JON VAN WAGENEN - Wednesday, March 24, 2010
The Americans in Sweden had a week to forget as Alejandro Bedoya, Ryan Miller and Michael Thomas' teams lost by a combined score of 9 – 0.
Elfsborg 6 – 0 Halmstad
Michael Thomas made his first team debut for Halmstad against Elfsborg with both teams looking to heat up the offense after scoreless week one results.
It was American Ryan Miller who helped Elfsborg get their first goal for the season in the 13th minute, when he attempted to clear with a header. He mis-timed his jump and couldn't control the ball, which fell to the feet of Johann Larsson. Larrson made no mistake in scoring his first Allsvenskan goal from close range.
Just a moment later Halmstad had their best chance to make it a match when striker Joe Sise pounced on a pass back to defender Johan Karlson and made a break goalward. He played across to Emir Kujovic who missed an open goal from 12 yards.
In the 27th minute, Daniel Nordmark found a cutting Larrson who excuted a backdoor cut that caught right back Miller running forward when he should have been retreating.
Six yards out, wide in the box Larrson fired a one-touch effort to the far post like an old pro.
At the half, Marcus Olsson replaced Miller, but Elfsborg quickly created more goal chances. Larrson could have easily had a hat trick.
Thomas, playing a holding role in a five man midfield, took a shot from distance in the 53rd minute that went wide.
Six minutes later James Keene scored the third goal, heading in a loose ball that Halmstad failed to clear following a corner kick.
Keene followed Larrson's lead, scoring his second Allsvenskan goal with a low shot from outside the box just five minutes later.
In the last five minutes, Fredrik Berglund scored a pretty leftfooted volley and Denni Avdic put in an ugly rebound to finish off the match.
Elfsborg will take their taste for American blood to Kalmar, where they may see the newly acquired Johann Smith.
Halmstad will try to regroup against Åtvidabergs FF, a team below them in the standings.
Malmö 3 – 0 Örebro
Alejandro Bedoya and his teammates were faced with a sea of over 10,000 light blue flags in Swedbank Arena as Malmö celebrated one hundred years as a club.
Bedoya may have been intimidated, missing in a great location seven minutes in.
Forward Jimmy Durmaz, a very early sub for an injured Jeffrey Aubynn, sent a low cross behind the defenders to Agon Mehmeti who scored the close range goal in the 21st minute.
Six minutes later, it was Daniel Larrson's turn to set up Mehmeti. Larsson won a ball from several Örebro midfielders, and looked up to find the striker poised just on the onside with space between the right back and central defenders. Mehmeti steped forward and beat the keeper.
In the 69th minute, Guillermo Molins put the game out of reach with a goal from wide in the box.
In the last ten minutes, both Bedoya and Kim Olsen missed from inside the penalty area to cap off a frustrating night.
Expected starters Roni Porokara, Noran Gerzic and Marcus Astvald were used as second half subs to attempt to turn the tide.
Örebro will try to get back on track against Mjällby next week, while Malmö heads north to take on Gefle.