Now it’s four in a row… After EHF EURO 2010 in Norway and Denmark and the 2011 World Championships in Brazil, and after the upcoming Olympic Games in London, Montenegro will also play at EHF EURO 2012.
For a small country like Montenegro it’s a huge success and represents a big reason for pride. Even so, with four wins and only one defeat, Montenegro still had to secure their place at EHF EURO 2012 against Poland in Round 6 of the qualification phase.
Even playing without line-player Ana Đokić (who was married on Saturday) and central back Ana Radović (who missed the game because of an eye problem), the team of Dragan Adžić did it in style, ending the game with a clear victory (32:23). They had some problems in the first half, but the side had a constant lead from two to four goal difference.
Finally, Montenegro finished qualifications as the group leader, ahead of Russia.
“This has been the icing on the cake. We have achieved great success as a national team, having also reached the Olympic Games in London, while the club of Budućnost won the EHF Women's Champions League. The game with Poland was very difficult, because at the end of the season we are all tired. But our motivation and great desire were decisive in us to finishing this last test in the right way. I’m happy, not only because of the results, but also for the fact that we came away without injuries. Now we will have a little rest from handball, and then begin preparations for London”, said Montenegro right winger Jovanka Radičević, who scored eight goals against Poland.
The game against Poland was the last one in Morača Sports Centre for Bojana Popović (nine goals) and Maja Savić (one), who will end their career after the Olympics in London.
Coach of Montenegro Dragan Adžić was a little disappointed because only about 1,500 fans were present in Morača hall:
"I'm sorry that people have not recognized the achievements made by these girls. If we were in another country, 20,000 people would have come to follow them", said Adžić.
Adžić added that it’s a great success to have Montegengro at four consecutive big competitions.
"It speaks volumes about the quality of work from them, their quality, and their continuity of participation in major competitions. These are essential requirements for producing good results and good players for Budućnost and the national team. Once again I am proud of them, and thank God they are alive and healthy at the end of the season. Now they have three weeks to rest and recharge their batteries. After that we start to prepare for the Olympics, "said the Montenegro coach.
Speaking about the match against Poland, Adžić said:
"That was a very tricky game. Poland is a good team. They defeated Russia with an eight-goal difference. But the approach of all our girls was great, as they preserved their health and yet still secured the result”, concluded Adžić.