They only had to defeat a serious opponent, which is what happened with this opponent. Red Flames beat Poland 4-0 and participate more than ever in the 2023 World Cup.
Speed, power, pure football quality: it was all there in the match at home in Leuven. The match against Armenia was not 19-0 last week, but this decisive victory over Poland is the reference match that the Belgians need.
Monster scores, all well and good. But in the two major World Cup qualifiers in Poland (1-1) and Norway (4-0), Red Flames have booked just one in six so far. So while the group winner is the only one to be confirmed for the World Cups in Australia and New Zealand in 2023. The second number plays the jump jacks. At home against Poland, it should have become clear whether the Belgians really had a real chance of making their World Cup debut at Down Under. This has also become evident in Den Drive.
It was the Poles’ best start and the Flames had trouble preparing a successful attack in the initial phase. Soon the Belgians started putting more pressure forward, and in the fifteen minutes that led to the opening goal. Wallart reached the defense line and cleverly returned to De Kenny, who fired 1-0 into the far corner. He was close to scoring for Urlings for a second in a row, but Polish goalkeeper Clapps kept her team afloat. Besman also had a good 2-0 opportunity when a free kick fell in front of her feet, but her shot went deflected.
In half an hour, the Poles came close to scoring for the first time during a particularly chaotic stage in front of the Belgian goal as everyone seemed to stand in each other’s way. Guard Efrar managed to hit. After that, the Eurlings appeared to score, but were flagged for offside. On her third chance, it was a prize for the OHL striker. Wullaert sent Biesmans deep with a superb through pass, and Eurlings made it 2-0 in the rebound. The flames thundered like a fast train over their opponent and 40 minutes later the score was 3-0. Cayman pushed leather to the goal from outside the penalty area.
The Belgians were especially good at playing football and were smarter, faster and technically stronger than Poland. The Red Flames were first on the ball almost everywhere and entered the first half with a comfortable bonus.
The Poles had undoubtedly hoped Belgium would take things easy after the break, but this was not immediately the case. Wallart teamed up well with Cayman, who crossed over to De Kinney. The latter saw that her shot deviated from a Polish defender, but she kept her second goal in the evening. Then Red Flames dominated the match.
This big win over a noteworthy opponent was exactly what the players of national coach Yves Cernells needed. With your 19-0 win over Armenia, you’re buying little, except for three logical points. With this victory, on the other hand – a benchmark match in all respects – Flames are doing a great job. With 13 points, they are top of Group F after Norway, although the Norwegians will have three more points if they continue their match against Armenia on Wednesday night. That was halted Tuesday night due to heavy fog with a score of 0-9.
Belgium already beat Poland who has 11 points. Flames’ next mission will be to visit Albania on April 7. The World Cup isn’t anything but in, but Down Under’s journey is now more realistic than ever.
Belgium: Evrard, Vangheluwe (67′ Wijnants), Tysiak, De Neve, Philtjens (85′ Deloose), Cayman, Vanhaevermaet, Biesmans (71′ Minnaert), Eurlings (84′ Blom), Wullaert, De Caigny (84′ Onzia)
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