One draw, one win for Montenegro
In two test matches in the past week and on the weekend FYR Macedonia and Montenegro used the opportunity to test several new players and find their form two months out of the EHF EURO 2012.
FYR Macedonia celebrated after a 30-all draw in the first match against the 2012 Olympic Games silver medallist while Montenegro cruised to a 28:20 victory in the second match.
Montenegro came to the town of Ohrid without Bojana Popović and Maja Savić, who both retired after the London Games, as well Ana Radović who has announced the end of her career in the national team.
Also Montenegro’s Katarina Bulatovic and Milena Knežević missed the matches as they were treated for injuries.
That gave Montenegro’s head coach Dragan Adžić the opportunity to test debutants such as Katarina Perović, Andrea Klikovac and Jelena Despotović.
In the first match Montenegro was leading by four goals in the 42th minute before Adžić decided to take left-back Marija Jovanović, who had scored eight goals and assisted seven until then, and experienced line player Ana Đokić, off the court.
The match then finished in a 30-all draw.
“It is normal to be happy, they are the Olympic vice champions,” said FYR Macedonia’s head coach Gino Strezovski.
“We missed many good chances but overall I am pleased with how we have played.”
Montenegro was the dominant team in the second match which they won 28:20.
Adžić decided to rest the most experienced players, Sonja Barjaktarović, Marija Jovanovic, Anđela Bulatoviž and Ana Đokić.
"In this game, the goal was to give a chance to all players who have not played at the Olympic Games in London, primarily in the back positions,” Adzic said. “They absolutely justified my expectations.”
Goalkeeper Marina Vukčević (pictured) was also very pleased with the result. “I am proud because we have proved our value playing without the most experienced players. My teammates were really great in defence and they helped me a lot to have good statistics, which is merit of the whole team. This is a good introduction for the EHF EURO 2012 in Serbia.”
For the EHF EURO 2012 FYR Macedonia’s coach Strezovski will not be able to count on the advice of his assistant coach Natalya Todorovska (both pictured right) as the former Macedonian national player is expecting a baby. She will watch the matches from home.
“I am getting too nervous, if I am next to the court. It will be better for me, if I am in a bed or a comfortable chair,” she said.
“The goal remains the same. We want to get into the Main Round and we will try to achieve this in all of our three (group) matches against France, Denmark or Sweden. I believe on them will fall.”
TEXT: Saša Jončić / Goran Antevski / ts