19 Jan. 2019
Russia booked a date with Qatar tomorrow to play for the President’s Cup after defeating FYR Macedonia in a tight contest, decided by the defences.
Russia vs FYR Macedonia 30:28 (17:14)
“Our championship will end when our plane lands in Moscow,” said Russia coach Eduard Koksharov after his side opened their Cologne President’s Cup campaign with a hard-fought victory over FYR Macedonia, a victory which sets up a President’s Cup final against Qatar – and a chance to finish 13th at Germany/Denmark 2019.
By the 15th minute this match was all-square (8:8) as first the Russians (6:0) and then the Macedonians (4:0) went on runs early on, but the Russians powered towards the break, helped by 19-year-old left back Sergei Mark Kosorotov, who scored two goals in the final moments to put his side 17:12 up in the 29th minute - although the Macedonians did manage to grab two themselves to go into the pause just three down (17:14).
The second half was a more even affair, with Raul Gonzalez’s Macedonians ‘winning’ 14:13, but the defeat represents their fourth-straight loss at the world championship, having lost their last three preliminary group games, against Croatia, Spain and Iceland, and their vocal line player Stojanche Stoilov was in no doubt what has been the cause.
“During the whole championship we have had a good defence with good goalkeepers and created chances,” he said, “but like today and in other games we missed a lot and were not concentrated enough.”
hummel Best Player of the Match: Victor KIREEV (RUS)