DAVID SMITH - Monday, April 8, 2013
Gregg Berhalter-led Hammarby started off their Superettan campaign slowly with a scoreless draw at Ljungskile while Alejandro Bedoya and Helsingborg let three points slip in the last seconds in Östers.
Östers IF 1 - 1 Helsingborgs IF
Alejandro Bedoya and Helsingborg looked set to take the three points at Östers Växjö on Monday evening, however a last-minute goal from their hosts saw them forced to settle for a point.
Bedoya started in the middle directly behind center forward Alvaro Santos, and was a danger throughout the game.
Östers were back in the top flight for the first time since the 2006 season, saw their season get off to a rough start in allowing their guests a first-half lead.
Helsingborg's high press forced defender Juan Robledo into a careless error in the backfield, and Matthias Lindström was quick to pounce, blowing through the defense and putting his shot away for the 26th-minute opener.
Bedoya hit the crossbar towards the start of the second half, which saw the visitors frequently come close but fail to put away their chances.
They were made to rue their wastefulness in the final minute of regulation, with Denis Velic nodding a short pass over to new Östers acquisition Pablo Piñones Arce, who made no mistake from close range to earn his team the draw.
Helsingborg lose ground on Göteborg and Norrköping atop the standings and fall to third, but will have a chance to make up ground next Monday when they welcome Mjällby.
Ängelholms FF 0 - 2 IK Brage
Matt Pyzdrowski resumed his starting role between the posts for Ängelholms on Sunday, but it was a rough afternoon for the team as they lost at home to IK Brage.
Brage's pair of Americans, keeper Bryan Meredith and defender Tyler Ruthven, were included on their team's bench but did not make it into the game.
The teams traded periods of dominance throughout the scoreless first half, but Brage jumped ahead just seconds after the restart as Dragan Kapcevic cut in from the from the right and served up a fine cross for Peter Nilsson put away in for 1-0.
Then in the final seconds of regulation, they wrapped up the victory, extending their lead to two goals as Dulee Johnson hit a short pass to Mats Moldskred, who beat his last defender on the left and fired his shot inside the far post.
Brage will try to make it two wins in a row in the new season when they host Östersunds FK on Monday evening.
Ängelholms will look to earn their first points of the season when they visit Landskrona BoIS on Friday evening.
Ljungskile SK 0 - 0 Hammarby IF
Ljungskile defender Patrick Hopkins and Hammarby midfielder Baggio Husidic both played the full game for their respective teams, as the two battled to a scoreless draw on Sunday.
Hammarby's Billy Schuler and Ljungskile's Charlie Campbell both dressed but spent the entirety of the game on the bench.
Neither team was able to break through in a sloppy yet still high-paced first half, although Hammarby did have the overall better run of play.
The second half again saw Hammarby control the flow more, but Ljungskile were not without bite, particularly in the final 15 minutes.
Husidic cleared a dangerous diagonal ball that looked headed towards the lower corner in the final 10 minutes, and moments later, Ljungskile had what looked to be the winning goal called back for a foul.
The result leaves both teams in the middle of the standings and hoping to rack up their first win in next weekend's action. Ljungskile will visit Falkenbergs FF while Hammarby hosts IFK Värnamo, with both games set to take place on Sunday afternoon.
Brian Span began Djurgarden's Monday-night home game against Mjällby AIF on the bench, however the game was called off after 40 minutes when Mällby midfielder Gbenga Arokoyo was hit by an object thrown from the stands. Robin Strömberg had just put the Mjällby ahead with a 37th goal for the visitors. Sam Petrone is out injured for the visitors and was not in uniform.