08/12/2020

Montenegro down Slovenia to earn main round berth

GROUP A REVIEW: It was a crucial game for both sides, but Slovenia failed to really get going until late in the game and Montenegro’s 26:25 win take them to the main round

France and Denmark were already through to the main round after the first two matches in Group A, meaning that Montenegro and Slovenia would tough it out for the third qualifying place in the last round.

Despite a better start, Slovenia faltered; Montenegro were there to take advantage when it mattered and progress to the next phase of the EHF EURO 2020 after a 26:25 win.

GROUP A

Montenegro vs Slovenia 26:25 (15:9)

  • the Montenegrin side avoiding their worst-ever losing run in the history of the EHF EURO, four games in a row, by defeating Slovenia for the fifth time in as many competitive games played between the two sides
  • Montenegro needed five minutes and 34 seconds to score their first goal, but went on a 9:1 run, prompted by right wing Jovanka Radicevic and right back Jelena Despotovic, who both scored twice
  • Slovenian ace right back Ana Gros was limited to two goals from five shots in the first half, as she exits the tournament with only 14 goals scored in three games
  • riding a better second half by Gros, Slovenia opened their own 7:2 run to cut the gap to three goals, 25:22, with seven minutes to go, but it was too little, too late
  • for the fifth time in a row, Slovenia fail to progress to the main round in the EHF EURO, while Montenegro keep their perfect record of qualifying for the second phase of the competition
  • tMontenegro will start the main round without a point, after losing against both France and Denmark in the first two games

Joka still leads by example

Jovanka Radicevic is the heart and soul of the Montenegrin team and she thoroughly helped once again her team against Slovenia. The right wing scored nine goals in the first two game of the competition, but came out stronger this evening, adding another nine against Slovenia.

Radicevic, the Grundfos Player of the Match, may not win the top goal scorer competition, like she did in the DELO EHF Champions League last season, but she is definitely one of, if not the best, right wings at the EHF EURO 2020. 

Match reaction

Montenegro coach Kim Rasmussen said: "I am a happy coach today. These players fight so good today, they do everything they can, but they always keep me on my toes. They make me work for my money. 

"We are not satisfied only with taking part, we want to win each and every game in the main round and we will fight for that.”

Slovenia right back Ana Gros said: “I think we just woke up too late, the seven-goal deficit was too big to catch up. We fought, but it was not enough, I just hope we can learn something from this and be better in the future.”

written by Adrian Costeiu / jh