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The Red Flames play a jump match against Hungary to stay in Division A|  Women's Nations League

The Red Flames play a jump match against Hungary to stay in Division A| Women’s Nations League

The Red Flames had a fantastic season in the UEFA Nations League and were in contention to win the group until the final round of play. In the end they had to be satisfied with third place and that meant surviving the jump to remain in the top flight.

During the draw in Nyon, the Flames were paired with Hungary. The Hungarians finished second in their group in Division B. The home-and-away match is scheduled to take place between February 21 and 28. Hungary will play first at home, then the return match will be held in Belgium.

If the Flames eliminate Hungary, they will remain in the top tier in the upcoming Nations League. If they fail to do so, they will enter Section B. This is important as far as the European Championships are concerned. If the Red Flames can keep themselves in the top flight, the road to the 2025 European Championship in Switzerland will be much easier.

The qualifications are divided according to the Nations League system into three sections. In Division A, the top two of the four groups qualify directly for the European Championship, while the third and fourth numbers play jump matches (which consist of two rounds). The European Championships can only be accessed by jumping through Division B.

In the fourth final, the Netherlands, the leaders of the group, faced Belgium, the world champion, Spain in the semi-finals. France faces Germany. The final match, which will determine third place, will be held on February 28.

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National coach Yves Sernels does not hide the fact that the Belgians are the favorites in that jump. “It is very clear to us: we are the favorites against the Hungarians. We must try to live up to the candidates.”

More than 11 years ago, Belgium last played against Hungary in the qualifiers for the European Championship 2013. “Hungary is not an unknown team for me. In recent days, I have looked at the heart of the four potential opponents. In Hungary there are: “Some players who were there before 11 years and are now the most experienced players. They also have five players in the Bundesliga, plus one from Inter Milan and one from Fiorentina.”

“So let’s definitely not misunderstand the opponent. From the two games we played against Hungary, I remember they were a difficult team.”