A turnaround for all time

Montenegrin handball players defeated Hungary 2:24 with an unreal game in the 18nd half and took a huge step towards the quarterfinals of the 26th World Championship

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Phenomenal release in the 2nd half: Matea Pletikosić, Photo: IHF
Phenomenal release in the 2nd half: Matea Pletikosić, Photo: IHF

In recent years, the cult of the defense of Montenegrin handball players has started to fade a little, rivals were no longer afraid of her like they used to be, but she "appeared" when it was most important - phenomenal Marta Batinović and the rampart in front of her goal reminded of the unforgettable year 2012 and "swallowed" Hungary in the battle for the 1st place in group B.

The Lionesses won 24:18 and stepped into the quarterfinals of the 26th World Championship with one foot.

If they defeat the second-placed team of group A on Thursday, which will most likely be Croatia (unless they create a sensation against Sweden tomorrow night), they will be practically certain participants in the finals in the "Jiske Bank Boxen" in Herning.

And with the game from the 2nd half, even a new sensational medal no longer seems like an impossible mission, regardless of the fact that there are four very important players from the selection that won the European bronze medal last year...

Tim Bojana Popović started the match well, leading 3:1, but then the struggles in the attack followed.

Blanka Bode-Biro was in a good mood, so Montenegro scored only four goals in 22 and a half minutes, which is why they lost 10:7 at halftime.

It was, however, clear that a little lucidity was lacking in the attack to capture the connection, and it arrived faster than Popović and her chosen ones probably dared to think about during the big vacation.

Batinović defended zicer, a Matea Pletikosic i Tatjana Brnović drove the rival's defense to madness with a two-on-two game.

The Hungarians were scoreless for 13 minutes, and the "lionesses" turned the game around with a 6:0 run to 14:11 and announced a great victory.

Opponents came close to minus two several times, but it was Ivona Pavićević in the 51st minute brought four differences for the first time (18:14) and forced Vladimir Golovin to spend the third, last time-out.

It didn't help - the Hungarians proved for the umpteenth time that they lack character, that they can't find a solution for aggressive defenses, even though much stronger selections would have run aground on this kind of rampart tonight.

Itana Grbić twice brought plus five with mastery, then also Pletikosić's, so that everything would be over in the 57th minute, when Diana Mugoš put an end to her extraordinary game with the eighth goal in 23:17, from her unnatural right wing position.

It was 24:17, and the final plus six can be very important if by chance a round is made with Sweden and Hungary, in which the goal difference would decide, although it is difficult to expect that the "lionesses" in Gothenburg can drop this kind of capital.

On Thursday, the second-placed group A (probably Croatia) awaits them, then on Saturday the third-placed (almost certainly Senegal, who is a big favorite against China), and on Monday the battle for 1st place (already seen with Sweden) before the move to Herning.

And there everything is possible, whoever the rival is - Denmark, Germany, Romania, Poland...


Helsingborg - "Helsingborg Arena". Viewers: 1.056. Referees: Hansen and Madsen (Denmark). Sevens: Montenegro 5 (5), Hungary 1 (1). Suspensions: Montenegro 8, Hungary 8 minutes.

Montenegro: Rajčić, BATINOVIĆ (16 saves), Pletikosić 4, Godeč, MUGOŠA 8 (5), Nad. Ćorović, Popović, IVANOVIĆ, Malović, Nat. Ćorović, BRNOVIĆ 7, BULATOVIĆ, Klikovac, DESPOTOVIĆ, Pavićević 1, GRBIĆ 3.

Hungary: BODE-BIRO (12 saves), Semerej, Fizi-Tovizi, SELEŠI-ŠACL 1, Debreceni-Klivinji, Marton, Tepfner, Pap 3, Pastor 1, VAMOŠ 3, KLUJBER 2 (1), Juhas 2, BORDAS, KUCORA 1, ĐERI-LUKAČ 3, Šimon 2.

Bonus video: