Larsson’s Falkenberg earn final day draw to stay up

The final round of Allsvenskan games was overshadowed by the death of former Sweden international and Elfsborg manager Klas Ingesson this week after a five-year battle with cancer.

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Falkenberg coach Larsson had tears in his eyes during the minute’s silence to honour his national team mate, whose death has prompted an outpouring of grief in Sweden. Both men played key roles in the team that came third at the 1994 World Cup.

Falkenberg, with a tiny budget compared to the big Swedish clubs and favourites to go down since the start of the season, began the day fourth from bottom, two places above Mjallby.

They looked safe when Daniel Keat gave them the lead just past the half-hour mark but Joel Enarsson’s 68th-minute equaliser ensured a nervy but ultimately successful climax to the season for Falkenberg as they hung on for the draw.

Malmo FF, who face Atletico Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday, had already secured a second successive championship victory, romping to the title with three games left to play.

Finishing with 62 points from 30 games, Malmo will enter the qualifying stages of the Champions League again next season, with runners-up IFK Gothenburg (56) and third-placed AIK (52) entering the Europa League qualifying stages.

Elfsborg, shaken by Ingesson’s death, took to the pitch at already-relegated Brommapojkarna, who lost captain Pontus Segerstrom to a brain tumour two weeks earlier, wearing shirts with the ex-Sweden midfielder’s picture on them.

There were poignant tributes to both men before and during the game, which Elfsborg won 1-0 to finish fourth, level on points with AIK but with a worse goal difference.

Struggling Gefle IF won 2-1 against visiting Helsingborg to finish third from bottom, one point behind Falkenberg on 32.

They face a playoff with the third-placed team in the Superettan, the second tier which holds its final round of matches on Sunday, to see if they can stay up.

(Reporting by Philip O’Connor; editing by Ken Ferris)