10 Dec. 2019
“Russia have extraordinary players who acted as a team and that’s why they demolished us,” said Montenegro coach Per Johansson after his side lost by seven goals (35:28) against the 2016 Olympic Games gold medallists Russia.
With the result, Russia became the first team into the 2019 IHF Women’s World Championship semi-finals, joined by either Spain or Sweden, depending on remaining results in Group II of the Main Round.
MAIN ROUND - GROUP II
Russia vs Montenegro 35:28 (17:16)
The Russian performance on court at the Park Dome Kumamoto was not affected by events off of it as they won their seventh straight game at Japan 2019 to book their semi-final slot and allow them to use their remaining main round match tomorrow against Spain as a preparation match.
“We made this hard step, we are in the semi-final now,” said the best player of the match, Russia’s Iuliia Managarova, who scored 12 times from 12 strikes. “Tomorrow we have a game with Spain so we can use all the team and all of the girls and have some rest.”
Montenegro were ahead by four in the 16th minute (10:6) but could only score six more times in the remaining minutes of the half as Yaroslava Frolova and Managarova scored nine of the Russian’s 10 strikes to take a 17:16 lead at the break – the end of a half in which Johansson had taken two time outs to address the chase by Russia, the second of which was when their opponents came within one (11:10) in the 21st minute.
That tight first half gave way for a comfortable second half from Russia whose lead went up to seven at the end but who had been comfortable at +4 in the 39th minute (22:18).
“We got to beat not only a tough team, but we got to be in the semi-final which is one step we wanted to make today,” said Russia coach Ambros Martin. “It was as tough as we knew it would be, in the first half we knew we should keep this defence and help the goalkeeper, as well as being calm in the transition and that is what we did in the second half.
“We played really smart in offence, but we are just happy to be in the semi-finals - we are where we wanted to be from the very first moment.”
hummel Player of the Match: Iuliia Managarova, Russia