BRENDAN WIMBERLY - Sunday, August 26, 2012
Baggio Husidic played a part as Hammarby picked up a big win while Alejandro Bedoya's bright second half performance wasn't enough to spur Helsingborg past Djurgarden.
Djurgarden IF 3 - 1 Helsingborg
Alejandro Bedoya came off the bench and played the final 37 minutes, but couldn't alter his Helsignborg's fortunes as the potential Champions League participant were dismantled by an Erton Fejzullahu hat trick in Stockholm.
Brian Span was dressed for the match, but the 20-year old New York native failed to see the field for Djurgardens.
Fejzullahu, in just his second game since coming over from Mjallby, only took six minutes to score his first goal. Kasper Hamalalainen dribbled into the Helsingborg box and drifted a cross for Fejzullahu who escaped his marker in the center of the area. The cross was perfect and the striker headed across the face of net towards the far post, where it bounced into the lower right corner to give Djurgardens the lead.
Helsingborg levelled the score in the 25th minute through Nikola Djurdic. The 26-year old Serbian, making his first appearance for Helsingborg since coming over from Norwegian team Haugesund this summer, took a touch to control Christoffer Andersson's pass from the left wing. Sizing up his chances from 25 yards, Djurdic fired a beautiful left footed shot into the lower right corner past Djurgarden keeper Kenneth Hoie.
Djurgarden wrestled the lead back in the 31st minute. It was Fejzullahu again with James Keene providing the assist this time. Andreas Dahlen spotted Keene carving out space at the top of Helsingborg's box and sent a perfect long ball from the left wing towards the English striker. Keene wisely chested the ball back to an onrushing Fejzullahu and the 24-year old's shot from 20 yards out skipped across the line to make the score 2-1
Bedoya came close to tying the score in the 71st minute when his powerful strike from the right team of the box ricochetted off of the crossbar. Though he squandered a decent chance, Bedoya was dangerous in his second half appearance, attempting two of his team's five shots after his 57th minute introduction.
Fejzaullahu capped off his fantastic afternoon in the 79th minute. Keene found his fellow striker again, this time the Englishman made a nice run past the Djurgardens backline before laying off to a wide open Fejzallahu to his right. The Swede closed in on net, taking a shot from ten yards out which was saved by Par Hansson, but the rebound came right back to Fejzallahu who's right footed shot flew into the upper right corner to complete his hat trick.
The win was Djurgardens fourth in a row and it brings them to sixth in the Allsvenskan, within four points of third place and a spot in Europa League qualifying. Helsingborg stayed at fifth with the loss, two points away from BK Hacken for the third spot.
Djurgardens are in action next Friday when they travel to take on Orebro while Helsingborg attempt to overcome a 2-0 deficit as they travel to Glasgow to take on Celtic on Wednesday in the final round of Champions League qualifying.
Falkenberg FF 1 - 3 Hammarby IF
Gregg Berhalter's Hammarby coasted to victory when they travelled to Falkenberg on Sunday. Baggio Husidic picked up an assist as he played the entire match in the center of Bajen's midfield while Billy Schuler failed to make the bench for the game.
Nik Ledgerwood opened his Hammarby scoring account in the 31st minute to make the score 1-0. The Canadian international, who came over from German club SV Wehen earlier this summer, was fortunate to have an attempted Falkenberg clearance fall directly to his feet which he proceeded to lob over the head of Falkenberg keeper Stojan Lukic from 20 yards out.
In the 39th minute, Falkenberg defender Daniel Johansson caught Mikael Rynell's left leg as he attempted to pressure the Bajen midfielder at the top of the box. The ref deemed the contact enough to award a penalty and Matthias Adelstam stepped to the spot for the kick and sent Lukic the wrong way to make the score 2-0 as the goal slid into the left team of the net.
Victor Skold managed to get his team back into the game in the 54th minute. The 23-year old made a run from midfield and sent a low shot into the lower left corner of Hammarby's net past keeper Johanned Hopf.
Husidic made his biggest contribution to the match came in the 81st minute. The Bosnian-American received a short corner from Rynell on the left flank. On the edge of the penalty area Husidic whistled a cross in for Max von Schleebrugge, who beat his defender and powered a header in from close distance to reinforce Hammarby's lead.
With the win Hammarby are back to fourth in the Superettan. The Stockholmers wait until a week from Monday for their next game, when they will take on Angelholm. Falkenberg travel to take on Degerfors next Monday.
Assyriska FF 2 - 0 Ljungskile
Wearing the captain's armband for Ljungskile on Sunday, relegation threatened Assyriska pulled off an upset as they attempt to climb up the standings.
Despite coming into the match eight spots higher than Assyrisa in the Superettan, Hopkins and his defensive teammates were the ones forced to soak up pressure for most of the match, getting outshot 17-3.
Ljunsgskile held the attacking hosts at bay until Sotirios Papagiannopoulos broke the deadlock in the 86th minute. Haris Laitenen's free kick found the Greek defender who scored from 15 yards out.
Two minutes later, Papagiannopoulos was involved again as an Admir Catovic goal sealed the result for the home team. Papagiannopoulos found the striker waiting on the doorstep of the net and the Swede slotted home from short distance for his seventh goal of the year in the 88th minute.
The loss sees Ljungskile drop two spots to sixth in the Superettan, while Assyriska have drawn even on points with Degerfors for 12th place, a spot which would ensure they don't face the prospect of relegation.
Both teams resume action next Sunday when Ljungskile host Landskrona while Assyriska travel to face Trelleborg.trtt