JON VAN WAGENEN - Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Gefle IF vs Örebro SK
Allsvenskan - Monday April 19, 2010
An assist from Alejandro Bedoya helped Örebro capture their third straight road win against Gefle on Monday evening at Strömvallen Stadium in Gävle.
Bedoya helped setup the offense early, as Örebro created three decent looks in the first four minutes.
An off-target first minute shot from Magnus Kihlberg followed quick passes from Bedoya and forward Kim Olsen.
A minute later, Olsen tried to link up with a streaking Bedoya, but the pass led him by too much.
The best early chance came in a quick build-up on the right side, where Olsen held up the ball and made a quick pass to Bedoya, who had run in behind him.
Bedoya's pass into space sprung Marcus Astvald to run 30 yards. Astvald was able to find Roni Porokara at the penalty spot.
The young Fin's shot was hard but right down the center and keeper Mattias Hugosson easily saved the shot.
"We've been talking about, we haven't been so good at home but away we've fought a little harder," said Bedoya of Örebro's early opportunities. "We wanted some revenge from last year, we came here and they gave it to us 2-0."
With the tone set, Örebro continued controlling the possession and creating opportunities. Bedoya, the right midfielder was often playing in the same depth as the three forwards, essentially putting four players against Gefle's back four.
"I try to find the holes in between their midfield and back four," noted Bedoya. "I think I was doing that real well in the first half. Exploiting the spaces that they were giving me."
The pressure was built with a controlled passing game moving the ball well, yet Örebro's first goal came from an unexpected location.
Left back, Samuel Wowoah took a free kick inches from the sideline and about 20 yards out. His attempted cross was well placed, but somehow missed all the players and confused keeper Mattias Hugosson as it bounced into the goal in the 37th minute. Bedoya was placed at the far post to capitalize, but the ball curved in and all he had to do was watch.
In first half stoppage time, Markus Astvald and Bedoya overloaded Gefle right back Jens Portin, a slight variation on the mostly central spaces Bedoya had exploited earlier in the half.
"It was a long ball played wide and, I figured he was going to win the header so I ran into space," added Bedoya. "I got the ball in space and I was able to turn and find Roni (Porokara) in the middle."
The midfielder had earned himself a luxurious amount of time to act near the goal line, he was able to make a touch, turn, look up and send a perfectly weighted ball rolling across the artificial turf.
Bedoya's pass for near the endline found Porokara a step behind the penalty spot for a well placed finish. He put this one low and just inside the goalpost, leaving Hugosson hopeless.
The goal was well earned after out-shooting GIF 11-3 and possessing the ball 55% of the time. Gefle, meanwhile had fallen into their well renouned unattractive style of play, with forward Alexander Gerndt putting the only shot on goal.
"What you saw today from Gefle, I don't want say anti-[soccer] but we Spanish people would say really anti-[soccer], where I come from," explained Bedoya. "It's really just long balls, win the second ball or play whatever it is. We have a coach that believes in the system 4-3-3 and we like to play soccer at least."
After falling behind 2-0 Gefle changed the pace in the second half as they built pressure and Örebro focused on defense.
"In the second half we sat back too low and gave them to too much space. Maybe with a 2-0 lead we got too comfortable," said Bedoya. "But you can never feel too comfortable. We let them come back the game."
After replacing Jonathan Berg and Mikael Dahlberg with Bernhard Nyström and Jakob Orlov, the home team was capable of possessing the ball somewhat and even making some runs into space.
They created some chances that were either too far away or too poorly struck to worry Örebro coach Sixten Bostrom, or goalkeeper John Alvbåge.
Gefle got on the scoreboard in the 85th minute when Michael Almebäck was given a yellow card for pulling down Alexander Gerndt in the box.
Gerndt capitalized with a strong penalty kick at waist-heighth off his inner foot. The sixth goal for Gefle's hustling player makes him the league's top scorer.
Bostrom was taking his time in inserting the highly regarded striker Paulinho into the lineup. The Brazilian was an 85th minute substitute for the goal scorer Porokara.
Olsen, the man expected to be replaced by the goal-scoring forward was shifted to a defending position, where the towering Dane looked right at home in killing off Gefle's final chances.
Substitute Tommy Wirtanen finished the match off with a stoppage time counterattacking goal, assisted by defensive midfielder Magnus Kihlberg. Kihlberg's pass sprung Wirtanen down the wing. After a long run, Wirtanen was able to shoot with power and still get the ball over the head of Hugosson.
The win was a big improvement over last season for the Boston College product and his teammates.
"That was actually my first start here. Didn't go so well, I was a little nervous," Bedoya said of last year's debut. "This time around we did a lot better in the first half. We had them under control the whole game."
The win lifts Örebro into fourth place in the Allsvenskan standings, while Gefle sit at seventh.