NEWS REPORT: EHF EURO 2014 defeat fresh in the Montenegrin memory as they are provided with a chance to make up for it with a spot in Qatar
Montenegro keen for revenge against Belarus
Montenegro pepares to face familiar faces in the form of Belarus in the 2015 World Championship play-offs.
In January, Belarus got the better of Montenegro 29:23 (13:13) and the victory enabled Belarus to qualify for the EHF EURO 2014 Main Round, while Montenegro had to pack their bags and go home.
With that in mind, Montenegro will have plenty of added motivation, besides the prospect of a ticket to Qatar.
New Montenegro coach Ljubomir Obradovic left out five players from the team which played in Denmark: top scorer of the game with Belarus, right back Marko Simovic, right wing Marko Lasica, centre back Mirko Milasevic, right back Ivan Perisic and left wing Milos Vujovic.
PSG handball right wing Fahrudin Melic is back in the team, as is 37-year-old defensive specialist Goran Lasica and line player Marko Pejovic.
"We have a chance, I have no dilemma. Belarus is not a bogey team, they are a good team, but we can play with them.
“If we do our best, I am optimist. Playing at the World Championship would be great thing, especially for young players. There no greater motivation than playing in front of handball elite,” admitted Fahrudin Melic.
There is another old name in the squad – right back Dusan Tomic, playing in French second division with SMV Vernon. He was first on the list for the EHF EURO 2008 in Norway, but he missed the championship, and his only game in a Montenegro jersey was in October 2009 in Sarajevo, a friendly game with Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Since then, he has been called up to the squad several times by previous coaches Kasim Kamenica and Zoran Kastratovic, but never had the chance to play an official game. He will have that chance against Belarus.
"I was surprised when I got the invitation to play for Montenegro, but I was thrilled, because it’s a special feeling to play for the national team.
“We have to prepare well and try to get a positive result in both games. It will very difficult, but we will do our best. I will, hopefully, contribute with my experience," said the 34-year-old.
The sides play the first leg in Podgorica’s Moraca hall on Sunday 8 June, with the second leg scheduled for 15 June in Minsk.
The Montenegro squad:
Goalkeepers: Rade Mijatovic (Metalurg, FYR Macedonia), Marko Rajkovic (Valence handball, France), Nebojsa Simic (HK Malmö, Sweden)
Left wings: Igor Markovic (Lovćen), Milan Popovic (Lovcen)
Right wings: Fahrudin Melić (PSG handball, France), Mirko Radovic (Lovcen)
Line players: Mladen Rakcevic (AEK, Greece), Nemanja Grbovic (Radnicki, Serbia), Marko Pejovic (OCI Nitrogen-Lions, Netherlands)
Left backs: Vasko Sevaljevic (TSV Hannover-Burgdorf, Germany), Vuko Borozan (Metalurg, FYR Macedonia), Goran Lasica (Lovcen)
Centre backs: Stevan Vujovic (Sélestat Alsace Handball, France), Zarko Pejovic (Tatran Presov, Slovakia), Bogdan Petricevic (Mulhouse HB Sud Alsace, France), Bozidar Andjelic (Crvena zvezda, Serbia)
Right backs: Vladan Lipovina (Globalcaja C. Encantada, Spain), Dusan Tomic (SMV Vernon ST Marcel HB, France)
TEXT: Saša Jončić / cor
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