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Date: 1/22/2013

The young team of Korea surprisingly left behind Montenegro in the 21/22 placement match in Guadalajara by 30:27. The much more experienced and taller European showed a disappointing performance.

Placement match 21/22:

Montenegro – Korea 27:30 (13:12)

Finally  they could dance their “Gangnam Style”, the worldwide known Korean chart-breaker from Seoul: The Koreans handball players finished in style in Spain and beat the favoured Montenegrins, including Champions League players like Vasko Sevaljevic or Fahrudin Melic in their final match of the President’s Cup to finish 21st. After five defeats in the preliminary round and the easily earned victory against Australia on Monday, they finished with another win despite eleven goals of Montenegrin top scorer Sevaljevic

The unorthodox defending style of the Asian champions caused many problems to the Montenegrins, who did not find the gaps in this highly movable, fast defence. Even as from height and power aspects this was something like a match “boys vs. men”, the taller and stronger Europeans could not forge ahead in the first half. And unfortunately they lost Goran Lasica due to an early injury. Korea stood brave and took the profits of their higher speed also in attack – as only Ciyoel Yoon had the physical conditions to score from back court positions. So the match was on an equal level in the first 30 minutes, with Montenegro in lead by only 13:12.

And the second period started even worse for the Europeans, who had eliminated Olympic silver medallist Sweden in the World Championship qualification, but then finished the preliminary round without only one point. Korea increased in defence, forced Montenegro to cause some mistakes in attack and went away to 19:17 and 21:18, as the Montenegrins had lost their rhythm completely.

The Asian champions showed much more emotions, motivation and passion than their competitor, who in this period even could not avoid the smaller Koreans from passing through their defence and missed too many clear shots. When the distance had increased to five goals at 20:25, Montenegro re-started their engines intermediately and improved in defence and goalkeeping, reduced to only 26:28, but then missed to many chances against the Asian champion, who obviously ran out of power.  So Kyeong Yi Jeong made his team mates celebrate on the field, when he scored the decisive 29:26 one minute before the end.  

Statements after the match: 

Kyung Tai Han, assistant coach Korea: We are happy to finish with a victory after losing all our preliminary matches in Zaragoza. I hope that we can play better at the next World Championship.

Doyeop Hwang, player Korea: This final match was a great experience for us, but concerning the World Championship in general we have to evaluate our matches and learn more for a better future.

Zoran Kastratovic, coach Montenegro: We expected a tough match, but it seemed that my players just wanted to finish the tournament without passion and motivation.

Vasko Sevaljevic, player Montenegro: We are not happy, neither with the final match, nor with our performances at our first ever World Championship. We really can play better, as we had proved by beating Germany on German ground for example.