Group A: Korea stood strong but Serbia win
15 Jan. 2019
Even though the unified team Korea did not beat Serbia in the second match in the Mercedes-Benz Arena, they had played their best match in Berlin so far. For the Serbians, it was the first victory in this championship – but with three points on the account and a final group match against Germany, the chances to proceed to the Main Round are quite small.
Korea vs Serbia 29:31 (16:14)
More than 9,000 fans in Berlin did all they can to push Korea to the limit, but the unified team lacked power in the end and were not able to cause one of the biggest upsets of the 2019 World Championship. Korea surprised the physically stronger Serbians with a concentrated start, backed by outstanding goalkeeper Jaeyoung Park, who saved 14 Serbian shots in total. Despite four unanswered goals (for the first lead at 6:5), Serbia did not continue with confidence but quite nervously. And they had to replace one important player, after Drasko Nenadic received a direct red card in minute 22.
Therefore, a deserved Korean 16:14 lead was on the score board at the break – and later-on Player of the Match Jeongu Kang had eight goals on his tally (twelve strikes in the end). Everyone who thought that Serbia could easily turn the match around in the second half was wrong; Korea fought with heart and spirit.
It took 15 more minutes, until the powerful Serbians had levelled the game again at 22:22 and then decisively pulled ahead for 28:25, sealing the first win and the fourth Korean defeat. Best Serbian scorer was Vukasin Vorkapic with seven goals.
hummer Player of the match: Jeongu Kang (KOR)
Statements after the match:
Nenad Perunicic, coach Serbia: Congratulation to Korea for this high energetic, intensive and fair game tonight. I was quite afraid myself of this opponent because of what’s happened in the World Championship 1997 in Japan; At the start, I was afraid that my team wouldn’t overcome all problems from the matches against Russia and Brazil, but they won, so all the credit goes to my players.
Lazar Kukic, player Serbia: It was a pretty intense game with very much running. It was hard to get up after the game yesterday. Korea is a well-organised team but we showed the character to change the game to our side. We really deserved the win, our team had a lot to accomplish, we have to keep working for future success.
Young Shin Cho, coach Korea: We gave our best, but we couldn’t win - so congratulation to Serbia. They had taller and stronger players but my players did not give up, we fought very well. Serbia scored more goals, but the match was tight. Against Brazil we will do even better – a special thanks to the German audience.
Myong Chol Sin, assistant coach Korea: It was a very tight match; we gave our best until the end. Our players showed their best skills person by person.
Jeongu Kang, player Korea: Because of the match yesterday we were very tired, and we missed two of our best players. But we did our best game today; much better than in the opener against Germany. Personally, it is an honour to be the Man of the Match.