Iceland seal quarter-finals spot after win over Montenegro

24 Jun. 2024

Iceland seal quarter-finals spot after win over Montenegro

Iceland maintained their winning run at North Macedonia 2024, as their fourth straight victory, this time against Montenegro, 35:27, helped them to progress to the quarter-final with one main round match to go. 

Iceland vs Montenegro 35:27 (15:14)

Spurred by a couple of goals from center back Nikolina Markovic, Montenegro opened up a 4:1 lead early in the match, but it did not look long for Iceland to hit back, as Ethel Bjarnasen, just like in previous matches, did an excellent job in goal.

However, Montenegro took the initiative again, creating a three-goal lead (12:9) six minutes before half-time. But Iceland refused to give up, and a couple of goals by Tinna Traustadottir just before the break time gave the Nordic team another lead, this time 15:14.

Now Iceland felt more confidence, and powered by further Bjarnasen's saves and left wing Lilja Agutsdittir's goals, Iceland pulled clear to a five-goal lead already in the 37th minute (22:17). An effort by Montenegro's top scorer Jelena Vukcevic, who scored as many as 13 goals, consolidating her position at the top of the top goal scorer standings, saw her team putting some pressure on their rivals, but Iceland soon gained momentum again.

With 10 minutes to go, they already by six goals, 30:24, as Bjarnasen ended the match with 19 saves and a 42% save efficiency. In the closing stage of the match, Iceland firmly controlled the game and ultimately took a well-deserved win, with Agutsdottir becoming their best scorer with 13 goals. Montenegro are now out of contention for a quarter-final spot, but they still may finish third in the group and proceed to the Placement Matches 9-12. 

Alkaloid Player of the Match: Lilja Agutsdottir, Iceland