June 25, 2003 - After two defeats at the hands of Bulgaria last weekend in Varna, Serbia and Montenegro are in a must-win mode ahead of their two matches at home against the Netherlands in Pool C in this, the final weekend of the Intercontinental Rounds, to ensure their place in the World League Finals in Spain next month.
The European and Olympic champions wanted at least one victory against Bulgaria last weekend but were left without any points and with new problems as they went down 3-1 and 3-2. The matches they played was not on the level they wanted, in view of the fact that they need to finish in first or second place with a superior Set Ratio than at least one of the other second placed teams across all four pools, to confirm their ticket to Madrid.
Bulgaria currently hold the automatic qualifying spot for the Finals in Pool C as leaders with 17 points, followed by Serbia and Montenegro and the Netherlands who are on 16 and 15 points respectively.
"We have before us the imperative of winning, as we want to go to Madrid;" said Serbia and Montenegro coach Veselin Vukovic. "Therefore, I expect that we will finally present our real game, outdo the team of Netherlands and get our visas for Spain.
"All the players are with us, and with the support of our wonderful public we hope to solve all the dilemmas related to our placement in the finals."
The "Blue" team is certainly the favorite in the two matches in Beograd on Friday and Novi Sad on Saturday, but that still has to be proven on the court.
Saturday's match will be Serbia and Montenegro's 90th in the World League with a record of 52 wins and 36 defeats. Goran Vujevic has played in 87 and Slobodan Boskan in 86 of those matches.