Kolding edge closer to top spot after beating BesiktasArticle
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GROUP B MATCH REVIEW: KIF gained ground on Group B leaders Barcelona after a hard-fought home win against Besiktas thanks to impressive performances from Bo Spellerberg and Kim Andersson.

Kolding edge closer to top spot after beating Besiktas   

Besiktas’s hopes of reaching the last 16 were dashed before they even arrived in Denmark but the Turkish champions nevertheless put up a spirited fight against their more illustrious hosts in this entertaining VELUX EHF Champions League Group B fixture.

Having taken an early lead, Besiktas threatened to cause an upset all afternoon but were eventually overwhelmed by an avalanche of goals from left back Bo Spellerberg and Swede Kim Andersson, whose heroics put Kolding hot on the heels of group leaders Barcelona.


KIF Kolding Kobenhavn (DEN) vs Besiktas MOGAZ HT (TUR) 34:31 (19:16)

Given the difference in stature and points tallies between these two teams, one might have expected a one-sided affair as Kolding won the reverse fixture in Istanbul 33:24 and had already booked their last 16 ticket while Besiktas had only pride to play for, after taking just two points from seven games.

However, a surprisingly good start by the visitors showed in no uncertain terms that the Danish outfit would have to work hard for the points most of their fans had already chalked in.

Driven by Croatian left wing Ivan Nincevic and Serb left back Predrag Dacevic, plucky Besiktas took an 8-6 lead and forced the home team to play at full throttle for the remainder of the first half, as Bo Spellerberg unleashed a variety of unstoppable shots from all angles.

The towering left back finished the first half with eight goals, one more than he scored in the entire reverse fixture, linking up superbly with Kim Andersson as the pair turned the tide before the interval.

Kolding continued with entertaining and efficient attacking play in the second half but relaxed in defence, allowing the battling visitors to keep breathing down their necks, with Dacevic and Nincevic exploiting the gaps to keep the home fans on the edge of their seats.

Spellerberg and Andersson were relentless, though, the former finishing with a game-high 12 goals while the latter scored seven. 

With time for a turnaround running out, Kolding held on comfortably to their three-goal lead in the final few minutes and can now look forward to a mouth-watering trip to Barcelona after the winter break with just one point separating the teams at the top of Group B.

Nincevic led Besiktas with seven goals, right back Ramazan Done netted six and Dacevic chipped in with five.  

TEXT: Zoran Milosavljevic / jh