Sports digest: Sweden cruises to ice hockey quarter finals

Sports digest is The Local's round-up of the week in Swedish sport.

Ice Hockey

With one game to spare,, Sweden has already cleared a path to the quarter final stage of the world championships in Moscow.

Following a meaningless match against Russia on Monday the Swedes will meet either Slovakia or the Czech Republic in the quarter finals on Wednesday.

The reigning world champions Sweden won preliminary Group A with a 100-percent record wrapping it up with a 6-0 win over Switzerland on Wednesday.

A day later the Swedes booked their place in the world ice hockey championship’s knockout stage with a 5-2 win over neighbours Denmark in the Group E Scandinavian derby in Moscow on Thursday.

Denmark drew first blood as their striker Morten Madsen netted the opener 2:27 into the match. Four minutes later Peter Regin made it 2-0 for the Danes on powerplay.

The Swedes were obviously saving their strength but levelled before the first intermission converting two of their powerplay attempts into goals through Kenny Johnsson and Johan Åkerman.

In the second Johan Davidsson netted his fifth goal of the event to lift Sweden 3-2 up and clinch the lead in the tournament’s scorers contest with 11 points.

Sweden defender Magnus Johansson added his goal at 57:23, while Davidsson finalized the scoring with just seven seconds remaining with his second of the match.

On Sunday Sweden confirmed their top status with a Group E tight 1-0 win over neighbours Finland in the Nordic derby clash.

Sweden rear guard Johan Akerman was the hero of the match scoring the only goal at 15:53, while Scandinavian netminder Johan Bäcklund produced 38 saves to record his second shutout of the championships so far.


Gefle IF have taken a surprise early lead in Allsvenskan after two wins in the space of a week. Home wins over GAIS and Kalmar have given Gefle the top spot after five games.

The lead may not last long however as six teams lurk with the possibility of overtaking the easterners and with one game less played.

Helsingborg travelled to Stockholm on Saturday to register a 1-0 victory at AIK. Around a hundred hooligans from the two rival clubs and a third, Hammarby, participated in rioting after the game.

Four people were reported injured while three others were arrested for their part in the fighting.

Elsewhere, Swedish international striker Markus Rosenberg scored a hattrick for Werder Bremen at the weekend to keep alive the club’s hopes of Bundesliga victory.

Bremen notched up a 4-1 win away to Hertha Berlin to leave them two points behing leaders Schalke 04.


Sweden’s Joakim Bäckstrom shot a 10-under par course record 62 to take the first round lead at the Italian Open in Milan on Thursday.

Bäckstrom, a lowly 447th in the rankings, was only one stroke shy of the European Tour’s lowest round of the season.

Bäckstrom, whose opening round fireworks included two eagles and half a dozen birdies, said: “I had a 62 in practice last week, but that’s my best round in a tournament.

Rain caused the tournament to be shortened from four rounds to three. Bäckström finished with rounds of 70 and 73 to finish tied for 21st position.

Two of Bäckström’s compatriots, Fredrik Andersson and Henrik Nyström, were tied for third place.

Pelle Edberg came fourteenth on the leaderboard.


Croatian player tests positive ahead of Sweden match

Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday, a day ahead of the country's Nations League match with Sweden, the Croatian football federation (HNS) said.

Croatian player tests positive ahead of Sweden match
Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic (left) tested positive for coronavirus on Friday. Photo: Miguel Medina / AFP
“Brozovic's Inter Milan and Swedish epidemiologists were informed about the positive test,” an HNS statement said.
The player's positive result came two days after defender Domagoj Vida was informed of a positive Covid-19 test after playing the first half of a friendly with Turkey in Istanbul.
Apart from Brozovic, 27, one staff member also tested positive.
They were both isolated from other members of the national team.
After Sweden, Croatia play another Nations League game against Portugal on Tuesday.
Croatia, runners-up at the 2018 World Cup, are third in their Nations League group which also includes France, the team that beat them to the World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal and Sweden.