linköping's Josefine Öqvist, in my opinion up til then one of their most usefull player, were some 20 minutes into the second half substituted for (as usual) Ann Westermark. She was visibly unhappy with being brought off the field and that's gold worth for any TV reporter waiting on the side-line. Josefine said some well (or maybe not that well) chosen words about her coach's decision. Coach Karlsson commented, somewhat irritated, "You couldn't have waited two minutes for her to calm down?"
Grym förlust på övertid för LFC
Expressen: Öqvist sågade sin tränare - i direktsändning
Västerbottens Folkblad: Bergkvist räddade UIK i sista minuten
Västerbottenskuriren: UIK reste sig i sista stund

Mallbacken IF - Malmö FF  0 - 2 (0-1)
Malmö: Caroline Jönsson - Therese Jönsson, Emma Wilhelmsson, Malin Levenstad, Jenny Engwall - Nanna Johansen (70 Emma Stålhammar), Therese Sjögran, Nilla Fischer, Frida Nordin - Therese Lundin (87 Lina Nilsson), Ásthildur Helgadóttir
Goals: 0-1 Asthildur Helgadottir (20), 0-2 Asthildur Helgadottir (58)
Attendance: 761
It was pay-back time for Malmö, who suffered a 0-1 loss to Mallbacken in their home leg this season. They started fast, controlled the game and soon enough took the lead, Asthildur Helgadottir exploiting a defensive mistake from Mallbacken. But Mallbacken hadn't given up. After the half-time they came back more offensive with more speed and more players higher up in the field. This however made then vulnerable to counters and Malmö's speedy winger Nanna Johansen could give Asthildur Helgadottir a perfect cross to head in goal.
Sydsvenskan: Enkel revansch för MFF mot Mallbacken
Värmlands Folkblad: Ett nummer för litet

Match-day 17: Örebro draws Djurgården

Hammarby IF - Sunnanå SK 1 - 1 (1-0)
Hammarby: Katarina Wicksell - Annica Svensson, Carolina Rinman, Linda Forsberg, Caitlin Fisher (59 Elin Sölveskog) - Louise Fors, Therese Sandström, Jennie Jonsson, Marijke Callebaut, Sara Johansson - Emma Lundh (66 Jessica Landström)
Sunnanå: Åsa Berglund - Sandra Berggren, Hanna Marklund, Rebecca Smith, Kicki Wiklund (89 Maggie Esseryd) - Maria Nordbrandt (73 Alexandra Nilsson), Carina Holmberg (78 Carolina Marklund), Sanna Frostevall, Anna Bodén - Madde Edlund, Lina Johansson
Goals: 1-0 Sara Johansson (45), 1-1 Maria Nordbrandt (51)
Attendance: 252

Sunnanå had a weak start, creating almost nothing forward. Hammarby dominated the first half, but had problems getting past Sunnanå's defense with Hanna Marklund in their attempts to reach Sara Johansson. Finally, in the 45th minute, their work paid off as Lollo Fors dribbled through Sunnanå's defense on the left side and finished with cross to the forward-rushing Sara Johansson, who headed in 1-0.
Something must have been said at half-time in Sunnanå's locker-room, because they looked much better in the second half. After only a few minutes their attacks had resulted in a corner-kick, where Maria Nordbrandt could score from a rebound. The more time passed, the more careful the teams played, seemingly more anxious to keep the point they ahd than eager to earn another one.
Norra Västerbotten:  Femte raka utan förlust


Jitex BK - Bälinge IF  1 - 1 (1-1)
Jitex: Kristin Luckenbill - Jenny Ringquist, Amelie Rybeck, Emma Herbring, Caroline Lindblad - Therese Björk, Malin Normelli, Leah Robinson, Therese Bjurenlind (85 Kajsa Tornfalk) - Katie Eriksson, Sara Sjöstedt (57 Sofia Skog)
Bälinge: Maja Åström - Karolina Mats, Fanta Cooper, Lina Andersson, Nera Smajic - Linda Sembrant, Mikaela Björklund (65 Mona Najib), Julianne Sitch (89 Anna Bergendahl) - Minna Mustonen (80 Michaela Bengtsson), Emma Lindqvist, Kacey White
Goals: 1-0 Katie Eriksson (18), 1-1 Minna Mustonen (22)
Attendance: 166

Ater five defeats in a row, Jitex managed to get a point and, at least temporarly, move out of the relegation zone. But the match was a lot about two teams without much self-confidence. After the two early goals - Jitex Katie Eriksson heading in a corner-kick from Therese Björk and Bälinge's Minna Mustonen converting a great Kacey White pass - the first half was uneventfull. The home side started to get the upper hand in the second half, but their attacks never resulted in anything more than forcing Maja Åström ion Bälinge's goal to a couple of good saves.
Upsala Nya Tidning:  Ingen seger för Bälinge
Göteborgsposten: En poäng för Jitex i bottenmöte

KIF Örebro - Djurgården/Älvsjö  2 - 2  (1-1)

Örebro: Kristin Hammarström - Ingrid Ericson, Stina Segerström, Keeley Dowling, Caroline Näfver - Lena Andersson, Marie Hammarström, Hodan Siid-Ahmed (66 Sandra Persson), Elin Magnusson - Emelia Erixon, Pavlina Scasna
Djurgården:  Bente Nordby - Kristin Bengtsson, Jane Törnqvist, Therese Brogårde, Sara Thunebro - Linda Fagerström, Katrine Pedersen (79 Mimmi Nordlander-Andersson), Anna Hall, Dorte Dalum Jensen (46 Anne-Marie Norlin) - Victoria Svensson, Elin Ekblom
Goals: 1-0 Keeley Dowling (28), 1-1 Victoria Svensson (36), 2-1 Keeley Dowling (76), 2-2 Victoria Svensson (80)
Attendance: 854

Player of the match, two goals and Keeley Dowling was still disappointed. She failed to clear a ball when Örebro was 2-1 up and the always dangerous Victoria Svensson caught the opportunity and scored. "It feels really bitter when we were so close. We had a lot of opportunities and should have won the match."
Örebro had a really good day, great team-work, hard working defense and a lot of passes findning forwards Scasna and Erixon. 13 shots on goal against Djurgården's 6, a missed penalty kick and Dowling's 86th minute header in the woodwork shows which team was closest to victory.
Örebro began to pressure Djurgården's defense already from the beginning, Pavlina Scasna in a key role. Djurgården's Nordby, Törnqvist and Brogårde worked hard to keep clean, but Örebro created dangerous set pieces. Dowling headed both her two goals when she was unmarked on corner kicks. Djurgården had problems recreating the flow in their attacking game from last weekend, but Victoria Svensson, still in great form, took good care of what was created. 
Nerikes Allehanda: KIF Örebro kryssade med mersmak, pictures
Djurgården: Oavgjort i Örebro

Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC - Qbik  3 - 1  (2-1)
Göteborg: Maria Edman - Maria Nilsson, Sofia Dammström, Frida Höglund, Marlene Sjöberg - Camillas Schelin (61 Rebecca Ljungdahl), Jessica Julin, Sara Lindén (87 Sofie Andersson), Emmelie Farfa (74 Frida Thydén) - Salina Olsson, Lotta Schelin
Goals: 1-0 Jessica Julin (37), 1-1 Jennifer Meier (39), 2-1 Lotta Schelin (40), 3-1 Salina Olsson (81)
Attendance: 257
It should have been an easy win for Göteborg, at least on paper, but Qbik is a better team than their position in the league indicates. The first 30 minutes showed good play from both sides and Qbik didn't at all look like a weaker side. But when an unmarked Jessica Julin could score from a free-kick and Lotta Schelin could steal a failed backpass and put in in  goal, Jennifer Meier short-lived equaliser didn't help much. As the second half went on, Qbik lost some of their momentum and Salina Olsson could seal the win for Göteborg with 10 minutes remaining. Still, Qbik's coach Jan Svensson thinks it's looking good for the crucial match against Jitex next weekend. "We're playing good now, we just have to take better care of our goal chances and take better care in defense."
Värmlands Folkblad: Bra spel men inga Qbik-poäng
Göteborgsposten: Säker seger för Göteborg

Hanna Marklund stays in Sunnanå

National team defender and Sweden's 2005 player of the year Hanna Marklund has signed a one year extension of her contract with Sunnanå. Sunnanå's chairman Sören Gustafsson says that Hanna's early decision will make the on-going work with the 2007 squad a lot easier.
Hanna Marklund har bestämt sig

Swedish Cup quarter finals: Linköping's revenge

Jitex BK - Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC  1 - 4 (0-3)
Goals: 0-1 Lotta Schelin (18), 0-2 Lotta Schelin (26), 0-3 Lotta Schelin (40), 0-4 Emmelie Farfa (47), 1-4 Katie Eriksson (50)  
Lotta Schelin continues to impress and made a hat trick in only 22 minutes to seal the victory already in the first half. Even if Jitex got an early second half goal, they never managed to threaten Göteborg.
Sjöberg bäst på plan! Jitex ett nummer för litet

Linköpings FC - Djurgården/Älvsjö  3 - 1 (2-0)
Goals: 1-0 Maria Aronsson (11), 2-0 Josefine Öqvist (30), 3-0 Tiffeny Milbrett (57), 3-1 Sofia Simonsson (90)
In only a few days Linköping managed to change the picture completely. They had made big changes in their set-up for the Wednesday night Swedish Cup match; Rantanen as right back, Östberg and Milbrett in midfield and, after a surprisingly fast recovery, Hedvig Lindahl back in goal. She had been told by her doctor that there was a 80-20 chance that her groin would be ok, and she decided to play.
Linköping seemed set to show that they are better than they showed in their 6-2 loss last weekend and started with speed and determination and pretty soon had a firm grip on the match. Djurgården on the other hand seemed taken by Linköping's transformation and had one of those it's-really-hard-to-tell-if -they-care-at-all performances.
Corren: Lindahls chansning gick hem
Djurgården: Platt fall i cupkvarten

Umeå IK - Sunnanå SK  3 - 0 (1-0)
Goals: 1-0 Lise Kleveness (35), 2-0 Lise Klaveness (75), 3-0 Malin Moström (88 PK)      
Attendance: 353

Umeå players were less than happy with Sunnanå, that showed up without 6 of their usual starters. "This is a competition match, they shopuld use their best team", said Umeå's Klaveness, "This is like they're not even trying to win". Umeå very rarely let Sunnanå borrow the ball, but once again this season showed their problems scoring against teams using deep defense.
Norran:  Umeås mål fick Kega att se rött
Västerbottens Folkblad: Klaveness klippte till och kritiserade Sunnanå

Västerbottenskuriren: Bara 353 såg UIK vinna

Hammarby IF - KIF Örebro  1 - 2 (1-0)
Goals: 1-0 Sara Johansson (6), 1-1 Louise Östman (69), 1-2 Pavlina Scasna (82)
Örebro's coach Pia Sundhage decided to go with an offensive 4-3-3 at Hammarby, but the team ran into trouble almost alreday from start, when Sara Johansson put Hammarby ahead. Örebro had problems getting their play together until they some time into second half subbed in Lena Andersson in midfield and their passes started reaching the targets. Östman equalised and Scasna, who has became almost invaluable for Örebro, once again scored a winner.
Nerikes Allehanda: KIF-vändning bar till semifinal

The semifinals will be played October 4 with Kopparbergs/Göteborg at Linköping and KIF Örebro at Umeå.

New American to Hammarby

Hammarby announced today the signing of American midfielder Martha West (Stanford and WPSL club California Storm). The 27 year old was Stanford's leading goal-scorer last college season.

Martha West klar för Hammarby (short interview in english)

West is, if my count is right, the 16th player in Damallsvenskan this season from a North American club and/or college. To that you can add at least 6 more players in 1st division clubs. This is a huge number and it really should warrant a story of it's own. I'll look around and see if somebody's already written it.

Vermeulen leaves Bälinge for Canada

Bälinge's Canadian forward Amy Vermeulen leaves the club after only three matches. She impressed her national team coach Pellerud in the matches against France last August and has been called up for Canada's two month long training camp in preparation for the Gold Cup in November, a competition that also serves as World Cup qualifications for the North and Central American teams. "That's one of the risks you have to take with foreign players", comments Bälinge coach Magnus Wikman. "They were very pleased with her in the national team and we don't want to stop her."

Upsala Nya Tidning: 
Vermeulen lämnar Bälinge

Match-day 16: Bälinge scores at last

Qbik - Bälinge  1 - 1 (0-0)
Bälinge: Maja Åström - Karolina Mats, Lina Andersson, Fanta Cooper, Nera Smajic - Linda Sembrandt, Mikaela Björklund (78 Mona Najib), Julianne Sitch - Kacey White, Emma Lindqvist (78 Madelene Hagberg), Minna Mustonen
Goals: 0-1 Emma Lindqvist (66), 1-1 Maureen Mmadu (79)
Attendance:  312

Two teams in dire need for points fought it out on a rain-wet and heavy pitch - not the prettiest football you can imagine. Emma Lindqvist gave Bälinge their first goal for more than 400 minutes, beautifully set up be Kacey White, but Qbik's Mmadu could equalise with a flying header from Jennifer Meier's cross. Bälinge's Mustonen and Sitch both had really good chances to retake the lead, but Qbik's Maria Yatrakis in goal made a couple of great saves. Yatrakis, who was benched her first matches with the club, now played her second in Qbik's goal and might become a key player for her team, thinks coach Kjell Petersson.
Värmlands Folkblad:
Yatrakis tippade Qbik över strecket

Malmö FF - Hammarby  1 - 1 (1-0)
Malmö: Caroline Jönsson - Therese Jönsson, Emma Wilhelmsson, Malin Levenstad, Jenny Engwall - Nanna Johansen (75 Johanna Rosén), Therese Sjögran, Nilla Fischer, Lina Nilsson (64 Emma Stålhammar) - Therese Lundin, Ásthildur Helgadóttir
Hammarby: Katarina Wicksell - Annica Svensson, Elin Sölveskog, Linda Forsberg, Caitlin Fisher - Louise Fors (78 Elin Härén), Therese Sandström, Jennie Jonsson, Marijke Callebaut, Sara Johansson - Emma Lundh (65 Jessica Landström)
Goals: 1-0 Lina Nilsson (6), 1-1 Jessica Landström (88)
Attendance: 453

Malmö started good, dominated Hammarby and got an early goal when Lina Nilsson scored from a Nanna Johansen cross. They continued to run the show and had several good chances, but Helgadottir and Lundin seemed to lack their usual sharpness. The play became more stagnant over time with a lot of high balls bouncing between the teams in midfield. Hammarby started to preassure Malmö, feeding Sara Johansson with long balls and Caroline Jönsson in Malmö's goal had to show her qualities, including a double save in a one on one with Johansson. It felt very much like a Hammarby equaliser was on its way and close to the final whistle Jessica Landström could score from a Caitlin Fisher corner kick. All in all a fair result, even if Hammarby seemed to enjoy it most - coach En Perlskog shouted a happy "Yess!!" at the final whistle.
The heavy rain had made Malmö FF's home arena unplayable and the match moved to Malmö's men's arena, Malmö stadion, on short notice. Malmö's usually vocal fans must have lost their way somewhere between the two arenas, but there was a small but loud contingent of Hammarby fans who gave us the classic chant "Öka takten sista kvarten - TI-DA-HOLM!" with 15 minutes left to play.
Sydsvenskan: MFF-damerna tappade allt
MalmöFF, pictures

Umeå IK - Mallbacken  1 - 0 (1-0)
Umeå: Sofia Lundgren - Anna Paulson, Karolina Westberg, Sanna Valkonen, Maria Bergkvist - Lise Klaveness, Malin Moström, Elaine (60 Lisa Dahlqvist) - Anna Sjöström, Hanna Ljungberg, Marta
Goals: 1-0 Malin Moström (33 PK)
Attendance: 804
Is Umeå getting complacent? Or just plain bored? 1-0 at home against Mallbacken (and on a dubious penalty at that) isn't really what was expected - the average over the last 5 years must be something like at least 5-0. Local media is questioning if this team is really prepared for the UEFA Women's Cup group play they will face in a little more than a week. Sloppy passing, slow pace and a lot of offside runs hurt the rhythm of the play and the lousy weather didn't help either. Defender Karolina Westberg was the only one in the team that got away with more than at best a simple passing grade from the critical local press.
Mallbacken on the other hand were pleased with their performance, but not satisfied. "We should have got 1 point today", said coach Fahlén, "but this should at least have helped our confidence a bit". In particular he was pleased with Monsén and Swaving at top and also with Elizabeth Dauble, who made her first appearence as a starter: "She's grown a lot since she first came here".
Västerbottenskuriren: Poängen det enda som gladde publiken

Västerbottens Folkblad: Målkalaset kom av sig
Värmlands Folkblad: Tveksam straff fällde Mallbacken

Match-day 16: Impressive Djurgården outclasses lack-lustre Linköping

Djurgården/Älvsjö - Linköping FC  6 - 2 (3-1)
Djurgården: Bente Nordby - Sara Tunebro, Therese Brogårde, Malin Engdahl, Kristin Öqvist - Elin Ekblom, Katrine Pedersen (61 Dorte Dalum Jensen), Anna Hall, Linda Fagerström - Victoria Svensson, Laura Kalmari
Linköping: Ellinor Birath - Frida Östberg, Marie-Louise Skålberg, Charlotte Rohlin, Maria Karlsson (76 Karin Lindström) - Anna-Kaisa Rantanen, Caroline Seger, Petra Larsson (75 Emma Claesson) - Josefine Öqvist (75 Ann Westermark), Maria Aronsson, Tiffeny Milbrett
Goals: 1-0 Elin Ekblmo (8), 2-0 Elin Ekblom (26), 2-1 Anna-Kaisa Rantanen (34), 3-1 Victoria Svensson (42), 3-2 Anna-Kaisa Rantanen (48), 4-2 Laura Kalmari (55), 5-2 Dorte Dalum Jensen (69), 6-2 Laura Kalmari (77)
Attendance: 884

A great performance by Djurgården, that dominated most of the match and left Linköping pretty dejected in the second half. Djurgården got an early goal, where Victoria Svensson with some skillfully moves in the box set up Elin Ekblom, coming with speed from her right wing. The second was a long, perfect pass from Sara Tunebro to Svensson, who headed it to the far post where Ekblom once again came running. "I haven't seen many Djurgården training sessions, but this must have been rehearsed", to quote the TV4 commentators. Tiffeny Milbrett, Linköping's best on a underperforming team, did the work behind Rantanen's reduction and Linköping had a good period there for a while. They also started the second half with a lot of gusto and Rantanen's second goal put them in competiton again. But a really fast counter, started with a long Nordby kick, a Pedersen touch to Svensson, a step and a cross to Kalmari and Djurgården was up 4-2. The 5th and 6th were just for good measure, Linköping was already defeated.

Generally Linköping's 4-3-3 didn't work against Djurgården and they showed their vulnerability to fast counters. Defense (where two important starters are missing) looked shaky under preassure, the midfield got overrun with Djurgården's wings roaming free and their attackers had severe problems with Djurgården's defense. Kristin Bengtsson is by no means as fast as Josefine Öqvist, but managed to win almost all of their many duels.

Djurgården was solid, from back to front, and seems to have found a way of play that works out really well. A fast throw-out by Nordby to one of the outside defenders and by then the wingers and attackers have already moved into position. A long pass to a winger or to Victoria Svensson as target in the center, a cross aimed at the far goal post where someone comes rushing. Worked like a charm. And there is the occasional really long Nordby kick directly to Kalmari. This time Djurgården definitely looked like a team that can whip Umeå, but coach Benny Persson admitted that he didn't believe they can catch up, Umeå is too far away.

Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC - KIF Örebro  3 - 2 (1-0)
Göteborg: Maria Edman - Maria Nilsson, Sofia Dammström, Frida Höglund, Marlene Sjöberg - Emmelie farfa (52 Rebecca Ljungdahl), Jessica Julin, Sara Lindén (84 Sofie Andersson), Camilla Schelin (72 Lisa Ek) - Salina Olsson, Lotta Schelin
Örebro: Kristin Hammarström - Marie Hammarström, Ingrid Ericsson, Stina Segerström, Keeley Dowling - Hodan Siid-Ahmed (61 Sara Linder), Lena Andersson, Sara Andersson, Sandra Persson - Elin Erixon, Pavlina Scasna
Goals: 1-0 Emmelie Farfa (43), 1-1 Pavlina Scasna (50), 2-1 Rebecca Ljungdahl (57), 3-1 Lotta Schelin (70), 3-2 Pavlina Scasna (73)
Attendance: 211

Göteborg had problems with KIF Örebro, where goalie Kristin Hammarström feeded Pavlina Scasna with long balls, but managed, unlike in some earlier matches, to keep both nerves and team together. Great first goal by loanie farfa, who ran through Örebro's defense in a solo raid.
Göteborg tror på en fin höst

Sunnanå SK - Jitex   3 - 1  (1-1)
Sunnanå: Åsa Berglund - Sandra Berggren (Carolina Marklund), Hanna Marklund, Rebecca Smith, Kicki Wiklund - Maria Nordbrandt (Alexandra Nilsson), Carina Holmberg, Sanna Frostevall, Anna Bodén - Lina Johansson (Emma Jonsson), Madelaine Edlund
Jitex: Kristin Luckenbill - Jenny Ringqvist, Amelie Rybeck, Emma Herbring, Sophia Lindorsson - Therese Björk, Malin Normelli, Leah Robinson, Therese Bjurenlind - Katie Eriksson, Sara Sjöstedt
Goals: 0-1 Sara Sjöstedt (20), 1-1 Lina Johansson (45), 2-1 Maria Nordbrandt (50), 3-1 Carina Holmberg (85)
Attendance: 511

Sunnanå started with a shot on goal already after 30 seconds and had Jitex on the defense. But after 20 minutes a fast counter from Jitex made the young forward Sara Sjöstedt the first scorer with a fine shot from just outside the panalty area. This seemed to chock Sunnanå a bit and it took them some time to get back into the match. Lina Johansson made the crucial just before half-time goal. The match continued to weigh between the teams in the second and wasn't decided until Carina Holmberg saw that Luckenbill had strayed a bit far from goal and could score with a shot from 37 meters.
Norra Västerbotten:  Andra raka Sunnanåsegern
Göteborgsposten: Jitex kvar i botten

People and places

Those of you that read the match reports has noticed that Linköping has a new keeper during Hedvig Lindahl's injury: Ellinor Birath. Birath, a 32 year old mother of two, comes from 2nd division Saltängen, but played both in Damallsvenskan and in Sweden's national team before her kids came along.

You might also have noticed the reappearence of Caitlin Fisher on Hammarby's roster. She played for the club this spring, then returned to Massachusetts to play for Boston Renegades in W-league. Unless there is a typo in Hammarby's line-up for the Umeå game, she is now back in Stockholm.

Malmö's Anna Mörstam played her last match for Malmö this season at Jitex before going on loan to her mother club Östers IF (1st division). Two other Malmö FF benchsitters, Mia Westerblad and Vlora Bajraktaraj, has been loaned to Malmö neighbours Husie (1st division) and the 17 year old talent Emelie Ölander has just finished a stint with Älmhult (1st division). To make up for bringing Emelie home, Malmö set up the connection between Älmhult and American forward Annii Magliulo (California Storm), who was on trial with Malmö early this year.

In other Malmö news, their Danish winger Nanna Johansen has decided to extend her contract and will stay with the club the entire season.

And Hammarby has hired longtime defender Annelie Norén as club manager. Smaller clubs hiring office staff seems like a little trend. Mallbacken earlier this year hired Jenny Larsson, also a former player. Probably the greatly increased TV revenues comes to use here.

Qbik's Mittag with season-ending injury

Qbik's German forward Anja Mittag had to leave the field in Germany's World Cup qulifier against Switzerland Wednesday night with a knee inury. In a medical examination it was found to be a ligament tear and Mittag will have to rest from football for at least 10 weeks. This will disappointingly end her Swedish season and her stay with Qbik.

Kicker: Zehn Wochen Pause für Mittag

Field turf farce goes on

Previously: Umeå needed a new field. They decided to go for plastic, making it possible to play for a longer period of the year than between July and September. Field turf wasn't approved for international matches (and seriously, they must have been aware of that, the Umeå people are by no means stupid). Umeå management complained and claimed it was a conspiracy by the southern countries against northern clubs. Some teams chose to play there anyway, others refused. Umeå had to play their UEFA Women's Cup final in Stockholm. Umeå management complained and claimed it was a trick to rob Umeå of their home crowd support.

Then UEFA decided to approve field turf, if it was tested and met a certain standard. Umeå management complained and claimed the field was state of the art and didn't need any testing. On location tests were performed. The turf failed the test. Umeå management complained and claimed it was a conspiracy by the southern countries against northern clubs. Renewed on location tests were performed. The field passed! Umeå not complaining!

UEFA complained and said the lab tests were too old and must be redone. And the rules actually states that a lab test must not be more than 6 months older than the field test, which Umeå should have known, but still... Umeå management complained and threatened to leave UEFA Women's Cup if they weren't allowed to play at home. But they still took a sample and sent in to a the dutch laboratory UEFA assigned.

In today's episode: The dutch laboratory has lost the sample and don't know where to find it! Yes, it's true! Umeå city's arena manager can't believe what he's hearing! Umeå's management is in despair! A test result may not be in time for Umeå to prepare for the home leg in the Women's Cup quarter finals. The tension is building up...

Västerbottenskuriren: Arnqvist: "Vi måste få besked nästa vecka" , Labtestet borttappat