Buducnost earn first win after strenuous testArticle
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GROUP A REVIEW: Buducnost had to sweat for their first two points this season, after a close game against Metz, which saw no less than nine lead changes in the first half

Buducnost earn first win after strenuous test

With a change of generation in progress and without key players in Neagu and Cvijic, Buducnost were far from their best, but managed to grab their first win of the season, 21:19, after a hard-fought game against Metz.

• Without Neagu and Cvijic, Buducnost turned to Katarina Bulatovic, who had an amazing game, with 10 goals
• 20-year-old right back Djurdjina Malovic scored Buducnost’s 5,400th goal in the Women’s EHF Champions League with a powerful shot in the 18th minute
• If Buducnost win against Glassverket next Saturday, the Montenegrin side will pass Hypo and will be the team with the most points ever in the European top competition


Buducnost (MNE) vs Metz Handball (FRA) 21:19 (11:10)

Based on their historical head-to-head results, Buducnost were clear favourites against their French counterparts, with seven wins from eight matches, Metz’s only success coming 13 years ago. However, the French side was far from being big outsiders, as Buducnost lost Majda Mehmedovic to CSM Bucuresti this summer, and Cristina Neagu and Dragana Cvijic could not play due to injuries. And the match was far from a walk in the park for the Montenegrin powerhouse.

Big problems for Buducnost around the nine-metre line

Neagu’s absence and the lack of proper solutions on the nine-metre line apart from talented, but inexperienced players like Djurdjina Jaukovic and Djurdjina Malovic created big problems for Buducnost from the first minute. There were no less than nine lead changes in the first ten minutes, with no team creating a lead bigger than one goal.

While Katarina Bulatovic was the go-to player for Buducnost, Achruk, Raicevic or Jaukovic all disappointed, with the Montenegrin side failing to provide balls to the line player or the wings.

Therefore, it was no surprise that Metz, who distributed their attacking plays close to perfection, were able to have only one goal to take back after 30 minutes, 11:10.

Special game for Bulatovic

An improved second 30

A 4:1 run to throw off the second half helped Buducnost jump to a 15:11 lead, thanks to the Montenegrin side improving drastically their defence after the break, as Metz scored only two goals in the first 12 minutes of the second half.

The French side attempted to mount several comebacks, but could only reduce the difference to two goals, with no player managing to score more than three goals, with Gros, Flippes and Horacek leading the French team who came up empty as Buducnost claimed a 21:19 win.

With only nine goals scored in the second half and only three in the last ten minutes, Metz had no chance to penetrate Buducnost’s defensive wall, as the Montenegrin side switched on their motors and had a great collective effort. In offense, Katarina Bulatovic showed why she is considered one of the best backs in the game, taking responsibility and scoring 10 goals from 16 shots.

The Montenegrin side’s win brought the team’s total in the Women’s EHF Champions League to 254 points, one shy of Hypo Niederösterreich’s record.

Post-match comments:

Dragan Adzic, head coach of Buducnost: "It was a difficult match. We have problems with important players being injured. It is enough to see just which players we did not have in comparison to last season, but also because of injuries. On the other hand, it opened the door to young players who have shown some quality. Against them (Metz Handball) it will be difficult in France, also."

Emmanuel Mayonnade, head coach Metz Handball: "Buducnost were not complete and were missing several players, but we were not at the required level to be able to hope to get a victory. We had problems due to the fact that we missed a lot of shots."

TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / bc