13/01/2020

Vailupau’s impact sees Belarus through

GROUP A REVIEW: Seven goals scored by right wing Mikita Vailupau helped Belarus to beat Montenegro and to reach the main round

Mikita Vailupau was the standout performer for Belarus as they beat Montenegro to qualify for the main round. Photo © Jure Erzen / kolektiff

It was a crucial match for both Montenegro and Belarus who had been level on two points after two games.

Even a draw was enough for Belarus, but they celebrated a clear 36:27 victory and will now travel from Graz to Vienna for the main round matches.

  • Belarus finished second in group A with four points, but they will take no points to the next stage
  • with two points, Montenegro are certain to finish third-placed
  • Belarus’ Mikita Vailupau scored seven goals and became top scorer of the match as well as Grundfos Player of the Match
  • Vladan Lipovina netted five times for Montenegro
  • Montenegro’s goalkeeper Nebojsa Simic recorded 15 saves, but it was not enough for his team

GROUP A

Montenegro vs Belarus 27:36 (11:16)

Belarus have more experience and individual skills than Montenegro, and it helped them to win a decisive battle.

Solid defence was also a factor of their victory, while Artsem Karalek, Siarhei Shylovich and Mikita Vailupau made the difference in attack.

Vailupau’s impact was particularly impressive – the 24-year-old from HC Meshkov Brest, who is playing his debut major tournament with Belarus, has already turned into a key figure for the national team.

Against Montenegro, he scored seven goals and could have added a few more but missed two penalty shots.

Montenegro’s goalkeeper Nebojsa Simic, the hero of the historic match against Serbia, again stood like a wall and finished the game with 15 saves, but this time it was not enough. Simic’s reflexes helped the Balkan side to a 6:4 lead, yet then Belarus turned the tide.

They took their first lead only in the 15th minute, then Iouri Chevtsov’s team pulled clear to enjoy a comfortable six-goal advantage at half-time (17:11).

Belarus continued to dominate throughout the second half, so the outcome was obvious long before the final buzzer.

Belarus equalled their biggest win at EHF EUROs, 33:24 against Romania in 1994, and they were very close to setting a new record, yet it was denied by Filip Vujovic’s penalty goal in the last second.

written by Sergey Nikolaev / jh