“Every AIK fan has been waiting for this since 1998. It hasn’t really sunk in, but now we’re going to celebrate all night long,” said AIK team captain Daniel Tjernström to the Aftonbladet newspaper.
Tjernström sealed victory for the Solna-based club after entering the match in the 77th minute and netting the winning goal less than 10 minutes later off a nifty chip from teammate Dulee Johnson.
“It’s almost unreal. My first thought was ‘damn, was I offside?’. But that was the nail in the coffin. My first goal of the year. I chose the right match,” Tjernström told Canal Plus.
AIK had a one point lead over IKF in the table going into what turned out to be the decisive match of the season, meaning a draw would have been sufficient to give AIK the championship.
But Gothenburg midfielder Tomas Olsson showed he had the guts to make AIK fight for the win when he used his stomach to redirect a shot by teammate Erik Lund past AIK keeper Daniel Örlund in the 32nd minute.
The home crowd erupted in celebration, as the goal effectively put IFK in the top spot. But the Gothenburg squad wasn’t destined to relish the taste of a Swedish league title for long.
In the match’s 55th minute, Brazilian striker Antonio Flávio, picked up by AIK over the summer, took a skillful feed from Martin Mutumba and rifled the equalizer past Gothenburg goalkeeper Kim Christensen.
The goal returned control of the hard fought match to AIK, who never looked back.
“It feels wonderful – most of all for AIK and all the fans. We’re living in a dream,” Mikael Stahre, the 34-year-old AIK trainer who directed his squad to the Swedish title less than a year after taking the job, told fotballdirekt.se.