It was awful to watch. I swear those guys ate cement fro breakfast. Their defense line was like concrete and their goalkeeper saved even the impossible.
I tried to make screenshots, but only the flashy advertising boards were visible in the Šabac sports hall instead of the players. It made an interesting shadow-show though; interesting, but not enjoyable at all.
Then the game started and that was all you could see. Nothing else. (I have to admit though, those advertising boards were totally cool.)
At first it was a nip-and-tuck game until approx. the 7th minute (4:4), then Metaloplastika probably got fed up with this smooth pace and jumped to 8:5. Their goalkeeper saved all our attempts, their players got into heavy clashes without hesitation. It was visible they’re not just more experienced than our young players but probably they’ve been preparing for this cup semifinal for a while, putting even their shirts to this game.
Well, yea. They surely didn’t want to let down their own spectators.
Their defense line was unbreakable, even for Ivan Popović, our Ivan The Terrible, the Fist of Partizan. In the 15th minute Metaloplastika was ahead with 10:5. What is more. Soon before the half-time it was 16:8 for them. The first half ended with 17:9, and even this standing we provided with a lot of struggle.
The second half continued where the first ended. The two teams played a very tough game - it was sportsmanlike, but rough, with lots of man-to-man fight. Metaloplastika was leading for the whole time, in the 43rd minute it was 22:15 for them. At this point we started to reduce the difference, with sweating, with struggling, with clenched teeth, from goal to goal. For the 50th minute through a heroic fight we came up to 24:20. A ray of hope, that we might still be able to make it...
Unfortunately Metaloplastika woke up still in time and they ground us alive. We tried, we fought hard, but we had a lot of missed-out attempts and/or the nasty grin of Metaloplastika’s goalkeeper as he saved practically everything.
That’s all, folks.
The hero of the day is Lazar Kukić with 7 goals. He is followed by Nemanja Živković and Stevan Sretenović (5-5), Igor Mršulja (4), Mihajlo Radojković (2) and Živan Pešić (1).
This team definitely deserves a big, big CONGRATULATIONS and a salute. Not just for this game, but for their performance in the entire season. For head coach Nenad Maksić, who shaped this very young team so much (keep in mind that team captain Igor Mršulja will be 22 this summer) that they defeated experienced, old players and internationally acclaimed teams. For winning over the eternal opponent in the play-off and finishing the season at the 3rd place of the league table with a fantastic performing. All these while the club was (and probably still is) at the verge of going bankrupt, the president resigned in the middle of the season because he didn’t see the existing financial/material conditions eligible enough and the players didn’t receive salary for months. So now you raise up, stand in attention and salute for them.
Well done, boys!