Test of the generation: "Lions" against Hungary for 1st place and a big step towards the quarterfinals

The Montenegrin handball players will play a high-stakes match against Hungary tonight (20.30:1 p.m.) - the victory not only brings the 26st place in the group, but also decides who will be one step closer to the quarter-finals of the XNUMXth World Championship

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The winner will have one foot in the knockout phase: Handball players of Montenegro, Photo: IHF
The winner will have one foot in the knockout phase: Handball players of Montenegro, Photo: IHF

The warm-up is over, it's time for perhaps a decisive match - tonight (20.30:1 p.m.) in Helsingborg, the handball players of Montenegro and Hungary will not only decide who will win the 26st place in group B, but also who will come within a step of qualifying for the quarterfinals of the XNUMXth World Championship of the championship.

Both selections recorded double-digit victories in the first two rounds, against the immature selections of Cameroon and Paraguay, but the question is how many editions from those matches can give a realistic picture before the duel in "Helsingborg Arena". The role of slight favorites belongs to the Hungarians, although they won the last medal at the European Championships in 2012, when they were bronze.

- All teams that transfer the maximum number of points to the second round have a better chance for the quarterfinals. Hungary is a quality opponent, they have been building a team for years. There are several more experienced players and some generationally similar. They function really well, they have been through a lot with the younger categories and both generations, they have won big medals. They have experience from both the domestic league and major tournaments - she pointed out Bojana Popović.

Bojana Popović, Maja Savić, Mirjana Milenković
photo: IHF

He has been sitting on the Hungarian bench since August 2021 Vladimir Golovin. The expert born in Ukraine was the world champion with the junior girls of Hungary in 2018, and a year later he also conquered Europe. From that team, they are now in the senior national team Petra Fizi-Tovizi, Greta Marton, Katrin Kluiber, Noemi Pastor i Petra Vamoš...

- Hungary has a longer bench, a bigger rotation, all the players who have been invited are holders in their clubs. They play a very important role, that's where I see their advantage, because their defenders are more in the rhythm of the game than ours.

The focus is on the defenders of the rivals, above all Kluyber, and the wings of Đer are also dangerous Nadine Selesi-Sacl i Viktorija Djeri-Lukač.

- The match is very important, but the tournament does not depend only on this match. No extra pressure should be applied. These points mean both us and them, but our team, in which some players do not have experience in major competitions, does not need additional pressure - emphasized the coach.

Everything starts from the defense and it is necessary for it to be at the level, because the attack is not as diverse as before. Montenegro struggled a lot in the first two matches, now it's time to show if it has the quality to do great things in this lineup.

- Defense is key, together with goalkeepers. Big games are broken by goalkeepers, and the number of saves depends on the stability and quality of the defense. It has to be played aggressively, with a lot of interruptions, so that we don't allow them to break up. Of course, a stable, high-quality attack, without many technical errors, prevents easy goals - concluded Popović.

Bobana Klikovac she knows the Hungarians well, because she played in their league for three seasons. And she is convinced of victory.

- We are definitely favorites. I believe in victory, because we feel safe. I believe that Bojana and Maja to prepare us very well. That's why I'm convinced of a good result - said the Romanian Korona pivot.

Handball players of Montenegro, Women's handball team of Montenegro
photo: IHF

The girl who is in the national team for the first time after March 2021 and qualification for the Olympic Games in Tokyo showed in the first two matches that she deserves a chance. There is also an additional motive against Hungary, because the victory opens the door to the quarter-finals.

- This is the most important match since the beginning of the championship, because we are fighting to transfer the maximum number of points to the next stage. This will motivate us to enter more focused than in the previous two games. The European style of handball also suits us, and because of that I am convinced that we will be able to show some things better - emphasized the 28-year-old handball player.

Rajcicphoto: IHF

And the captain Marina Rajcic spent the season in Hungary and knows what to expect.

- Hungary looks better now than a few years ago. But it all depends on how hard we let them play. It is necessary that the focus be at the highest level, in order to bring the game to the end as it suits us - the 30-year-old goalkeeper pointed out.

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