Monday, 27 October 2014

Elfsborg, How Did Djurgården Go?

Elfsborg manager Klas Ingesson will be known to Sheffield Wednesday fans.  He has been fighting myeloma, a form of blood cancer, for several years.
Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Sunday 26 October 2014 at Borås Arena
Elfsborg 0 Djurgården 1
Allsvenskan (Sweden’s Top Tier)
Game 3 of this short trip.  553 on the lifetime list.  Chosen for logistical reasons.
Pre-match preparation
Malmö have an unassailable lead at the top but Elfsborg sit 3rd in a Europa League spot.  4th place AIK will just have finished their game just before kickoff here, and 2nd place IFK play on Monday evening.  Only two points separate the three teams.  Elfsborg will be playing to win, for sure, and it may all go down to next week’s final round of games.  Opponents Djurgården are in mid-table.

Update: AIK pushed Elfsborg to 4th by kickoff time but their task was essentially unchanged.  Win.
This match in one sentence
A disaster for Elfsborg as they missed a string of chances and came up against a keeper in inspired form.
So what?
Elfsborg now need favours from other sides if they are to get a Europa League place next year. Three teams are fighting over two places and IFK will take pole position if they win at Helsingborgs tonight.  AIK are the other team in the mix, and all three have "winnable" fixtures (on paper) in next week's final round.  *Insert the artificial surface version of the old but-they-play-on-grass joke here*
The drama unfolds
I watched the game in the excellent and genial company of Kurt, whose English is excellent and put my few words of Swedish to shame.  We both have mathematical and scientific backgrounds.  If you are reading this, thanks again for your company and insights.

We had the second delayed KO of the day - see Clip 1.

Kenneth Høie made his first good save after only 12 minutes, although Kevin Stuhr-Ellegaard also pushed a shot spectacularly onto the bar at the other end soon after.  Man City and Blackpool fans will remember him (just).  Elfsborg were well on top and Høie soon had to make two more saves, though Martin Broberg could and should have put the visitors ahead with a glancing header.  After half an hour I wrote "E should be ahead by now!" on my pad.  The first match clip (Clip 2) is from a quieter moment towards the end of the first half.  Elfsborg are in yellow and black.

It finished goalless at the interval but only because Høie saved once again from Lasse Neilsen, who will still be wondering what he has to do to score.  0-0 at halftime

Clip 3 shows why we had another delay before the second half started.

Elfsborg opened up the visitors defence within seconds but this time it was a brilliant saving tackle by Fredrik Stenman that saved Djurgården.  There were great saves yet again at each end as the second half started at a cracking pace.

The only goal of the game came from Haris Radetinac.  He shaped to volley as the ball came out to him, but seemed to change his mind and it looked as if the chance had gone.  Instead, his low shot found the left-hand corner.  0-1 after 52 mins

A draw would be no good to Elfsborg and they pressed immediately.  A missed header was followed by yet another flying save from that man Høie, and again from Neilsen.  I took another clip (Clip 4) but Elfsborg were tiring and running out of ideas.  The most common image was Elfsborg heads being held in hands as a series of half-chances came to nothing.  Final score 0-1

Ground Pix

Match Pix

Something You Don’t Get in the Premier League Yet (Part 2)
As a chemistry graduate, I am very fond of explosions and pyrotechnics, but I am uneasy about this.  Posting because of the novelty value, for me, but not really wanting to encourage them.

Goalkeeper Top Colour Stats
Orange loses to grey.  Full table to follow when I am back in the UK.
Learn Swedish Through Football
Mitfälltare - midfielders
Vi spelar för Klas - we are playing for Klas
Vi är inte nöjda - we are not satisfied (attributed to Jose Mouriho in today's papers)
Kom helt rätt hela tiden - literally, "came completely right all the time" - Høie's man of the match rating in the same paper
What Next?
One game left on this trip – Jönköpings Södra v Oster on Monday evening.

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