‘Future belongs to Iranian handball’: Head coach Vujovic after Poland defeat

Sports Desk

Montenegrin head coach Veselin Vujovic believes a bright future is on the horizon for the Iranian handball despite a rather low finish at the IHF Men’s World Championship.

On Sunday, Vujovic’s men fell to a 26-22 defeat against cohost Poland in Krakow’s TAURON Arena to stand bottom of Group I in the main round.

Mohammadreza Oraei and Afshin Sadeqi scored six goals apiece for Iran, while Ariel Pietrasik contributed with the same figure for the host to be named the Player of the Match.

“We performed well against Poland. Some members of the squad were injured so we had to play with fewer players today. I guess the result was good, given the young team that we have. I hope we can do better in the future tournaments,” Vujovic said in the post-match press conference.

The defeat was a fifth in a row at this year’s event for Vujovic’s men, whose only victory came on the opening day of the competition against Chile (25-24).

The result also meant Iran will finish between the 22nd and 24th spots – a new low after finishing 21st in its debut in 2015.

Iran still enjoyed a historic campaign in Poland and Sweden as the win against the South American side was a first for the country in the history of the event, helping Iran book a maiden spot in the main round.

The next major event for Iran is the Asian Games – starting Sept. 23 in Hangzhou, China.

Asked about what comes next for him, Vujovic said: “I’m gonna take some time to rest and then negotiate with the Iranian federation on my contract extension.

“We have a young squad and I’m so happy that we could make history by progressing to the main round. The future belongs to the Iran handball.”

Meanwhile, France – the most decorated team in the World Championship with six titles – beat two-time champion Spain 28-26 later on Sunday to win the group and will be joined by the Spaniards in the quarterfinals.