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02.06.2016, 20:39
Youngster Jaukovic proves match winner for Montenegro
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MATCH REVIEW: Women’s EHF EURO 2012 champions turn around their qualification match in Skopje in last quarter.
 

Youngster Jaukovic proves match winner for Montenegro

The Women’s EHF EURO 2012 champions were extremely shaken in the middle of the second half in Skopje, but Dragan Adzic’s Montenegro remained on the road to Sweden with their fourth victory in five matches, but qualification for Sweden 2016 is not guaranteed yet.

With eight points in their account and lying top of Qualification Phase 2, Group 4 after Croatia’s defeat in Slovenia yesterday left both teams on six points, Montenegro, along with Croatia can book their tickets to Sweden if Russia win in Portugal as they will end at least as the best third-place team in the qualification phase.

With the loss, the brave Macedonians, despite their fighting qualities, remain on zero points at the bottom of Group 4.

Group 4: FYR Macedonia vs Montenegro 21:27 (12:13)

Since 2012 the Macedonian women’s team have not won any of their EHF EURO qualification matches but this evening (Thursday 2 June) they were close to pulling off one of the biggest surprises in all the qualification groups as teams approach the end of the fight to qualify for Sweden 2016.

Montenegro had mostly been ahead before the half-time break, but five straight goals either side of the pause from the hosts turned a 13:11 deficit into a 16:13 lead as the crowd in Skopje cheered on a three-goal lead.

The lead continued right up until 14 minutes before the end of the match as the hosts were ahead 20:18 against the clearly-favoured Montenegrins, but a lack of power saw them unable to keep the lead right up until the end.

Within nine cruel minutes for the Macedonians, Montenegro stepped up a gear or two and showed their strength, experience and class, going on a 6:0 run to make it 24:20 in their favour and deciding the neighbour’s duel which before the impressive run had been absolutely equal.

But FYR Macedonia were not the only team to spring a surprise as the Montenegrins also had their own; their best scorer was not world superstar Katarina Bulatovic, who only sat on the bench, nor back court shooter Milena Raicevic, who netted five times, or even left wing Majda Mehmedovic who struck six, but their outstanding young talent Djurdjina Jaukovic, who scored seven goals and was the key in crucial stages of the match.

For the Macedonians, Sara Ristovska had a brilliant night, scoring six times from six attempts, but she alone was not enough to help her side take their first points in this qualification group as even two team time-outs could not stop the Macedonian’s downturn in those last 14 minutes.


TEXT: Bjorn Pazen/amc
 
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