London learned highest-level lesson
KIF Kolding secured the expected comfortable win over London GD in the EHF Cup last weekend, but the English team came away from the competition having learned much.
The Danish team ran out easy 88-32 winners on aggregate over the two games. Saturday’s game was won 46-16, with Boris Schnuchel scoring 19 goals and establish a new record in the competition.
Philippe Seray, London GD’s assistant coach, said afterwards: "They were very fast and played all the fast breaks through him. But they were really respectful and played consistently on a high tempo and really let their handball flow." But the English team was not completely outclassed, with goalkeeper Paulo Sergio Barbossa playing well, saving a few penalties and fast breaks.
"After the game we had dinner with all the players. It was great to spend time with these stars and talk about our two very different handball worlds," added Jordi Ferrer Torras, playmaker for London GD.
For Sunday’s game the English side had the surprise of seeing about 20 people coming to support them, fully dressed with red T-shirts labelled London GD.
Head Coach Zhivo Tochev added: "Physically it's tough for us to have two games of this intensity in two days, but we knew we could do a little bit better. The British team managed to keep the goal difference under 30 goals (42-16), thanks again to a great game by the London goalkeepers and a good performance by Francesc Corredera Salvado with six goals.
But KIF’s left wing was again in great form and this time it was Stefan Hundstrup who led the scoring with 13 goals. Kasper Hvidt, who made trips to attack a couple of times, managed to get his name on the scoresheet – as did Paulo Sergio Barbossa who scored from his goal in the empty Danish net.
"This was the highest level of handball we ever had to face," says Radu Miclaus, executive director of London GD. "But we learnt a lot and even if the goal difference is huge, we think we can build on this for our coming season.
"Throughout the weekend they really treated us like professionals, they fully took care of us, and we are all very grateful to KIF Kolding for this experience."
Photo: Frank Cilius and London GD
TEXT: Colas Hillaireau