Montenegro defeated Serbia 13:9 on Day 2 of the international tournament in Podgorica.
The Montenegrins will play against the United States tomorrow. That match will decide the 1st place (the USA beat Serbia 13:7 yesterday). Serbia finished the tournament with no points.
As we already wrote, Serbia came to Podgorica with a rejuvenated squad. Montenegro played today with the combined line-up. Leaders like Ivovic, Brguljan, Lazovic, Spaic, Petkovic were on the roster. But the head coach Vladimir Gojkovic gave a chance to a few youngsters (Macic, Mrsic, etc).
The four-goal difference doesn’t really mirror the development of the situation in the pool. The opening quarter and the last four minutes were decisive for the outcome of today’s encounter between the two archrivals. The rest of the game was a quite balanced battle. Montenegro led, but Serbia kept up with the hosts for most of the time. In the middle of the last period, the score was 9:9. Montenegro finished the match with a 4:0 series and secured the win.
International Tournament Podgorica 2021, Day 2
Montenegro – Serbia 13:9 (3:1, 2:2, 4:4, 4:2)
Montenegro: Ivovic 4, Spaic 3, Matkovic 1, V. Radovic 1, Vucurovic 2, Brguljan 1, Mrsic 1
Serbia: S. Rasovic 2, Velkic 2, Vucinic 2, Mitrovic 1, Toholj 1, Cuk 1,
For full statistics and play-by-play action visit: Total Waterpolo Arena, match Montenegro – Serbia
Yesterday, after a 7:13 defeat to the USA, Serbia’s head coach Dejan Savic was angry and criticized his players. The criticism brought effect, and Serbia played better today, although it started slowly.
Montenegro got off to a very good start, taking a 3:0 lead. Serbia wasn’t harmless in the offensive play. They made several good opportunities to score, but Montenegro’s goalie Dejan Lazovic did a good job with seven saves in the first quarter. Lazovic conceded the first goal 11 seconds before the end of the first quarter when Stefan Mitrovic scored from a penalty.
In the early phase of the second quarter, Serbia reduced the gap to one goal two times (2:3, 3:4), but shortly after both of the Serbs’ goals, the hosts responded quickly and regained a 2-goal advantage.
The third period was similar to the previous one. Serbia was persistently trying to equalize, but it didn’t manage to do it. Vucinic scored for 4:5 in the 18th minute. Still, Spaic responded with his 3rd goal for 6:4. It was a continuation of an “exchange” of goals. In the following six minutes, Serbia cut the deficit to one three times, but Montenegro kept the advantage. Aleksandar Ivovic closed the quarter with a goal for 9:7. In this quarter, Montenegro lost captain Drasko Brguljan, who was red-carded (exclusion with substitution). Serbia’s Pljevlancic and Montenegro’s Matkovic were also sent out because of the third foul.
In the middle of the fourth period, the Serbs finally equalized. Djordje Vucinic converted a man-up for 8:9 early in the fourth, while Petar Velkic sent the ball into the net after a counter-attack for 9:9, with 04:36 remaining of the time clock. The sides were tied, but not for a long time. Montenegro forced a penalty shot in the next possession. Aleksandar Ivovic made no mistake and sent the ball home from a penalty line. It was his fourth goal this evening. Shortly after, Vucurovic scored with a power-play advantage, and Montenegro went up 11:9. Mrsic and Vucurovic added a goal each to extend the Montenegrins’ series. The hosts built a safe 13:9 lead with 01:31 minutes to go. There were no goals in the last 91 seconds.
Standings after two rounds: 1. USA 3 (1), 2. Montenegro 3 (1), 3. Serbia 0 (2).
Follow the live action on the Total Waterpolo Arena tournament page.
Friday, January 29
Montenegro – USA (11:00 CET) – follow live on Total Waterpolo Arena