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Morale boost for Djurgården/Älvsjö

Djurgården/Älvsjö defeated Mallbackens IF 2-0 on Wednesday despite missing three attacking players.

By Jan Juhlin

Despite the absence of three injured strikers, Djurgården/Älvsjö got back to winning ways ahead of Sunday's UEFA Women's Cup final first leg with a 2-0 victory at Mallbackens IF.

Morale boost
Having lost to fierce rivals Umeå IK at the weekend, the build-up to the showpiece against 1.FFC Turbine Potsdam was not going to plan, but goals from Elin Ekblom and Laura Kalmari secured a morale-boosting win. "It was important to win, and it's always hard to play at Strandvallen because Mallbacken are a physical side," said coach Mikael Söderman.

Johansson doubt
Söderman remains calm ahead of Sunday's final despite worries about his attacking options with Finland striker Kalmari cup-tied. He said: "Venus James has a fever but hopefully she will be OK, and Victoria Svensson should also be fit as she's returned to full training. Sara Johansson has a strained thigh muscle and we're uncertain about her."

Counterattacking plan
Yet Söderman has no reason to be anything but positive ahead of the European showpiece, saying of Potsdam: "I've had some reports on them and they're a physical side who like to attack. It will be important to stand up to them. Hopefully that will frustrate them, and if we can hit them on the break I'm sure we're in with a good chance of a victory."