Sports digest: Sweden bids to retain world hockey title

Sports digest is The Local's weekly round-up of what's making the back pages in Swedish sport.

Ice Hockey

Defending champions Sweden battled back from a goal down to make a winning start to the world championships, thrashing 7-1 Italy in the preliminary Group A showdown in Moscow on Saturday.

Forward Giorgio de Bettin surprisingly lifted Italy 1-0 up scoring an opening goal 3:07 into the match on powerplay.

Sweden poured in attack and levelled through forward Johan Davidsson at 15:51, while Fredrik Emvall lifted Sweden 2-1 up with 2:41 remaining before the first intermission also on powerplay.

Tony Martensson and Jonathan Hedstrom added one apiece in the second period, while Emvall and Davidsson both scored their second goals of the match to make it 6-1 for Sweden before the second break.

Per Hallberg finalised the scoring with 8:10 remaining to play.

Sweden face Latvia on Monday and Switzerland on Wednesday in the remaining group matches. The three top teams in each group advance to the next round.


Hammarby, Malmö and Kalmar all won at the weekend to share top spot in Allsvenskan with seven points each after four games.

Malmö’s 4-0 win over title hopefuls AIK signalled a warning to the rest of the league that the southern club has found its feet after a shaky start.

Earlier in the week AIK, had recorded a derby victory over Hammarby.

The green and whites of Hammarby atoned for that defeat at the weekend with an emphatic 4-0 demolition of Brommapojkarna.

Djurgården’s poor opening continued meanwhile with a 1-0 loss away to Kalmar.

Halmstad, with a game in hand, can leapfrog the leading trio if they manage to win away at IFK Gothenburg on Monday evening.

Swedish club Umeå’s dreams of winning the UEFA Women’s Cup ended on Sunday following a 0-0 draw against British club Arsenal in the second-leg final match in the London suburb Borehamwood.

Umeå went into the tournament as favourites. The club is Europe’s only full-time professional team, but part-timers Arsenal managed to hold them at bay. The London club won a 1-0 victory last Saturday in the first leg of the final.


Annika Sörenstam, who has been sidelined with a back injury, was replaced atop the world rankings on Monday by rising star Lorena Ochoa of Mexico.

Even though an LPGA event was not played last weekend, Ochoa took over the top spot with a points average of 12.84 from 50 events.

Resting at least until the end of the month with a ruptured disc in her back, Sörenstam is second with an average of 12.74.

Sörenstam had been No. 1 since the rankings were first introduced in February 2006.

The rankings are adjusted on a rolling two-year calendar with each player’s points total divided by the number of tournaments played.

Ochoa, who has two wins and a second in six events this year, tops the money list with 584,870 dollars.

The Mexican native won six titles in 2006, finishing with more than 2.5 million dollars in earnings en route to being named Player of the Year.

Sörenstam has two top-10 finishes in three events this year. The Swede won three times last year.

A 69-time winner on the LPGA Tour, Sörenstam opened a new golf academy this April in Florida.

AFP/Paul O’Mahony