DAVID SMITH - Monday, April 1, 2013
Alejandro Bedoya and Brian Span both saw action in the Allsvenskan's opening weekend, with Bedoya's Helsingborg coming away with a big win over Span and Djurgarden.
Helsingborgs IF 3 - 0 Djurgardens IF
Alejandro Bedoya helped Helsingborg start their season off on the right foot, helping to set up a pair of goals in an 82-minute shift as they blew past visiting Djurgardens IF.
Brian Span was a second-half substitute for the visitors, racking up 35 minutes of play in the loss.
After struggling to an unremarkable sixth-place finish in the 2012 season, the hosts needed just over a half-hour to show that they were back on track to be considered favorites to regain the title they had previously held.
Five minutes after the opening kickoff, David Accam charged forward through the midfield and set up Bedoya for a shot from the right side. The American's shot was blocked by keeper Kenneth Høie, but fell into the path of Matthias Lindström for a simple finish and the 1-0 lead.
Then just past the half-hour, Bedoya returned the favor to his Ghanian teammate, feeding Accam near the penalty spot for a shot to the lower left corner and the 2-0 lead.
Three minutes later, Accam, who was recently called up to the Ghanian national team, gave the hosts a third goal with a remarkable effort, charging forward from the midfield to beat the defense, and aiming his shot through Høie's legs and just inside the left post.
The hosts were satisfied with what looked to be the sure victory, and took a more defensive posture in the second half while Djurgarden tried desperately to cut into the lead.
Djurgarden's came close on two occasions, with Erton Fejzullahu firing just wide in the 53rd minute and Andreas Johansson aiming well high six minutes later.
Helsingborg otherwise maintained their composure and preserved the shut-out, easily cruising to three points.
The result combined with two other blowouts by identical scorelines in a wild opening weekend leaves Helsingborg tied for first, and Djurgardens sharing the league's cellar.
Both teams have busy weeks, with Helsingborg hosting Göteborg in Swedish Cup action on Wednesday and traveling to Växjo in league play the following Monday, while Djurgarden will visit IFK Norrköping in the cup on Thursday then return home to host Mjällby four days later.
Sam Petrone is a long-term injury concern for Mjällby, and didn't play in home opener against Norrköping, a 2-1 loss.