DAVID SMITH - Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Alejandro Bedoya and Örebro had to settle for a draw with Örebro after giving up a late equalizer while Ryan Miller and Halmstad were on the wrong end of a high-scoring affair against visiting Märnamo.
Helsingborgs IF 1 - 1 Örebro SK
Alejandro Bedoya first-half set-up gave Helsingborg a temporary lead, however a last-gasp equalizer by his old team Örebro forced them to settle for a draw.
Playing for the first time against the team where he initially made his name in Sweden, Bedoya predictably had a hand in their go-ahead goal.
Breaking up the right side into the penalty area, the American laid the ball off to Nikola Djurdjic for an uncontested tap-in 26 minutes into the game.
Helsingborg looked headed to the win, but lost their focus in the final seconds of second-half injury time. Late substitute Valdet Rama received a pass from Shpetim Hasani on the left side of the area, and placed his shot perfectly past keeper Pär Hansson at the far post to earn the point.
Helsingborg remain in fifth place in the Allsvenskan standings. With three games left to play and a nine-point gap to third place, they all but eliminated from a shot at reaching Europa League qualification for next season.
They still have this season's European campaign to contend with, with their next group stage encounter being a home game against Steve Cherundolo and Hannover.
Degerfors IF 1 - 1 Ängelholms FF
Brian Edwards and Degerfors saw their hope of avoiding the relegation playoff take a hit, as a late collapse against visiting Ängelholms saw them drop valuable points in front of the home crowd.
Ängelholms keeper Matt Pydrowzski is out for the remainder of the season after suffering a concussion earlier in the summer.
After an first 45 minutes marked by open play and multiple chances, Degerfors took the lead on the stroke of halftime. Christoffer Eriksson beat his defender and picked out Peter Samuelsson in the penalty area, who managed to put his shot past the keeper despite losing his balance in the process.
Edwards looked the hero when he stopped a penalty resulting from a handball late in the second half, but was helpless in the final seconds as Mikael Dahlgren found Robin Simovic with a fine cross to set up the equalizer.
With two games left to go in league play, Degerfors are in 13th place and have a four-point gap to make up in order to avoid the playoff. They next host Ljungskile on Monday.
Ängelholm have nothing left to fight for, with neither relegation nor promotion in play. They next host IK Brage on Sunday.
Halmstads BK 2 - 3 IFK Märnamo
Ryan Miller and Halmstadt had an afternoon to forget, surrendering three goals in the final three minutes of regulation and injury time in a tough home loss to IFK Märnamo.
After a scoreless first half, Halmstadt took a two-goal lead, with Gudjón Baldvinsson's doing well to set up Mikael Boman for the first, and Johnny Lundberg's volley following a corner putting them ahead 2-0.
Holding the lead until the final three minutes of regulation, Halmstadt were forced to endure a shocking and inexplicable come-back from Märnamo.
Vladica Zlojutro connected from the spot in the 87th minute, then a Halmstadt defender knocked the ball into his own net for the 90th minute equalizer, and finally Dzenis Kozica netted the winner one minutes later.
Barring a completely unlikely turn of events, Halmstadt should finish in the third-place promotion playoff. They next face Assyriska FF Södertälje next Monday evening.
Brian Span is currently injured, and did not suit up for Djurgardens IF on Monday for their 3-0 home win over GAIS Göteborg.
Patrick Hopkins was not selected for play on Sunday in Ljungskile's 1-0 home loss to Gregg Berhalter's Hammarby IF.