It was boiling hot at SKF Arena on Heden, as B17 teams Leeds United and IFK Göteborg matched up against each other in their first match.
Both teams were vying for a win which would carry them closer to taking home the Gothia Trophy, a category only invited teams get to participate in.
Even though the first half didn’t offer any goals, it was a thrilling and close match, with chances on either side of the pitch.
And since the matches on the SKF Arena was a bit delayed due to different circumstances, it was only a short rest for the players at half time before it was time to start playing in the heat again.
After a few tries from the arena’s host to get some support for the home team, second half kicked off, with the temperature peaking at 27 degrees celsius.
Early in the second half, Leeds United got a good chance to score from a free kick, but came up empty. Instead, it was IFK Göteborg who managed to score on a free kick a few minutes later, as captain Rasmus Wikström curled in a free kick.
Leeds United answered immediately with an equaliser, when Henri Kumwenda pulled away from his defender and put away 1-1 over the keeper’s hands.
The English team then controlled the game for a period, but Göteborg soon managed pulled themselves back into the game. With ten minutes to go on the match clock, the Swedish team almost took the lead via a header on a lofted free kick.
Cool penalty taker
A few minutes later, they were awarded a penalty after a tackle in the box, and while Emil Holm prepared to take the shot, the players took the chance to drink some water in the tropical heat.
The penalty taker didn’t let the temperature affect him, and cooly slotted home what would be the final result, 2-1 to IFK Göteborg.
How did you feel when walking up to the penalty spot?
“It’s just fun, I’m comfortable in those types of situations,” said match winner Emil Holm after the game.
“Right now it feels wonderful, with the win and everything.”
How did the heat affect you today?
“You just have to keep running. It’s Gothia Cup, and we are going to win this,” said Emil Holm.
In the B17 class of the Gothia Trophy, a total of 12 teams from Sweden compete alongside 12 international teams. This year, FC Cavalier will participate as the first team from Jamaica in the tournament.
Last year, Right to Dream from Ghana won the final against Nigerian TikiTaka Academy, and both teams are back this year to compete for the title.