Belgrade, Pionir Hall
France – Montenegro 17 – 16 (6 – 8)
Topscorers: Alexandra Lacrabére (FRA) 4 goals and Marija Jovanovic (MON) 8 goals
Best player of the match: Ana Djokic (MON)
Big clash between Montenegro and the French team, lead by Alain Porter, in group A. This game will probably decide the winner of the group A, so the pressure is high.
The match started with Montenegrin scoring, but the teams made a close fight, 2 – 2 and 4-4 after a quarter. Mariama Signaté and Amandine Leynaud had a great performance, on the opponent’s side goalkeeper Marina Vukcevic and Majda Mehmedovic showed great play.
In 21.minute a Montenegrin fans has throw a bottle of water into the court, the target was French goalkeeper Amandine Leynaud. The match was stopped and the audience warned to being evacuated if the same situations happens one more time.
We could see a match of defenses and technical mistakes, also a goalkeeper-duel, and the half time result became 6 – 8.
The second half was quiet similar to the first, 6-9, 8 – 10 , 9 – 11, Pineau, Lacrabére and Zaadi has scored for France, Mehmedovic, Djokic and Katarina Bulatovic for Montenegro. The teams were following each other closely in a balanced fight.
After 45 minutes, Montenegro still was in lead, 12 – 14, but French team could not find the rhythm of the game, there was so much precipitation in attack, despite a good defensive activity. Paule Baudouin scored for a draw, 14-14, but Mariama Signaté missed her third shoot in the second half.
Adzic called a timeout to calm down his side, but the score remained equal, France was decided to get at least one point in this match, 16 – 16, 56 minute.
Then Maida Mehmedovic got a penalty and Katarina Bulatovic missed it, when 80 seconds were to go. Alain Porter took his last timeout, hoping to find the right tactical mo for the last minute of the game, and to be able to win the match.
France has the ball to attack, and Mariama Signaté scored a lucky goal, 16 – 17 for France and Dragan Adzic called his last timeout twenty seconds before the final whistle, but his team could not manage to get a draw either, missing the last attack.
Final result: 17 – 16.
Ana Djokic (Montenegro), playmaker:
About the match
” We made a good game, fought until the end, they’ve got a lucky goal in the dying minutes, but we were superior to them all the match. If we will meet them in the next stages, I sure the the victory will be ours.”
“We came here for a medal, this is our goal, and mine especially, since here is my last time in a major tournament. We have to improve our play, we are not in the best shape yet, but we continue to work.”
About possible opponent in the 1/8 finals
“We didn’t really think about who could be the opponent in the next stage, we have to beat every opponent if we will have to get to our dreams and target.
Nina Kamto (France), lineplayer
About the match
” We made a very strong match, and we fought hard for this victory. The opponent had a very though defense, I could feel on my own body, and the referees let this.
I am very proud of my team, every girl had to work really hard to get these two points. We got a lucky goal at the end, but they’ve got it at he Olympic Games, today was ours.
About the placement in the group
“With this victory we took a huge step to get the first place of the group, which would be much easier to us regarding the very strong teams who has the chance to qualify from the group B, like Brazil, Serbia, Denmark, and we could get a better chance to pass the next stage. But every opponent will fight in the knock-out stage, so whoever comes we have to stay strong. I heard that Serbia defeated Denmark today, happy for them because of my two Serbian team mates in Metz, but if we meet them later, then friendship doesn’t count (laughing)
About France’s target for the WCh
“Our target is to grow as a team, because we have many young, inexperienced players at this level, and we have worked together only 23 days before this competition. We need to work together more, to build the team, to progress, to introduce some things. If we manage these so the placement is not so important, from four to eight it will be accepted.
About working with the new coach
“It is something totally different, a lot of movements, especially in attack, which fits to our new players in my opinion. We are preparing with this young team to get to Rio, this is our goal, that’s why we are working, but before that we have to compete here at WCh and ECh.
The workouts are funny, exciting and for Alain Porter the most important is that everybody should feel good on the court, to have fun.”