World Championship 2017 Germany

Sensational victory for Japan against Montenegro

photo: IHF official
Sensational victory for Japan against Montenegro

Oldenburg, Germany

EWE Arena

Montenegro –  Japan 28 –  29 (15 – 12)


Montenegro –  Radicevic 7, Bulatovic 3, Raicevic 4, Grbic 4, B.Klikovac 3, Jaukovic 1, Brnovic 6, Despotovic 1

Japan –  Ikehara 9, Sunami 4, Yokoshima 3, Katzuren 1, Hara 2, Sasaki 3, Nagata 2, Matsumura 5

Suspensions: 4minutes; 2 minutes

7 meters: 3/2; 3/2

Player of the match: Ayaka Ikehara (JPN)

Montenegro and Japan have already collected two points each and also lost one match each. Both teams came her to Germany with new head coaches, both Scandinavians. Ulrik Kirkely tries to build on fastbreaks based on her player’s physical qualities, meanwhile, Per Johansson mixes the strong, solid defensive work with fastbreaks and distance shooters.

The first ten minutes of this game were balanced, Montenegro had a slight one-goal advantage mostly, Japan managed to level the game at 4-4, then Montenegro led bt Radicevic managed to take back the lead 5-4 and increase it to 8-5, 9-6, 11-7, 12-8. Japan managed to fight back at 13-11, 14-12, but the half ended 15-12 for Montenegro.

Japan managed to reduce the gap in the first minutes of the second half, 17-16, but Montenegro scores – Despotovic, Radicevic- and the difference is again 19-16. Japan is still dangerous and the Balcanic team cannot relax one second in face of them. When both Radicevic and Bulatovic get suspensions, Japan attacks with two extra players and managed to level the game 20-20(41.min). Japan is in lead 20-21 after a seven-meter scored  (44.min) and increased it to two-goal lead 21-23 (Hara),  than to three-goal 22-25 (Ikehara 9.goal). Japan was still in lead, 23-25, 24-25, 25-26 when Per Johansson called a time-out and tried to calm down his team. The timeout was helpful as Montenegro scored and leveled the game 27-27, but Sunami put the ball behind Nenezic again, 27-28. A well playing Brnovic scored from the line, 28-28, but a half minute before the end Yokoshima got back Japan in lead.

The match of nerves was played here in the dying minutes Japan with the chance to get a sensational result, by beating a European team after getting a point against Brazil, and Montenegro nervous because of losing important points. Montenegro had the ball to get the equalizer, but Bulatovic gave a wrong pass to the wing and Ikehara collected the ball with 5 seconds left of the match. Per Johansson was involved in a verbal fight with Ulrik Kirkely at the end of the game, he got a suspension, but this did not affect the final result of the match, 28-29 for Japan.



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World Championship 2017 Germany

Hungarian living in Norway with a great passion for handball, primarly women handball. Travels all over the world to follow handball matches and tournaments and to write good articles on this website.

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