Guerreras upset defending champions

← Previous Story VIDEO: Massive fight PPD Zagreb – Meshkov Brest Next Story → Norway win Scandi derby for the EURO final! The Spanish Guerreras defeated defending champion Montenegro by 18-19 on the first semifinal of the day and are through to their second ever European final. It was an intense match that had two different halves, but where the ones ahead on the score, at all times, were the Spaniards.STATISTICSThe conducted by Jorge Dueñas displayed, yet again, an amazing defence and kept the powerful Montenegrin shooters away from their area, stepping out in the 9 meter line at all times. But it was not only the strong defence that kept them safe, it was also the outstanding Silvia Navarro, who stopped every effort from players of the caliber of Katarina Bulatovic and Milena Knezevic, who ended the match without any goals from seven attempts.While Spain was doing things right both in the defence and in the attack with their characteristic moves, Montenegro had a hard time trying to stop them, but also trying to score. It took the Olympic silver medallists 8:09 minutes to get their first goal, which was scored by Jovanka Radicevic.Due to Suzana Lazovic’s absence (took a red card against Sweden), Dragan Adzic used the wingers to cover that spot on the line, first with Majda Mehmedovic and then with Radicevic on the second half, who showed some good pivot skills, but were not enough to break the Spanish leadership.After the first 20’ of the game, Spain led 4-10 and Navarro was already becoming the hero of the night. Montenegrin goals were coming from outside the 9 meter line, quick shots taken by Bulatovic or Jovanovic who showed their efforts to keep Montenegro on the game. The first half ended with a 8-13 in favor for the Guerreras, who were playing in a great way.The last 30 minutes of the game were completely different from the first ones; Spain kept the intensity on the defence, but were now unable to score: Marina Rajcic had replaced Sonja Barjaktarovic under the posts and was doing a great job to keep the hopes alive for Montenegro.With 15’ played, the Spanish were now leading 13-16; Adzic’s girls were trying to recover and started to show a much better defence, but they still couldn’t find a way to get through Navarro’s goal, who would eventually finish the match with a 50 per cent save rate (18/36 saves). Montenegro managed to allow only 4 goals on the first 22 minutes, but that was still not enough to take the lead. Nerea Pena cut a 15’ scoreless spell for Spain and the match entered on a nerve racking final.The defending champions were still having a very hard time trying to surpass the Spanish defence and beating Navarro, who was having a superb performance; but with two minutes left on the clock Jovanka Radicevic scored from the pivot position to declare the 17-18 on the board. On the Spanish reply, despite the intense work by the Montenegrins, Elizabeth Pinedo was able to make her way through the defence from the left wing position until the very centre of the area and catch an assist from Marta Mangue to score the 19th goal and set a two goal difference with only 1:20 left to be played. Radicevic scored again, but time was not enough to recover the ball and force an extra time.The Spanish team made a great effort in defence throughout the entire tournament and is now enjoying their place in the final, in which they will have to face Norway. It will be Spain’s second European final after Macedonia 2008, when they also faced the Scandinavians, who will play their seventh final in a row. Navarro was named MVP for Spain while Andjela Bulatovic (1 goal) was MVP for Montenegro. The top scorer of the match was Vardar’s Jovanka Radicevic with 6 goals, followed by Spain’s Pinedo with 5 goals. Montenegro will meet Sweden on Sunday on the bronze medal match.TEXT: LAURA AGENA read more