At this summer’s World Cup, the Belgian women’s hockey team (FIH 7) is divided into teams consisting of the first nation, Australia (FIH 4), Japan (FIH 10) and South Africa (FIH 16). It was clear from today’s draw.
Promising statistics: The Red Panthers have not lost to Australia, the biggest challenge at the group stage in the last 5 years. Belgium and Australia have drawn 3 of the last 5 encounters. In the other two fights our comrades were the boss.
The Red Panthers, coached by Dutchman Roul Ehren, play their Group D matches in Terrazza, Spain.
- Group A includes the reigning champions and the World No. 1, the Netherlands, Germany, Ireland and Chile.
- Group B is made up of the UK, New Zealand, India and China.
- In Group C, Argentina, Spain, South Korea and Canada play.
Only four Group winners will qualify directly for the quarterfinals. Numbers two and three are played at the crossroads with tickets for the last eight. The World Cup takes place from July 1 to 17.
The Red Panthers finished 10th at the previous World Cup in London in 2018. They won bronze at the European Championships in Amsterdam last year, where the Orange team extended its title to its own people. With that third place, the Panthers qualified for the World Cup.
“This is an interesting team. Anything is possible,” national team coach Ehren Belka said. “This is a good draw. South Africa is something I do not know. We need to fully analyze that team in the coming weeks. We know Australia and Japan. They are two absolutely excellent countries,” the Belgian coach said.
Despite being the co-organizer of the Netherlands, Belgium will play all its team matches in Terrazza. “What makes our team special is that we play in the heat of the Spanish sun. We have to take that into account in our preparation.”
The first place in the group would be a dream come true for the Panthers. In this way, our comrades avoid defeating two countries, the Netherlands and Argentina, until the end.
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