KIF and Barcelona draw after breathtaking dramaArticle
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GROUP B REVIEW: KIF Kolding Kobenhavn are still leading the group through a better goal difference than their opponents. In the other match Plock claimed two points from a match against Alingsas.

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KIF and Barcelona draw in breathtaking drama

No handball heart can probably ask for more than what KIF Kolding Kobenhavn and FC Barcelona provided in the Match Of The Week in Brondbyhallen, where the top match in Group B of the VELUX EHF Champions League ended in a 27:27 draw.

In the other match in the group on Sunday, Orlen Wisla Plock overcome a shaky period in the second half to defeat Alingsas HK 28:25.

Orlen Wisla Plock (POL) vs Alingsas HK (SWE) 28:25 (15:9)

Wisla Plock had to work hard, before they lived up to their status as favourites against the entirely Swedish outfit from Alingsas who got as close as to only being one goal down in the second half, before the hosts fought off the Swedish approach at the end after all.

Alingsas were leading 1:0 and 2:1, but from 2:1, the visitors did not score for the next 14 minutes. Plock made use of the Swedish scoring break to score eight goals in succession and get up 9:2.

For the rest of the first half, the home team were leading with six or seven goals, but after Alingsas opened the second half with three goals in a row, the signal to a close second half was given.

A brilliant Mikael Aggefors in the Alingsas goal was one of the factors that brought the guests back into the game. Another was their 20-year-old playmaker Jesper Konradsson who scored ten goals, the same as right back Nemanja Zelenovic scored for Wisla Plock.

The brilliantly fighting Swedes continued to put pressure on the Polish favourties and reduced the distance to only one goal at 21:20, but at the end, Plock made their experience count and took a three-goal win which brings them on  four points on fourth position in the group where Alingsas are still without a point.

“In the first half Wisla was too strong for us. They made huge gap and it was really hard to get back to the game,” said Alingsas coach Mikael Franzén, while Plock coach Manuel Cadenas commented: “In the first half we showed that we were ready to play against Alingsas. We knew that they like to play with counter-attacks, using fast-breaks, and we didn’t let them use this weapon against us. After the break Alingsas showed, what they can, but I am glad that at the end of the match we played more aggressive and won the game.”

KIF Kolding Kobenhavn (DEN) vs FC Barcelona (ESP) 27:27 (14:16)

KIF Kolding Kobenhavn are still leading Group B through a better goal difference than their opponents in the Match of The Week on Sunday, after the two teams drew 27:27 in the top match of the group in Brondbyhallen.

More than 5,000 spectators did not only get a great handball match, but also a breathtaking thriller, in which Barcelona seemed to be heading for the win most of the game, but in which KIF refused to give in and snapped a point at the end.

KIF got the better start and a 4:2 lead, but Barcelona soon took over the initiative. The hosts had large problems against Barcelona's enormous physical strength, and furthermore, the home team tended to concentrate their attacking play too much towards the middle of the court in stead of using their wings.

At the other end of the court, the KIF defence had particular problems with Nikola Karabatic, and then they more or less neutralised the elegant Frenchman, did Kiril Lazarov take over from the opposite back position.

It helped KIF a little, when Marcus Cleverly replaced former Barcelona keeper Kasper Hvidt in goal, and the hosts reduced the distance from four goals, which it had been for most of the first half, to two at half time.

In the second half, Barcelona continued to be in control, but a ongoing great effort from goalkeeper Cleverly and a world class performance from Bo Spellerberg in the attack contributed to keeping KIF in the game.

In the last two minutes, then the home managed to catch up completely, as left wing Martin Dolk sent a penalty shot past the otherwise brilliant Danijel Saric in the Barcelona goal to the 27:27.

“In the first half we felt as if we were five or six goals behind, but we never gave up. However, there is no doubt that we were lucky to get a point today,” said KIF Kolding Kobenhavn's defence specialist Lars Jorgensen.

After the draw, Kolding Kobenhavn and Barcelona both have seven points after four matches in the top of the group.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / br