Reigning Olympic champion Serbia won 1st place at the tournament “Serbia 2021”, which was finished in Belgrade this evening.
Besides Serbia “A” team, three teams took part. Spain, the runner-up at the World and European Championships, finished 2nd. Serbia “B” team, which prepares for the World U20 Championships in Prague, won 3rd place, and France finished 4th.
After the last game of the tournament, Serbia’s head coach Dejan Savic announced the roster for the Olympic Games.
Goalkeepers: Gojko Pijetlovic (Novi Beograd), Branislav Mitrovic (Vasas). Field players: Dusan Mandic (Novi Beograd), Nikola Dedovic (Spandau 04), Sava Randjelovic (Vasas), Strahinja Rasovic (Novi Beograd), Dusko Pijetlovic (Novi Beograd), Djordje Lazic (Brescia), Milan Aleksic (Partizan), Nikola Jaksic (Novi Beograd), Filip Filipovic (Olympiacos), Andrija Prlainovic (Marseille), Stefan Mitrovic (Partizan).
Besides these 13 players, Djordje Vucinic and Radomir Drasovic (both Novi Beograd) will travel to Japan for the pre-Olympic preparations as reserves.
There haven’t been many changes in the team since the 2016 Olympic Games. Three Olympic champions from Rio won’t travel to Japan: Zivko Gocic, Slobodan Nikic (both retired from the national team in 2016), and Milos Cuk.
New names are Strahinja Rasovic, Djordje Lazic, and Nikola Dedovic. All three played at the 2019 World Championships. Dedovic represented Serbia at the 2020 European Championships, too.
Dusko Pijetlovic, Filip Filipovic, and Andrija Prlainovic will become 4-time Olympians in Tokyo.
Serbia – France 14:10 (4:3, 4:2, 4:2, 2:3)
Serbia: Filipovic 4, D.Pijetlovic 4, Mandic 2, Lazic 1, Aleksic 1, Jaksic 1, Prlainovic 1.
France:Saudadier 2, Marion Vernoux 1, Cannone 1.
Serbia U20 – Spain 7:15 (2:8, 1:3,2:3, 2:1)
Serbia U20: Vico 2, Stanojevic 2, Radovic 2, Radulovic 1.
Spain: Munarriz 3, Famera 3, Mallarach 2, Legada 2, Delgado 1, Tahull 1, De Toro 1,Larumbe 1, Barroso 1.
Serbia – Serbia U20 15:9 (5:0, 3:4, 3:2, 4:3)
Serbia: D.Pijetlovic 4, Filipovic 2, S. Mitrovic 2, S.Rasovic 2, Vico 2, Vucinic 2, Randjelovic 1.
Serbia U20: Radulovic 5, Radovic 2, Pljevlancic 1, Gak 1.
France – Spain 5:9 (2:2, 0:3, 1:3, 2:1)
France: Vernoux 3, Crousillat 2,Marion Vernoux 1.
Spain: Munarriz 3, Granados 2, Mallarach 2, Famera 1, Tahull 1.
Serbia – Spain 12:10 (1:3, 4:2, 4:4, 3:1)
Serbia: Mandic 3, Filipovic 3, Dedovic 2, Vucinic 2, Randjelovic 1, Mitrovic 1.
Spain: Munnariz 3, Granados 2, Sanahuja 1, De Toro 1, Larumbe 1, Tahull 1, Bustos 1.
Serbia U20 – France 10:7 (3:2, 3:2, 3:2, 1:1)
Serbia U20: Radulovic 5, Lazic 2, Bucan 2, Radovic 1.
France: Cannone 3, Marion Vernoux 1, Vernoux 1, Bouet 1.
Serbia head coach Dejan Savic “mixed” the teams during the three-day tournament. Some of the players who were among the candidates for Tokyo (Lazic, Vico, Jaksic) reinforced the U20 Serbian team in some of the games, but the youngsters couldn’t surprise Serbia 1 and Spain.
There were no surprises on the first two days of the tournament. Serbia and Spain recorded two wins each, as expected, and their encounter, played this evening, decided which team would win the trophy.
Spain led for most of the time in this evening’s derby, but the Spaniard’s advantage was never larger than two goals. Serbia didn’t let the visitors build a big difference. After the first quarter, the visitors had a 3:1 advantage. The Serbs, led by Dusan Mandic and Filip Filipovic, equalized by the middle break (5:5). However, Spain regained a 2-goal advantage in the third period (8:6). Still, Serbia caught up the rival in the final minutes of this quarter (9:9). The hosts took a 10:9 lead early in the fourth period. The Spaniards leveled at 10:10. But, Filip Filipovic and Dusan Mandic found the net in the last two minutes and closed the contest.
Serbia broke a series of several consecutive losses to Spain at major competitions and in friendly matches between 2019 and 2021. As Savic said, this evening’s victory gave his team self-confidence, after series of defeats to the Spaniards.
Two Olympians (Jaksic and Lazic) reinforced Serbia’s U20 team in the match against France. The Serbian junior team controlled the match and achieved a 10:7 victory for 3rd place.
Standings: 1. Serbia 9, 2. Spain 6, 3. Serbia U20 3, 4. France 0.