Mutual respect between evergreen goalkeepersArticle
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FACE TO FACE: When KIF Kolding København and SG Flensburg-Handewitt meet in Group B of the VELUX EHF Champions League Sunday, it will be a duel between two extremely experienced world class goalkeepers, Kasper Hvidt and Mattias Andersson

Mutual respect between evergreen goalkeepers

On Sunday afternoon, two goalkeepers with two years between them, 38-year-old Kasper Hvidt and 36-year-old Mattias Andersson, will be standing at each end of the court in the Tre For Arena in Kolding, when KIF Kolding København take on reigning VELUX EHF Champions League winners SG Flensburg-Handewitt in Group B.

It will not only be a duel between two extremely experienced goalkeepers – some would call them veterans – but also a meeting between two goalkeepers who are still among the best in the world.

Quite naturally, it will also be a meeting between two goalkeepers with impressive CV´s.

Mattias Andersson has two EHF Champions League triumphs to show for himself – in 2007 with THW Kiel and last season with Flensburg.

Kasper Hvidt has never won the Champions League, but with the Danish national team he has a gold medal from the EHF EURO 2008 and a silver medal from the 2011 World Championship.

Neither of the two top keepers remembers the first time they met in a match, but they both state that there has been a lot of meetings between them on the handball court.

Goalkeeper duels almost always decisive

Ahead of their face to face meeting in Kolding, both keepers show a natural respect for each other.

“The goalkeeper duel is almost always decisive in modern handball. You very seldom see a team lose the goalkeeper duel and clearly and win the game. This match will probably be won by the team which get its defence, including the goalkeeper, to function best,” Kasper Hvidt tells

His colleague from Flensburg agrees, saying: “Kolding have an extremely strong defence and a strong and experienced goalkeeper in Kasper Hvidt, and that will make it a tough match for us,” says Mattias Andersson, who has a lot of respect for his Danish adversary.

“He is a goalkeeper who waits a long time for the shooter to make his move. He can do that because he is so experienced and his reactions are so fast. That makes him extremely difficult to play against. He probably has some weaknesses, all goalkeepers do, and fortunately, we have so many players who have played against Kasper many a time and who know him well,” the Swedish international says.

Kasper Hvidt, who quit the Danish national team in 2010, also has a lot of good things to say about Mattias Andersson.

“He is an extremely good goalkeeper and he has become particularly good after joining Flensburg. His experience and his physical strength play together very well with his fast reactions these days, and that makes him a very important player for Flensburg.

“However, all goalkeepers are dependent on a strong defence in front of them, and that goes for both of us,” concludes Hvidt.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / cor