Last night an empty Tele2 Area played host to a Europa League qualifying match between IF Brommapojkarna and Torino FC. It’s a rare occasion for an Italian team to come through Stockholm, when it occurs I’m always really happy to cover the event.
Last night’s game could have offered a little more spectacle. BP is currently sitting at the very bottom of the Swedish league Allsvenskan with just 8 points. I was a bit lost as to why they are even participating in Europa League considering they barely avoided relegation last season, but I then learned they were awarded a place for having the best “Fair Play” record in the league. It’s a proposition I find a bit ridiculous. First of all it does nothing to help Sweden’s european coefficient record. Second it really can’t be good for morale at BP, swept aside last night. Likely swept aside once more when they make the return trip to Torino. Just maybe they should try and concentrate on saving themselves in the league.
For Torino last night’s match was nothing more than practice. They opted to leave a lot of their starting players at home in Torino but it made little difference and they easily had their way with the home team. BP did well too hang on through a steady bombardment in the first half, only to have their captain concede a penalty and get sent off right before the half. Going into the second with a man down there was even less BP could do and the second and third goals quickly followed. They got a small chance at redemption when the referee sent off Torino’s Giuseppe Vives and awarded them a penalty, but failed to make the most of it promptly sending the penalty over the crossbar and into the parking lot.