High Five in CopenhagenArticle
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EXPERT VIEW: ehfTV.com commentator Dave Bregazzi previews Sunday's Match of the Week Xtra clash between KIF Kolding Kobenhavn and RK PPD Zagreb

High Five in Copenhagen

How high must the difference be to win at home and away? That is the question RK PPD Zagreb are asking themselves as they go up to Copenhagen for the second leg of the VELUX EHF Champions League Last 16.

The first match finished 22:17 for Zagreb but will five be enough? At one stage in the game they were even nine goals ahead but with a last minute rush KIF Kolding Kobenhavn came back to reduce the gap to a doable revenge.

Let us not forget the second leg last year when Rhein-Neckar Löwen went down to Barcelona mistakenly thinking that seven goals would be enough from their first leg game at home and we all know what happened there.

The experience that Kolding share between the players, not only that of the returning legend Olafur Stefansson, but also of names such as Kasper Hvidt, Kim Andersson and Torsten Laen who all have Champions League experience running through their veins and deep in their bones.

The young Zagreb talents lacking the big stage experience could be their downfall if they do not keep their heads on and with a coach who loses his very quickly, the contagiousness of panic if the goal difference gets close might get to them in this match.

The low scoring game of 22:17 came about due to a wall defence strategy on both sides that bulldozed anything that tried to break through.

When the second half whistle blew, it took Zagreb 12 minutes to score a goal but Kolding could not take advantage and only scored two in the same time.

It looked like Kolding might never get to grips with the Zagreb´s strong defence until close to the end the 41-year-old Stefansson stepped onto the court.

It was not only his one goal but also his sharp passing which turned the kettle on and helped Zagreb run out of steam. The late turnovers forced by Kolding managed to scrape a result, which could be enough if they can get past the man between the posts, Filip Ivic. The 22-year-old had a saving rate in the first half of 50 % and an overall rate of 43% when the final horn blew.

Quick breaks might be the answer and with all to play for it will mean one goal more every 10 minutes for Kolding, which is nothing in handball. All Zagreb have to do is stop them…

Follow Sunday's Match of the Week Xtra with commentary by David Bregazzi live from 16:50 CET on ehfTV.com

TEXT: David Bregazzi / cor