In the qualifiers for the Women’s Football World Cup 2023, our red flames will compete against Norway, Poland, Albania, Kosovo and Armenia. The team winners qualify directly for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, with both numbers advancing to the play-offs. “We can be ambitious and compete with Norway,” says Justin van Hevermet
The Belgians, ranked 18th in the FIFA rankings, are in Group F. The red flames were in the second pot in the draw. Norway came in first in the pot (12th in the FIFA rankings). From the third pot, Poland (ranked 30th in the FIFA rankings) joined the Belgians. The other three countries are Albania (FIFA 75), Kosovo (FIFA 115) and Armenia (FIFA 128).
Earlier this month, the Flames played a friendly against Norway, which was very strong at 0-2. At the 2017 European Championships, the Belgians beat the Norwegians 0-2 in the group stage. Since the last game against Poland in 2015, the Flames have won 5-0.
The Belgian women, who qualified for the 2022 European Championship in England at the end of last year, are hoping for their first participation in the World Cup.
The winners of the nine qualifying teams will qualify directly for the World Cup. Numbers two begin with a complex block system. It has two rounds. Two of the top three numbers go straight to the second (last) round. The remaining seconds complete the first blocking match. After the second jump-off, there are three teams. They are ranked according to the results of the group stage and the second round of play-offs. The first two will go to the World Cup, and the third will play a Continental Barrage fight. Each of the rounds is completed in one game.
The World Cup qualifiers will take place from September 2021 to September 2022. The play-offs end in October 2022. For the first time, the World Cup will feature 32 nations. In previous World Cup qualifiers, the Belgian women finished second in their group next to Italy, but they lost in the jump-offs against Switzerland.
“Norway is a good poster”
“Norway is a great poster, a great team to play against,” says Anderlecht goalkeeper Justin O’Dwyer. “They play good football, we can handle it, it’s definitely possible. They have a lot of experience and get along well with each other, which was seen when we lost 0-2 to them on April 8. We learned from that.”
Other countries are smaller than Norway. “As always, we have to start with our own strengths, but it’s a pleasant team, of course. We do not really know Poland and other countries outside of Norway, but I expect that.”
Since Albania and Kosovo belong to the same group, the red flames are two countries that are very similar to each other and geographically similar. “I’m very interested in those countries and how we see them.”
Red flames are very ambitious and hope for the first place. “We want to be first in all prices. We have to prepare well, that good product starts today. We have learned from past competitions and we have to take that into account.
“We can be satisfied with the draw”
Justin van Hevermet plays for LSK Quinner from Norway. “We really want to get a place in the World Cup, if possible the team can win. We can be satisfied with the draw, there were more opponents in pot 1. We lost to Norway recently, but it was a training match, which is a bit different. There is a chance to win against Norway, that We must seize the opportunity. ”
Van Hovermate doesn’t really see a clear option in Group F, but may be a favorite for the outside world. “I don’t think they are happy with us in Norway. They would have drawn a different country, I believe for sure. They are probably the strongest on paper, and so is the outside world. ”
In 2013, both Albania and Norway were in the group with the Red Flames for the 2015 World Cup qualifiers, with Albania finishing last, Belgium third and Norway first. “We already played against Albania in the World Cup qualifiers, but that was a long time ago. To be honest, I do not know much about those countries. . ”
“We certainly should not underestimate Poland.”
National coach Eves Cherniels overestimates his team’s chances, but does not underestimate anyone. “There is ambition, we want to finally qualify for a World Cup. We should definitely not underestimate Poland, it is not only Norway that is strong. That first place goal. Norway is a strong team that came from pot 1. Poland is a foreigner. If we are really right, we are against Norway. We can win, but we can not go wrong, because they will be punished, and that too was seen a few weeks ago. There was great applause to play from Pot 1, but everyone in that tank was strong. Armenia is the most unknown country in our group, we certainly should not underestimate Albania and Kosovo. ”
The Red Flames have already qualified for the European Championship in 2022, but a World Cup is not yet possible. “After the two European Championships, it’s time for the World Cup. The staff are ambitious, but so are the players. It’s very important.”