Montenegro reached the 1/8 finals after a thriller against Brazil in the last round, securing the draw only in the last seconds of the match. On the other hand, Serbia arrived to the 1/8 finals without suffering a defeat: besides their three victories, they collected two draws against Germany and Netherlands. Montenegro didn’t want to let the Serbs control the game and they started strong, mostly by some great goals from Katarina Bulatovic (3-6). The Serbians couldn’t recover after the slow start and Montenegro kept increasing the gap between the two sides. Montenegro and especially Jovanka Radicevic was playing with a lot of passion and after 23 minutes played, the difference grew to 6 goals (6-12). The Serbs had a lot of trouble scoring while Montenegro seemed very confident. Until the halftime break, Serbia didn’t manage to decrease the difference significantly (9-14).
The second half was more even than the first one, but after 10 minutes played from the second half, Montenegro scored easy goals and Serbia seemed to be on the ground (14-21). Serbia never gave up fighting and they tried everything to get back into sight but it was hard against the confident Montenegrins. They didn’t really give their opponent a chance to have hopes for the end of the match, still Serbia started one last run and they were closing in to the neighbors (24-27). Although Serbia was pushing hard to save a chance for the last minutes, Montenegro managed to remain concentrated and didn’t lose focus in the most important minutes. Although Serbia decreased the gap to two goals in the end, Serbia didn’t really have the chance for a turnaround. Montenegro was in control throughout the whole 60 minutes and they reached the quarterfinals well-deservedly (29-31). Serbia’s first defeat of the tournament came in the worst possible time – this time, it meant goodbye for the winners of Group D. Montenegro will meet France in the quarterfinals.
IHF Women’s Handball World Championship – 1/8 finals
Serbia – Montenegro 29-31 (9-14)
Serbia: D. Cvijic 7, K. Krpez Slezak 5(1), D. Radojevic 4, T. Radojevic 4(1), Z. Nikolic 3, S. Radosavljevic 2, J. Lavko 1, S. Damnjanovic 1, M. Obradovic 1, M. Dmitrovic 1
Montenegro: J. Radicevic 9, K. Bulatovic 6, D. Jaukovic 4, M. Raicevic 4(1), T. Brnovic 3, J. Despotovic 2, I. Grbic 1, B. Klikovac 1, I. Pavicevic 1
Penalties: 3/2 ; 1/1
Suspensions: 10 minutes ; 12 minutes
Player of the match: Jovanka Radicevic (MNE)