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Wednesday 23 May 2012 ko 19.00

Allsvenskan

HELSINGBORGS 1F 1 (Nordmark 2)

DJURGÅRDENS IF 1 (Span 75)

Att 9,861

Entry 275 sek

Programme FREE

Badge 30 sek

Helsingborg is as close as you can get to Denmark and still be in Sweden. From the Kärnan tower near the waterfront, the views of the straits, and Danish territory are spectacular, and you can also see the Olympia stadium!

The town has been in both Swedish and Danish control (Kärnan was built by the Danes) but today is a hub for several companies. Both IKEA and Nicorette have bases here. Sofiero Castle, a mansion formerly owned by the Swedish royal family is situated 3 miles out of town, and is well worth a visit. Curiously there’s a “Royal Football Pitch,” there. I looked, but sadly saw no posts…

Olympia is very much the modern stadium, with its curved main stand rather reminding me on the new stand at Wrexham, and the huge two tiered edifice opposite. Behind each goal there’s open terracing which since Helsingborgs have qualified for Europe as Allsvenskan champions, will not be open for European nights.

It was oppressively hot and humid as Kim and I took our seats in the top tier of the stand. With the sun shining in our faces it was hard work watching a dull game. We’d had difficulty getting a programme, they were available only on one turnstile, the idea I think being that everyone else would use the centre page spread in the local newspaper! Watching from the top tier got a lot worse when the man sat to my left, woke up from his drunken stupor just long enough to be sick in his lap! He was swiftly ejected, what he left behind wasn’t… We watched the second half from the back of the lower tier.

We were fortunate to get an early goal Daniel Nordmark’s 25 yard free kick was swung in from the left, noone touched the ball but somehow Tommi Vaiho in the away goal failed to position himself properly and the ball trickled in at the back post.

The rest of the half was a poor scrappy affair, a tense midfield battle littered with errors. DIF were played with the the one attacker, and it was hard to see how they could get level. British midfielder James Keene worked hard to support loan striker Ricardo Santos, but they could make little leeway. The trouble for the neutral though was that HIF were doing precious little either.

The changing point for DIF was the replacing of Santos with Andreas Dahlén near the hour mark. Kaspar Hämäläinen saw his shot tipped over the bar, before Peter Nyman’s cross found Brian Span at the back post and he headed home to level the scores.

That sadly was the end of the meaningful action, but neither side deserved a winner in a game that gave no clue as to the host team’s championship status. A postscipt though was that Djurgårdens were staying at our hotel! We have a good chat to James Keene at breakfast next morning. He’s from the Bristol/Bath area and was a product of the Portsmouth youth set-up.  After loan spells at AFC Bournemouth, Kidderminster, and Bristol Rovers, he was tempted over by Gothenburg based GAIS, before signing a for Elfsborg for the next season. He’s on loan to Djurgårdens for this season.

Its a small world isn’t it!