One will go, one will stay

MATCH PREVIEW: Belarus face injury-troubled Montenegro to fight for main round entrance

Photo: Brian Lindberg Jensen

The last match in Group D at the Brondby Hallen on Friday (20:15 hrs) will also be the last match for either Belarus or Montenegro at the EHF EURO 2014 as they fight for the remaining ticket from this group to the main round.

Montenegro has been hit with injuries already in the weeks leading up to the tournament, with for example team captain Drasko Mrvaljevic missing the tournament, and the wave of unlucky news has not stopped during the EHF EURO 2014.

Just before the crucial match against Belarus another player had to go to hospital.

"We have had two more injured players. Marko Simovic was sent to the hospital to have a MRI scan on his shoulder and he is very much in doubt for the match tomorrow," said team official Petar Kapisoda who was with Simovic in the hospital until 1:00 hrs in the morning.

Furthermore Igor Markovic has problems with his adductors which also means he might be out of tomorrow's match, Kapisoda said.

For Belarus left back Siarhei Rutenka, who had missed the first match due to a fever, showed once again why he is one the best handball players as he netted 13 goals against Sweden on Wednesday.

However, Montenegro have done their homework and know how important it is to stop the star player.

"We are expecting a very difficult game, Belarus are a very tough team, we will try man-marking Rutenka and keep the match to a five against five," Kapisoda said.

Montenegrin left back Vasko Sevaljevic knows that his team has a chance of reaching next round with the improvements Montenegro have made in this tournament.

"We have improved since our game against Sweden (21:28 on Monday) and we hope to keep improving."

"We have shown that our team has character. We have a strong heart, fighting spirit and good defence," he said.

Belarus on the other side believe strongly in their chances to advance to the main round which will be played in Aarhus from Sunday onwards.

Assistance coach Uladzimir Zhuk confirms: "We don't have any injuries and all players are available, especially Rutenka is feeling much better and will 100 per cent play tomorrow."

"After seeing Montenegro playing against Sweden yesterday, we are thinking of changing our defence system and add another option, although we are focusing on our own game and not their injuries," Zhuk said.

written by Mie Oestergaard / ts