JON VAN WAGENEN - Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Both Ryan Miller and Alejandro Bedoya had a case of the 'Mondays' in Allsvenskan action as Örebro fell to Mjällby while Halmstad drew with Åtvidaberg.
Mjällby 1 – 0 Örebro
Mjällby won their third match of the season against Örebro, completing the sweep without conceding a goal.
Bedoya was involved as Örebro threatened early, but lacked the ability to make the crucial final passes. The midfielder earned two corners and tested a long shot in the first 30 minutes.
But overall, the first half consisted of few chances as Örebro's other midfielders didn't join in the attack, perhaps tentative due to Mjällby's success counter attacking in previous matches.
Roni Porokara put the match's first shot on goal in the 72nd minute with a nifty back heel attempt off a set piece from left back Samuel Wowoah that keeper Mattias Åsper was able to hold.
Just two minutes later Mjällby's forwards took advantage of a spread out Örebro with a quick counter-attack. A pass from Mostapha El Kabir found Markus Ekenberg who was able to find a crease between Wowoah and the central defenders.
Despite a little spark from substitute Eric Bassombeng, Örebro seemed to lack the creativity to build an attack against the sturdy Mjällby defense.
The loss drops Örebro to fourth position for the first time in 10 weeks, with Mjällby now just three points behind.
Things won't be getting any easier for Örebro, as they face defending champs AIK, next week and will have to take on league leader Helsingborg in short succession.
Mjällby can try to gain ground against relegation pegged Gefle.
Åtvidaberg 1 – 1 Halmstad
Ryan Miller made his second straight start in his new left back role as Halmstad failed to get a win against the cellar dwellers.
Miller picked up his first yellow of the season in the 22nd minute for a stiff challenge on Haris Radetinac.
Halmstad took the lead when Anej Rakavej chased down a cross and sent in one of his own that picked out Jonas Saevarsson for a header goal in the 31st minute.
Miller missed the target when he tried a rare shot on a free kick two minutes later.
A minute before the break, Åtvidaberg evened up on a free kick variation. An errant strike forced them to play back to Jesper Arvidsson, who found Paulus Roiha amid the scrambling Halmstad defense.
Despite a back and forth second half that saw Halmstad put eight shots on target the tie remained unbroken.
The point was enough to lift Halmstad out of the relegation playoff spot, at least until Djurgården plays their game in hand against Bromma this week.
Malmö will have their eyes on the top spot, while not looking to beat up their southern neighbors when they visit Halmstad on Monday.