Djurgårdens IF clinched the Swedish Allsvenskan title for the first time in 36 years on Saturday.
Only a point
Djurgården, who finished second last term, were three points clear of challengers Malmö FF going into the final day and needed only a point from their trip to Borås to face IF Elfsborg - a team led by former Djurgården great Anders Grönhagen.
Johan Elmander, on loan from Dutch club Feyenoord, capitalised on a blunder from Elfsborg defender Joakim Alexandersson to punctuate a tense and uninspiring first half, but only a string of magnificent saves from Djurgården's Swedish international goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson denied their mid-table opponents an equaliser.
Elmander then missed a golden opportunity to extend his side's advantage just before the interval, but the travelling fans did have something else to cheer when reports filtered through from Halmstad that former Djurgården player Sharbel Touma had put Halmstad BK 1-0 up against Malmö.
Johansson seals it
Five minutes after the news of Touma's strike, Andreas Johansson doubled Djurgården's advantage and the club's supporters began their celebrations inside the Ryavallen stadium. The goal meant that Elfsborg would have to score three goals in the final half-hour and Malmö had to score twice in Halmstad.
'The best team'
Djurgården hung on, and when the referee blew the final whistle few could argue that the Stockholm-based club had deserved to win the ninth domestic league title. Midfield player Stefan Rehn was delighted with the result and the outcome of a long campaign. "We have been the best team during the whole season and have won the championship deservedly," he said.
Malmö huffed and puffed but were unable to claw their way back into the match against Halmstad and will now have to be content with a place in next season's UEFA Cup. Halmstad, coached by Malmö legend Jonas Thern, extended their unbeaten run to eleven matches, finishing sixth in the table.
Trouble for IFK
A late goal from Patric Andersson against Hammarby last Monday meant that IFK Göteborg still had a chance to secure their top-flight status when they faced already relegated Kalmar FF at the Gamla Ullevi stadium. However, the twice UEFA Cup winners and record 17-time Swedish champions slumped to a 2-0 defeat and will now face local rivals Västra Frölunda in a two-legged promotion/relegation encounter as they bid to continue their 26-year stay in the Allsvenskan.
'We were awful'
IFK midfield player Sebastian Johansson was clearly disappointed after the match, saying: "We were awful," he said. "We could not control the game and we've only got ourselves to blame. Perhaps we're not better than this". IFK were last relegated in 1970 and did not win promotion back to the top flight for a further six seasons.
In the north of Sweden, IFK Norrköping's fans were cheering when Kalmar took the lead in Gothenburg, but their joy turned to anguish as their side could only manage a 1-1 draw with Sundsvall when only three points would have given them a chance to avoid relegation. "It feels empty inside. It's just empty," goalscorer Patrik Kieback said.
Örgryte miss chance
Hammarby finished ninth after a 3-2 victory over Landskrona BoIS on the final day. Hammarby were three goals up after 58 minutes, and despite two late Landskrona goals, they managed to hold on, condemning Landskrona to eleventh spot. Elsewhere, Örgryte IS missed their chance to leapfrog Malmö into second place as they slumped to a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Örebro SK, while Helsingborgs IFsecured a fourth-place finish with a 1-1 draw against AIK Solna, who end the season in fifth spot.
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