Nalic lowered Elfsborg – who are losing at the top

Nalic lowered Elfsborg – who are losing at the top

Adi Nalic became Hammarby’s hero on Sunday evening.

Elfsborg had to go home empty-handed and now Malmö FF can take over the league lead.

All this after a somewhat controversial situation at Tele2 Arena.

– I don’t want to stand and rant about the verdict, but…, says Johan Larsson after the 1-0 loss in Stockholm

Elfsborg answered for a weak effort away to Hammarby.

The home team, cheered on by the large crowd at Tele2 Arena, was the better team and after 36 minutes of play they also fairly took the lead.

Nahir Besara deliciously hit the ball forward to an onrushing Adi Nalic who alone with Hákon Rafn Valdimarsson coolly lifted the ball into the goal.

– Besara put a nice ball to me in the deep and I saw that the goalkeeper rushed out so I just had to put it over him, says Nalic.

Elfsborg was already forced to replace Per Frick during the break, who was withdrawn with injury concerns in the first half.

– I felt quite early in the back and asked the bench to warm up a replacement. It still felt perfectly fine, it was possible to play, but it was hard not being able to score a hundred. So they had to make a decision and chose to replace me. It feels completely okay now anyway, Frick explains afterwards.

But even with the replacement Sveinn Aron Gudjohnsen, Elfsborg did not manage to step up. Instead, Hammarby was closer to a 2-0 goal. Pigge Josef Erabi had a shot narrowly wide of the post from close range that had closed the match.

Elfsborg’s anger after Strand’s bet
After just over an hour of play, things got really heated when Simon Strand entered a late duel with Valdimarsson right at Elfsborg’s bench when the goalkeeper was far out and disarmed a conversion.

Elfsborg’s substitute bench flew up and things got irritated between the two teams. Valdimarsson, who first grinned evilly, showed his great displeasure that Strand escaped expulsion and was only awarded a yellow card.

– The judges judge it to be careless, not violent. Then it would be judged as a red card, explained expert commentator Emelie Ölander in Discovery’s broadcast.

Elfsborg’s goalkeeper Valdimarsson thinks the referee was a bit quick with the yellow card to Strand.

– I think it was a bit strange that he made such a quick decision instead of consulting his assistants… But it was yellow and I’m more annoyed by the loss to be honest.

Simon Strand himself believes that the yellow card was right.

– I think it’s yellow. It’s a flavor start, everyone gets to have their opinion. I hold back a little, don’t go in with studs or anything to hurt. But I’m a player who goes into all duels, then there will also be bangs, says Strand and goes on to say.

I break the ball and hear the crowd, which lifts me up a lot. I just started running, I thought I was free and I never back down.

“There are two stone heads”
Johan Larsson, Elfsborg, gave his view on the whole thing:

– I’m too far from it. But I don’t want to stand and rant about verdicts. But the fourth official, I don’t know if he said that to calm me down, he said he thought it was red. But it might have been to calm me down he said that. I do not know. It is hard to say. That’s not where we lose the game. Strand is a player you love to have on your team, and hate to have on the opposing team.

Nahir Besara, team captain in Hammarby, can attest that this is a player you want in your team.

– It’s not just him. So is Hammar. I call them the brothers. I called them something else that I can’t say in the media – so I get to call them the brothers. There are two stone heads. Just send them out to the front of the war.

“Simon is only heart”
Martí Cifuentes on the tackle:

– He is late. Simon is just heart. It is difficult for him to slow down, but it is clear that he is late, says the coach.

Elfsborg never managed to force anything and with the 1-0 loss, Malmö FF takes over the league lead with a win away to Mjällby on Monday evening.

Sixth in the table Hammarby has 13 points up to European place.

– Important victory for us. The boys have worked hard and this was a big challenge, says Cifuentes.

– We control the match well and I think we win well-deserved, adds Nalic, the hero of the match.

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