Okumu: Kenya star leads IF Elfsborg past IFK Gothenburg to vital win

The Harambee Stars stopper impressed in the battle as his side picked up their first three points in the top-tier

Kenya international Joseph Okumu featured for the entire 90 minutes as IF Elfsborg started their league campaign in the Swedish top-tier on a winning note on Sunday.

The Sweden top-flight finally returned on Sunday after it was halted owing to the coronavirus pandemic and Okumu was handed the starting role as his side beat IFK Gothenburg 1-0 in the away match played at Gamla Ullevi.

Per Frick was the hero for Elfsborg after he finished off a cross from the right-wing to score the all-important goal which handed them a winning start to the season.

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Elfsborg fired in a couple of corners inside the box, as the towering Okumu worked hard and was snuffed out the danger time after time.

Elfsborg, however, suffered a huge blow in the opening minutes of the match when striker Jesper Karlsson had to leave the pitch due to a knee injury.

The goal would instead, arrive seven minutes later. 

After some quick interchanges outside the penalty area, Jesper Karlsson found Frick, who in turn passed to Rasmus Alm, who looked to be shooting, but instead, he sent the ball back to Frick who in front of the open goal thundered it into the net.

Elfsborg headed into the half-time break leading 1-0 and after the resumption, they still kept pressing the home side and Okumu once watched helplessly as a flying header kissed over the bar.

Elfsborg continued with their runs, and in particular Johan Larsson from his right-back position, but they could not make the moves count with a goal.

Elfsborg manager Jimmy Thelin decided to make some changes with just over a quarter of an hour left to play. 

First, goal scorer Frick along with Rasmus Alm were benched for Morocco’s Ndione and Jacob Ondrejka and shortly after, Samuel Holmen replaced Robert Gojani.

Despite the changes, the scoreline did not change as Elfsborg bagged the crucial points and their first win against Gothenburg since 2003.

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Elfsborg Starting lineup (4-5-1):  Tim Rönning – Johan Larsson, Joseph Okumu, Leo Väisänen, Simon Strand – Rasmus Alm (77), Simon Olsson (95), Frederik Holst, Robert Gojani (80), Jesper Karlsson – Per Frick (76).

Substitutes: Mathias Dyngeland, Gustav Henriksson, Christopher McVey, Samuel Holmén (80), Deniz Hümmet (95), Jacob Ondrejka (77), Marochy Ndione (76).

Warnings, IFE:  Per Frick (69).

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