This weekend the Swedish league is on its 18th match day and as a sports photographer this really marks the period when the season gets interesting. The dynamics are defined and you have a good picture of who is contending and who is pretending. AIK started the season slowly, and yet after 17 matches played they sat in 3rd place. Meanwhile Elfsborg came into the match sitting in 5th place, just 4 points behind AIK.
For Elfsborg the match marked an opportunity to bring themselves back into the title chase and for AIK an opportunity to climb closer to first place. The game was also the final appearance of former AIK captain Daniel Tjernström. Tjernström joined the club in 1999 and became captain in 2005. When AIK last won the Swedish league in 2009 it was his goal against IFK Göteborg which clinched them the gold.
Right from the start AIK seemed much stronger than Elfsborg. Elfsborg’s Mohamed Bangura, who used to play for AIK, was strongly contested by the home crowd. Whistles rained down from the crowd every time he touched the ball. After just 17 minutes AIK took the lead through Celso Borges, they could have ended the first half with an even bigger advantage as the created plenty of opportunities in front of Elfsborg’s goal.
In the second half Elfsborg was able to equalize through Simon Hedlund, but the celebrations were short lived. AIK’s Martin Lorentzson scored just two minutes later and brought AIK back into the lead. Elfsborg has another great opportunity to score when Johan Larsson put it wide of goal. Daniel Tjernström came on and got to play the final 15 minutes of the game. Donning the captain’s band one last time in front of the home crowd. It was a nice gesture from coach Andreas Alm as a one goal lead is pretty narrow and Elfsborg was still alive and fighting for it.
When the final whistle blew AIK had taken home the 3 points and moved up into 2nd place. They now find themselves just two points behind league leaders Helsingborg, who I will photograph on Monday when they meet Djurgården. Elfsborg on the other hand has dropped down into 6th place and has a huge 9 point gap between them and first place.
As always these images and many more are available exclusively via Pic-Agency.