Ground: Bergaviks Idrottsplats
Date: 19th October 2013
Match: IFK Berga - Högaborg 1-1 (Play-off to Division 2)
My main match this weekend was Åtvidaberg vs Helsingborg. Kopparvallen in Åtvidaberg has been redeveloped in recent years and since my visit in 2007 three new stands have been built. I have been invited by the club to take new pictures of the ground to put on my website. With Åtvidaberg being around 400 km from Kristianstad I wanted to visit another match as well. There weren´t too many options but I was delighted to find out the Division 2/3 play-off between IFK Berga and Högaborg was scheduled for Saturday afternoon. IFK Berga are based in northern Kalmar and with Kalmar being on the route to Åtvidaberg IFK Berga vs Högaborg was a perfect match to combine with my visit to Åtvidaberg. Next year the six Division 2 leagues will be expanded from 12 to 14 teams meaning only one team (directly) relegated from Division 2. The team finishing second from bottom (in this case Högaborg) made it to a three-team qualification group. The other two teams (in this case IFK Berga and Haga) finished second in their Division 3 league. The top two teams then make it to Division 2. Högaborg are based in Helsingborg and have Henrik Larsson as their assistant manager. His son (Jordan) plays in the team as well. This Saturday was probably the first time a former Champions League winner visited Bergaviks IP. I actually arrive at the same time as Högaborg and could see the locals getting excited when they spotted Henrik Larsson. IFK Berga played 1-1 against Haga last weekend meaning a winner of the match today would be securing promotion to Division 2.
As I passed the entrance, some 70 minutes before kick-off, the weather was quite nice with around 9 °C and some sunshine. Bergaviks IP is situated close to the Baltic Sea but it wasn´t windy this afternoon. The far (east) side of the ground has two small stands. For Division 3 (and Division 2 for that matter) matches I guess there is no need for any new stands at Bergaviks IP to be built. In total 673 was at Bergaviks IP which is a good attendance for this level. The match started with Högaborg looking much the better team, they were faster and created several chances. When Högaborg made it 1-0 I thought they would win this play-off match quite comfortable. Berga played better and better though but still 1-0 to Högaborg and half-time. In the second half Berga, being much more physical, created most of the chances and they managed to equalise in the 62nd minute. Berga then hit the post before finding the net again but the goal was ruled off-side. The last few minutes it was end to end stuff but the match finished 1-1. In case of two teams finishing level in the group the match was decided by a penalty shoot-out. Berga beat Haga in the shoot-out last weekend but this time they lost to Högaborg. Next weekend Högaborg play Haga, 1-1 and there will be a very tense penalty shoot-out at Harlyckans IP. 2-2 and both Högaborg and Haga will be in Division 2 next year. It will for sure be an exciting match.
Entrance to Bergaviks IP
Henrik Larsson signing autographs
A closer look....
A closer look....
Henrik Larsson before the match
View of play
View of play
IFK Berga youth players