BRENDAN WIMBERLY - Monday, July 23, 2012
Patrick Hopkins was forced to exit Ljungskile's win over Trelleborg with a head injury while Brian Edwards stood tall in net to help Degerfors draw with Osters.

Ljungskile SK 1 - 0 Trelleborg FF

Patrick Hopkins got the start at his typical spot in the center of Ljungskiles defense as he and his teammates were able to get a big victory which sees them jump up two spots into fifth place in the Superettan.

Ljungskile seized control of the match early through the work of Andreas Ljunggren Eriksson. The Swedish attacking midfielder cut through the Trelleborg penalty area and was dragged down by Tobias Malm, earning a penalty. Eriksson took the spot kick himself. Trelleborg keeper Zlatan Azinovic guessed correctly, diving to his left, but the shot was placed perfectly and it slid into the corner to give Ljungskile the lead.

Hopkins day would take a turn for the worse in the 54th minute when he had to be substituted from the match after he sustained an injury to his jaw. David Bennhage dropped into Hopkins central defender spot from the right side of the midfield and Riki Cakic was brought on to fill his place.

Trelleborg threatened as the move unsettled the Ljungskile backline, but they were not able to find the equalizer. Few details of Hopkins injury were available following the game, but his condition remains to be watched as fellow American and his ex-Ljungskile teammate, Steffen Vroom, was recently forced to retire due to numerous concussions.

Trelleborg take on Angelholm next Sunday while Ljungskile face a tough matchup when they travel to take on league leaders Osters next Saturday.

Degerfors IF 2 - 2 Osters IF

Save for one mistake, Brian Edwards shined in net as he and his Degerfors teammates continued their climb out of the Superettans cellar with an impressive draw against Osters on Saturday.

Osters came into the match having won every game this season except for a draw against Jonkopings Sodra in April.

Degerfors pushed the play from the start of the match, narrowly missing out on taking the early lead when Kwame Karikari's strike from 20 meters ricochetted off the cross bar in the 19th minute. Two minutes later however, Osters took the advantage through Alexander Henningson in the 21st minute. Dennis Velic curled in a corner kick from the left and Henningson sent a beautiful header into the top left corner of the net.

Osters seized the momentum and threatened repeatedly in the minutes after the goal, but Edwards made a series of nice saves before Velic was able to expand the lead in the 32nd minute after an error from the American goalkeeper. Patrik Bojent took the corner from the right and Edwards attempted to punch the ball out, but it deflected right into the path of Velic, and Osters Croation captain easily nicked the ball home to make the score 2-0.

Despite his first half blunder, Edwards made a few brilliant saves to keep his team in the game. With Osters still leading 2-0 halfway through the second half, Edwards made a finger tip save on Jonas Hellgren as the Swedish striker broke through the Degerfors backline and attempted to beat the keeper to his right, but Edwards made a great play and preserved Degerfors hopes.

Edwards was rewarded for his hard work as the match wore one. Christopher Brandeborn cut Osters lead in half in the 81st minute. Brandeborn came on for Karikari in the 67th minute and fired a sizzling shot past Alexander Nadj in Osters goal after receiving the assist from Jonas Olsson.

Degerfors continued to push for an equalizer and it came in the 90th minute. After stealing possession from an Osters defender, Amadaiya Rennie crossed for Alexander Andersson, who had come one for Erik Nilsson in the 60th minute. Andersson headed the ball into the net and knotted the score, and Degerfors were able to see out stoppage time to ensure the draw.

Degerfors are still three points away from escaping the relegation zone, but they hope to wipe out that margin next Saturday when they travel to take on Jonkopings. Osters will look to get to their winning habits on Saturday against Osters.

Varberg BoIS 1 - 3 Angelholm FF

Matt Pyzdrowski was in net and picked up an early yellow card as he and Angelholm were able to jump into third place in the Superettan on the wings of a Robin Simovic hat trick.

Pyzdrowski's yellow came in the second minute when the American keeper came off his line to challenge an on rushing Varberg attacker just outside of his penalty box. The official deemed Pyzdrowski's tackle to be harsh and awarded Varberg a free kick, but the chance went sailing over the net.

Simovic's first goal broke the scoreless draw in first half stoppage time. Albin Nilsson played a pass to Jonas Lindh and the midfielder crossed to a waiting Simovic in the box, where the 20 year old nodded the ball home just before the halftime whistle.

Varberg equalized in the 70th minute through Joakim Sjohage. The attacker had hardly come on to replace Pierre Tillman when he was gifted an opportunity through miscommunication between Pyzdrowski and Jonas Nilsson, as the keeper and center back both failed to challenge the striker in the box, leaving Sjohage plenty of room to fire the ball past Pyzdrowski.

Simovic took the lead back in the 78th minute. The striker lined up a free kick which knicked the inside of the bar and deflected into the back of the net. Simovic wasn't done there, as he completed his hatrick in the 91st minute. Zeyn S-Latef played a beautiful through ball into the striker who ran around Varberg Keeper Peter Dahlberg and was able to tap home the goal to put the game firmly out of Varbergs reach.

Varberg look to get their first win in five matches next Saturday when they host Varnamo while Angelholm take on Trelleborg.

Falkenberg FF 3 - 1 Halmstad BK

Ryan Miller played the full 90 but was largely uninvolved at right back as Halmstad fell apart late in the match and went on to drop their second result in a week.

After an uneventful and scoreless first half, Peter Nystrom grabbed the lead for Halmstad in the 55th minute. Christian Jardler made a nice run from his left back position into the box where he was able to find an open Nystrom who finished the chance nicely into the corner.

Halmstads delicate lead held until the 72nd minute when Tobias Carlsson tied the game for Falkenberg. Second half addition Jonah Svahn hit a beautiful corner kick towards Carlsson, who headed home to equalize.

Svahn grabbed a goal for himself minutes later to take the lead for Falkenberg. The former Halmstad youth player received a pass from Zlatan Krizanovic with his back to net and proceeded to turn and fire a shot towards net. Halmstad Keeper Kalle Johnsson misjudged the strike and allowed it to bounce into the back of his net in the 76th minute.

Falkenberg continued to pressure Halmstad, and were rewarded with their third goal in eight minutes when Marcus Oversjo scored in the 80th minute. Stefan Rodevag started the attack when he found Zlatan Krizanovic with a long ball into the Halmstad area. Krizanovic laid a pass off to Oversjo who was able to smash the chance home to make the score 3-1.

Halmstad are in need of points when they host Hammarby next Sunday while Falkenberg take on Umea.

Hammarby IF 2 - 2 Jonkopings Sodra IF

Baggio Husidic played the whole match for Hammarby as they were able to overcome a two goal deficit in addition to having two players sent off in the second half to draw at home against Jonkopings.

Hammarby's young American striker Billy Schuler was an unused sub in the tightly contested match which produced eight yellow cards.

It was an uphill battle for the hosts early on as Jonkopings grabbed the lead off of a 21st minute corner. Christer Persson nodded a header towards the net after Tommy Thelin skied the initial attempt off the corner straight up. Andreas Tegstrom cleverly redirected the header into the upper right corner of the net past Johannes Hopf.

Jonkopings struck again in the 33th minute through Daryl Smylie. Max Forsberg was dispossessed in his own third by Fredrik Fendrich. The 24 year old midfielder then sent a clever pass from the left side towards an open Smylie streaking into the middle of the box. The Northern Irishmen sent a rocket past Hopf, leaving little the keeper could do on either goal.

Hammarby hit back before the halftime whistle. Husidic played a long set piece into the box from the left side which found the head on Max von Schleebrugge. Husidic's delivery from 40 meters out was fantastic, allowing the tall defender to send a header into the lower left corner of the net.

Hammarby's comeback aspirations took a hit in the 60th minute when star striker Sebastian Castro-Tello received a second yellow card after the referee deemed he was overzealous in his pursuit of a rebound off of a Sinan Ayranci shot, sticking a foot in on Jonkoping keeper Niklas Helgesson.

The hosts continued to fight despite their disadvantage and they were rewarded with a Christophe Lallet equalizer in the 68th minute. Von Schleebruge nodded a corner across the face of net where Lallet stood unmarked as the ball fell to him two meters out, allowing him to knock the ball home with ease.

Hammarby were forced to endure another expulsion in the 90th minute when Sebastian Bojassen received a second yellow card for a hard tackle, but the home side were able to see the game out safely, gathering a much deserved and needed point.

Hammarby have a big game next Sunday when they take on Halmstad while Jonkopings host Degerfors.

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