Montenegro show no mercy against Slovakia

MATCH REPORT: The defending champions have reached the main round, after they showed class to upstage Slovakia 28:24 in Group D

Photo: Stephane Pillaud

The Montenegrin team seems to have their Women's EHF EURO 2014 form very well timed, as the defending champions are playing better in each of their Group D encounters.

They allowed Slovakia into the game for a mere eight minutes of the first half before springing to life winning easily 28:24. Mehmedovic and Radicevic, with 4 and 6 goals respectively, showed brilliance on both wings as Montenegro sat firmly in the driving seat throughout the match.

Leading by 13 goals at one point they even had the chance to give their youngsters some much-needed court time at the Women's EHF EURO.

"I am glad that we played some good defence and created many opportunities to score easy goals," said left wing Majda Mehmedovic.

"That was the key because we could later give a chance to younger player to feel how is it to play at an EHF EURO."

Slovakia did well to match the pace set by the Montenegrin team up to the eighth minute (4:4), when Majda Mehmedovic stole the show scoring all four of her goals by 15th minute of the match with the score at 7:5.

Mehmedovic was in top form defensively in the first half, neutralizing Lydia Jakubisova, arguably the most perilous threat in Slovakian team.

Montenegro then increased the pressure on the underdogs, recording five goals unanswered leading to a 12:6.

Milena Knezevic brought the difference between the teams to ten goals. Montenegro led with 19:9, with two minutes before the end of first the half.

The defending champions, milking the clock in last two minutes, tried different tactical solutions, with right winger Jovanka Radicevic often used at the second line player.

The crowd in Gradski Vrt arena in Osijek witnessed beautifully crafted team play from the champions who set up Radicevic to score in the dying minutes of the first half, just after coach Adzic had asked for a timeout.

The half-time score reading 10:20, left no doubt for a Montenegro win. They took this chance to rest their key players, while allowing their talented youngsters a chance to shine on the EHF EURO stage.

A double-digit lead in the second half allowed the fans to enjoy some very attractive handball from Montenegro.

Adzic used the opportunity to showcase some of the attacking flair his usually defence-oriented players have. The led with 13 goals (11:24) by the 39th minute.

Dubajova tried her best to reduce the deficit, assisting and scoring two goals in quick succession, following up with an attractive assist to Andrea Czanik mid-way through the second half.

Despite this, Montenegro remained confidently in the driving seat leading 14:25 with only 16 minutes to play.

Adzic showed the great strength his team have to offer in rotation, allowing 18-year-old Ema Ramusovic, Djurdjina Malovic, as well as Djurdjina Jaukovic a chance to prove their merit in their first Women's EHF EURO outing.

Considered one of the most talented players of her generation, Malovic repaid the faith shown by the Montenegrin tactician by scoring two goals.

Dubajova was unmoved by the dominance displayed by Montenegro. Playing for pride, she scored six goals and set up her teammates to lower the difference to single digits with five minutes to play (22:28).

Hornakova and Jakubisova then led by example, taking advantage of Montenegro's attempt to rest their best defenders, scoring two goals each in the dying minutes, leaving the final score at 24:28.

written by Nemanja Savic / bc / ts


Highlights from Qualification Round 3