Sun goes up. Sun goes down. Football season ends. Football season begins.
To be honest, these Scandinavian summer seasons have thrown me all out of kilter. I suppose this is apt in the land of almost perpetual sun (theoretically) in the summer. I am never quite sure when to rest.
So my 2016/17 season kicks off with a trip to Malmo to watch the eponymous Malmo FF in their 13th game of the Swedish top flight’s 2016 season. This comes one day after the conclusion of Euro 16 which many would say marked the end of the 2015/16 season (although it is debatable how much actual football was played in the last month in France – Hajra Magyarorszag. Boo England.)
I have a feeling that this is my first ever Monday night match. Monday night matches ruin weekends, but brighten up Mondays: a day which takes very little to brighten up. In separate news, the TimmyBacsi household has rebranded Mondays as Fundays. It rhymes. After three weeks of this rebranding exercise, very little has changed; however, we hope to introduce a Funday theme song.
Cool circles in light blue.
I have been to watch Malmo FF before and it was so much fun it coaxed me back. It has also been a few weeks since my last game so I was twitching slightly. Travelling to another country to watch football seems extravagant. In reality, it is just an inconvenience although the Oresund bridge always impresses.
This time I got there early to buy some merchandise. I always feel slightly less inconspicuous on a busy terrace mumbling along to unknown songs with a scarf around my neck. So I bought two scarves (one for a friend), which meant I spent the first 20 minutes or so feeling slightly faint as I was pretty hot.
No pyro. I like pyro as long as it is not flying towards me. I sang (read mumbled beneath my breath) my first non-ABBA song from Sweden the wonderful (read never-ending) Malmo anthem (which had words kindly put on screen for us uneducated). The away team were Orebro from middle Sweden. I am not sure whether they were sponsored by Oreos as they were wearing a very monochromatic, black and white number. It made their couple of hundred fans look like they were from the 1920s.
Orebro looked good for the first twenty or thirty minutes or so. Malmo struggling to do much with the possession that they were given (seems to be a recurring theme in football these days) and were quickly put on the back foot by the away team whenever they did get the ball. Malmo eventually did get going towards the end of the first half hitting the bar with what seemed to be a harmless looping header, but the game was scoreless at the half.
I was particularly intrigued by the heavily bearded, Norwegian Jo Inge Berget. He reminded me somewhat of James McFadden. Socks rolled down, pretty scruffy, moments of occasional brilliance mired with an inability to play a pass to the man and a frustrating ability to switch from hardworking to bone idle in a flash. As a side note, the other Norseman to play for Malmo is Mr Eikrem. I do not think Eikrem means ice cream, but I am not sure.
Malmo came out a little more determined and after a flurry of corners came to nothing, a hopeful/inspired kick forward from the left-back (love a left back assist) found aforementioned Berget, who powered the bouncing ball home with aforementioned occasional brilliance. Superb finish. 1-0. Now a Malmo team that lacked penetration from their possession could easily be described as fulfilling the required game management to close out the win. Orebro did strike the foot of the post late on with a drive that wrong-footed Malmo’s stopper. Malmo should have made it two with plenty of opportunities at the end.
Malmo go top. After the first/thirteenth game of the season. The trek back across the sea was not much fun.
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