Saturday, November 12, 2011

12 November 1944 - Gunnar Shoots. And Scores. Seven Times.

On 12 November 1944, striker Gunnar Nordahl matched a Swedish league record by scoring seven goals in one match. And nobody else has done it since.

From the beginning of his professional career, Nordahl was a prolific scorer, with 124 goals in 118 league appearances for with Hörnefors IF (1937-40) and Degerfors IF (1940-44). In 1944, he moved to IFK Norrköping where he proceeded to win four consecutive Allsvenskan titles. En route to the first one, he delivered his record-matching performance against Landskrona BoIS.

The day's first score fell to Eric Holmqvist, who put Norrköping up 1-0 in the 5th minute. Five minutes later, Nordahl started his run, scoring seven straight goals in the 10th, 21st, 24th, 27th, 41st, 46th, and 79th minutes. His brother Knut Nordahl added one in the 89th minute before Landskrona's Gunnar Anderberg took meager consolation with a goal in the 90th minute.

Nordahl's haul matched that of Arne Hjertsson, who had just set the mark in June of the previous year in a match for Malmö FF against Halmstads BK. Since Nordahl, however, nobody else has managed to repeat the feat.

Nordahl eventually moved to AC Milan in 1949 and scored 210 goals from the Rossoneri in 257 league appearances. He scored an additional 15 goals for Roma (1956-58) and is still Serie A's second-top goalscorer of all time, behind Silvio Piola.

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