Hvidt saves secure KIF victoryArticle
«Go back

MATCH REVIEW: Danes take the fortress in Kielce, while Aalborg have an easy-going afternoon in all-Scandinavian duel

»EHF CL Channel »2013-14 Men's News

Hvidt saves secure KIF victory

After MKB-MVM Veszprém were the first team to clinch their berth in the VELUX EHF Champions League Last 16 with a narrow win against Celje on Saturday, KIF Kolding took a huge step towards the knock-out stage on Sunday by winning also against Kielce for the second time in a row.

Aalborg easily won the Scandinavian duel against Halmstadt and are clearly on course for the Last 16 as third ranked in group D.

In Round 7, the last one before the EHF EURO 2014 break, up to six teams can book their ticket for the Last 16: Rhein Neckar Löwen, Barcelona, Kiel, Kolding, Hamburg and Flensburg. On the other side of the spectrum, three teams still have zero points on their account.

Group B:

KS Vive Targi Kielce (POL) vs. KIF Kolding Kobenhavn (DEN) 25:26 (16:15)

What a thriller: The final shot, a penalty by Kielce’s Spanish world champion Julen Aguinagalde needed to draw level and Aguinagalde failed. By saving this shot, KIF goalkeeper Kasper Hvidt crowned himself as the match winner for the Danes, after the goalie veteran had already been the key figure in all 120 minutes of this double-header against the Polish champions.

After winning the first leg on home ground, Kolding-Kobenhavn entered the fortress in Kielce to cause the second straight defeat for last season’s VELUX EHF FINAL4 participant – which was even more surprising than last week’s win, as KIF missed four injured key players: Kim Andersson, Iriming Schnuchel, Simon Jensen and Lasse Boesen.

With ten points on their account, the Danes are equal with leaders THW Kiel and two points ahead of Kielce.

Top scorer was KIF left back Bo Spellerberg with seven goals, while Slovenian Uros Zorman struck six times for Kielce.

Boosted by the saves of Hvidt, KIF were already dominant in the opening stages, leading 5:2 after nine minutes. But when Kielce strengthened their defence (including an improving goalkeeper Venjo Losert) and had shot more efficiently, the match turned around for the first time. After equalising, the hosts even forged ahead to a three goal lead at 12:9, but KIF managed to nearly bridge this gap before the break.

The initial part of the second part was exactly the same as the start of the match: KIF took control thanks to Hvidt and the defence. Turning steals into counter-attack goals, Kolding-Kobenhavn calmed down the arena by storming 21:17 and 23:19 ahead with only eleven minutes on the clock.

However, once again, like in the first half, Kielce fought back. Backed by goalkeeper Slawomir Szmal and a highly offensive and mobile defence they caused KIF mistakes and reduced the gap goal by goal. Three minutes before the end, the score was 26:25 – and Hvidt saved three Kielce shots, which could have turned the match again. By saving Aguinagalde’s final penalty he became the hero.

Group D:

Aalborg Handball (DEN) vs. HK DROTT Halmstad (SWE) 37:23 (17:7)

Aalborg are ready for their next neighbour clash next Sunday: The clear win in the Scandinavian duel was a perfect dress rehearsal for the match against German side SG Flensburg next weekend.

Halmstad were little match for the Danish champions, who for the first time had all players involved without any injuries. Aalborg easily forged ahead to double-figures at the break and punished the Swedes with series of counter attack goals. Having eight points on their account they can pass Flensburg, if they beat the Germans on home court.

Halmstad remain with only one point on their account, still three points below the duo of Velenje and La Rioja.

Like in the first leg, Norwegian fast-break specialist Havard Tvedten was the top scorer for Aalborg, striking seven times, followed by youngster Simon Jensen (6). Persson and Löfgren were the best Halmstad scores with five goals each.

TEXT: Björn Pazen / cor