President’s Cup: Serbia take the win in an intense match

19 Jan. 2019

President’s Cup: Serbia take the win in an intense match

Serbia - Bahrain 32:27 (15:17)

In the third game this afternoon in Copenhagen, the fifth-ranked teams of Preliminary Round Groups C and D faced each other: Serbia and Bahrain. Serbia managed to win against Korea and draw with Russia, Bahrain won against Japan in the group phase.

Two minutes into the match, Ali Merza put Bahrain in the lead, 2:1.

The Serbian goalkeeper recorded the first save of the match, and Serbia took the lead afterwards. Vukasin Vorpkapic made it 5:3 after five minutes.

Yet again Vukasin Vorpkapic scored. This time it was a fast break, which made it 7:3 for Serbia.

In general, both defences were struggling and a lot of goals were scored in the first half.

Bahrain were heading back in the game – by the 12th minute they had reduced the gap to 9:8.

Halfway through the first half both Mohammed Abdulredha and Mijailo Marsenic were suspended for the second time – a period Bahrain handled best. Ahmed Jalal gave Bahrain a 11:10 lead.

When the Bahrain goalkeeper Husain Mahfoodh made a double save after Serbia was awarded a penalty, Bahrain seemed to be the stronger side and just before the break Mahdi Saad gave Bahrain a 15:17 lead.

The last 30 minutes were filled with two-minute suspensions. Ali Merza got his 3rd two-minutes suspension and had to watch the last 15 minutes from the stands. 

Serbia levelled the game at 19:19 after just five minutes of the second half. From that point on, Bahrain could not get the lead back even though they tried. Bahrain equalised serval times, but it was not enough.   

25 minutes into the second half the referees called for VAR. Afterwards Ali Merza received a red card, which made the match more intense. Husain Alsayyad reduced the lead to Serbia 27:26.

Bahrain fought until the last minute but Serbia were too strong.

Husain Alsayyad was top scorer with nine goals for Bahrain and Vanja Ilic was top scorer with nine goals as well for Serbia.

Serbia win the match against Bahrain, 32:27, and will play for 17th rank, while Bahrain are will play for 19th rank tomorrow.


hummel Player of the Match: Vanja Ilic (SRB)


Statements after the match

Bahrain coach Aron Kristjansson: After 5 games in 7 days, it was a tough game today. It was difficult to motivate the players. I think we managed well. We can be satisfied with the first 40-45 minutes. We needed the energy, and Serbia showed their quality.

Nened Perunicic, Serbia Coach: It was a very difficult game. It was very hard to find the motivation, after we didn’t get through to the main round. We knew that both teams would try to bring something new in to the game, but it was difficult. They have a clear way of playing. Besides the win, there is not much to be happy for today.

Vanja Ilic Serbia: We managed to defend well today. As the coaches said, it was hard to fight the motivation, but we had to stay professional and bring the spirit.

Jasim Alsalatna, Bahrain: Good and strong match. I want to congratulate my teammates for the great fight, and the best of lucky to Serbia, in the future.