RECAP: WEEKEND SWEDISH ACTION
Alejandro Bedoya's teammates got the win they needed to clinch a berth in next season's Europa League, while Ryan Miller and Halmstad ensured their presence in next year's Allsvenskan in spite of a loss.
Örebro SK 2 - 1 IFK Goteburg
Örebro will return to the Europa League after a 14-year hiatus following a win in their final homestand of the season on Monday evening.
Astrit Ajdarevic and Nordin Gerzic notched the goals for the hosts, before letting in a last-gasp goal from Gothenburg's Stefan Selakovic.
Alejandro Bedoya started and went the distance in the win, which solidified their position in the third spot of the standings after next Sunday's final game.
IFK's starting keeper Markus Sandberg only lasted nine minutes after receiving a knock to the nose from Örebro's Markus Astvald, prompting back-up custodian Erik Dahlin to suit up for the remainder of the game.
The hosts maintained the tempo for the majority of the first half and saw a number of attempts miss the mark. In the 18th minute following a Nordin Gerzic free kick that fell ten yards out into open space, Paulinho watched as his unguarded attempt nicked off the left post and out of play.
Liberian defender Samuel Wowoah also smacked the woodwork in the 34th minute, when his blast from the top of the box beamed off the left post of Dahlin's net.
Örebro finally got the goal they were looking for in the 65th minute thanks to a lucky attempt from Astrit Ajdarevic. A poorly cleared ball fell to the midfielder, who tracked across the top of the box and got off a dribbler that sneaked through the right post and the outstretched hand of John Alvbåge.
Nordin Gerzic added another in injury time for the hosts with a splended freekick from 20 yards that curled over the wall and past Alvbåge for the 2-0 lead.
Göteborg sneaked in one last gasp before the final whistle after the Örebro defense was unable to clear a long delivery into the box, leaving Stefan Selakovic open to pounce on the easy loose ball.
The hosts held off and can breathe comfortably going into their final game next Sunday at Trelleborgs FF.
Halmstad BK 2 – 4 Helsingborg IF
Ryan Miller and Halmstad watched the league co-leaders roll four past before notching two consolation goals in the final ten minutes. In spite of the loss, results elsewhere ensured that Halmstad will stay afloat in the Allsvenskan next season.
Miller saw an entire first half of action before being brought off at the break.
Nearly neck-and-neck with Malmö with a game to go in the season, the Helsingborgers came out on all cylinders and broke open the scoring in the 18th minute after Christoffer Andersson delivered a long cross from the right side into the box. Marcus Nilsson was there at the left edge of the box to head back for Rasmus Jönsson to scoop in for the 1-0 lead.
May Mahlangu added a second for the visitors five minutes later after connecting with an errant feed from Erik Edman at the top of the box for a blast that slipped through the defense and past the grounded keeper Karl-Johan Johnsson.
A strong tackle from Halmstad defender Tomas Zvirgzdauskas on Alexander Gerndt led to a penalty call from referee Jonas Eriksson in the 64th minute. Gerndt stepped up for the conversion and had no trouble pegging past Johnsson into the upper left netting for the third of the match, his 20th of the season.
Rasmus Jönsson added a second goal to his personal tally just two minutes later as the rattled Halmstad defense coughed up a loose ball in front of the net, leaving room for Jönsson's sliding strike past the helpless Johnsson.
Anselmo provided a personal highlight reel in the 83rd minute with a curling golazo from 20 yards out off a Marcus Olsson pass. The Brazilian added another three minutes later with a penalty that provided too little too late for the faithful in Örjans Vall Stadion.
Nonetheless, the Blue and Gold can count on their presence next season in the Allsvenskan, and face Djurgården next Sunday in the final match of the season.