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10.06.2014, 09:59
FYR Macedonia ready to stop Germany
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PREVIEW: Following two defeats in the opening qualifiers against Russia, only a win counts for FYR Macedonia when they meet Germany in the Women's EHF EURO 2014 Qualification on Wednesday
 

FYR Macedonia ready to stop Germany

FYR Macedonia, hosts of the Women’s EHF EURO 2008, started their qualification campaign to the final tournament this December in Hungary and Croatia with two defeats against Russia in March.

A disappointing first game performance saw them losing 23:36 in Rostov-Don, before they improved in the second match in Skopje but still went down 24:31.

It means that the young team cannot afford another loss when they meet Germany for their final two EHF EURO 2014 qualifiers on Wednesday and Saturday this week. The Wednesday match is streamed live on ehfTV.com.

"Looking back at the qualification matches against Russia, I can only be satisfied with the performance in the first half in Russia and in the second one in FYR Macedonia," says head coach Risto Magdincev.

"We have a young team and we did not play well in attack, but at the end it turned out that the decisive factor was the wider roster that Russia had on both matches as well as their experience."

Before the start of the EHF EURO 2014 Qualification FYR Macedonia had to replace several experienced players such as Mirjeta Bajramoska and Biljana Crvenkovska, who stopped playing for the national team.

Magdincev knows that the burden on his young players’ shoulders is huge.

"We didn't have much luck with the draw because we have to play against these two experienced teams.

"Our team was in a position when we had to use the players from the second squad while Germany and Russia have a list of players who have been playing together for some years already," the head coach says.

"I can say that we made a bit of progress from the last qualification matches. Our weakest position at this point is the goalkeeper. Our first choice, Dijana Naumovska, is not able to play. She will be only ready to help the national team in future qualifications."

If Germany win the first match on Wednesday, FYR Macedonia will have to wait for at least another two years to get the next chance to qualify for a Women’s EHF EURO event, but team captain Robertina Mechevska remains optimistic.

"Much will depend on our own performance. We will try to stop the German team with good play in defence and fast breaks.

"We will also try to play calm in attack in order to minimise tactical mistakes. Germany are the absolute favourites in the match, but we will give our best," she says.

The FYR Macedonia squad for the EHF EURO 2014 qualification matches against Germany

Goalkeepers: Natasa Antik (WHC Metalurg), Sara Petkovska (WHC Metalurg)

Wingers: Jovana Sazdovska (WHC Metalurg), Dragica Mitrova (WHC Metalurg), Simona Nikolovska (WHC Metalurg), Sara Ristovska (WHC Metalurg)

Back court players: Elena Livrinikj (WHC Metalurg), Damjana Jovanovska (WHC Metalurg), Tea Karamitcieva (WHC Metalurg), Ivana Sazdonvski (Vardar SCBT), Andrea Beleska (WHC Metalurg), Gabriela Velichkovska (WHC Metalurg), Dusica Gjorgievska (WHC Metalurg), Simona Grozdanovska (WHC Metalurg), Elena Gjorgievska (Buducnost), Zorica Despotovska (HF Lugi)

Line players: Robertina Mechevska (WHC Metalurg), Natasha Mladenovska (WHC Metalurg), Lenche Ilkova (Üsküdar B.S.K.)


TEXT: Amina Idrizi / ts
 
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