The start of the Allsvenskan has not been kind to Djurgården. I’m sure many people had high expectations. Djurgården is moving into a new arena mid-season, plenty hoped that excitement would carry on to the pitch. Unfortunately it hasn’t really played out like that. Since the previous post, things have gotten a lot worse for the Stockholm club.
After the suspended match with Mjällby, Djurgården was away to BK Häcken who swept them aside comfortably winning 4-0. Their next game was at Stockholm Stadion against Brommapjokerna and I was on hand to photograph it.
For the most part I thought they played well, they created the bulk of the matches goal scoring opportunities. Yet they just couldn’t put their chances away. Their number 10 Erton Fejzullahu, who was bought for a hefty fee last season, just can’t seem to get it together. They took the lead in the first half, but they failed to extend it on numerous occasion they created.
In the end the visitors got an opportunity to equalize and buried it. The final result 1-1. After that draw came the next match and Djurgården was away to the reigning Swedish champions Elfsborg. Djurgården would lose again, this time 2-0. And so they closed out the 5th match day last in the table with just one point.
In the lead up to the next game against Syrianska FC things got even more chaotic. Djurgårdens head coach Magnus Pehrsson and their club president Tommy Jacobson both resigned claiming to have received threats from a violent faction of Djurgårdens fan base. Djurgårdens two assistant coaches would take over the managerial duties and new president still hasn’t been selected.
At the start of the match there was a great deal of tension as club representatives tried to make a speech addressing the situation. Strong whistling from certain supporter groups, and a large banner was unveiled which accused the club of distorting the facts
“After all the tears we want the truth. It’s easy to judge without all the facts”
The match didn’t do anything to put situation back on a positive course. Djurgården created the bulk of goal scoring opportunities but struggled to convert them. And when they finally did score, the referee went and added his own to the situation by not giving the goal. Syrianska’s keeper cleared the ball after it has completely crossed into the goal, but for the referee it wasn’t a goal.
Once that happened I think everyone in the stadium had a pretty clear idea of what was bound to happen. Syrianska found themselves with an opportunity, converted it, and walked out of Stockholm Stadium with the 3 points. Meanwhile Djurgården remains last in the league with 1 point after 6 matches played.
It’s interesting to note that after the match, after all the replays, and after all the newspaper articles, the referee is quoted as saying he is extremely happy he did not award the goal. Rather than admitting he made a mistake and that he’s human he would rather close his eyes and pretend it didn’t happen.
So after the loss to Syrianska we arrived at yesterdays Swedish Cup semi-final match against second division Örgryte. While the league has been a complete failure, in the cup Djurgården seemed to have snuck their way into the last stages.
The match got under way, it was a gorgeous day, but it seemed to be the same old Djurgården. Creating a lot, but not able to actually find the goal. The meager opponent wasn’t doing much but you couldn’t help wonder if they too would find that one moment to put the ball in the net. Late in the first half Djurgården received a penalty, which Erton Fejzullahu failed to convert. His goal scoring drought destined to continue.
The second half got started and Erton’s misfortune continued as he went out in a stretcher because of an injury. No more than a few minutes passed that Nahir Oyal also went out injured. There was certainly a sense of impeding doom at that point in time.
Lady luck would finally arrive and Andreas Johansson headed in a goal to give Djurgården a lead which if maintained would bring the club into the final. The goal seemed to give them team a huge boost and they continued to create a ton of goal scoring opportunities. But their ability to convert them didn’t improve.
When the final whistle arrived one goal was all it took to bring home a victory. Djurgårdens IF will now meet IFK Göteborg in the final of the Swedish Cup, which will be played at Friends Arena on the 26th of May.
As of today there is only one question, has this team hit the bottom and is it ready to come back? Or was yesterdays win just a little spike on a much longer decline?
Time will tell.