As wet as a month ago, the Belgian women’s football team won 7-0 in the qualifying rounds of the World Cup in 2023. After Albania, Kosovo was now the cue ball. On Tuesday, the Red Flames will battle with Norway for first place in the group. “Then it has to be more aggressive,” says Tessa Wullaert.
- 2′ Vanhaevermaet 1-0
- 9′ Cayman 2-0
- 16′ Wullaert 3-0
- 28′ De Caigny 4-0
- 36′ Vanhaevermaet 5-0
- 50′ Wullaert 6-0
- 69′ Wullaert 7-0
Belgium is running Kosovo through the meat grinder
Against the world’s number 115, the question was how often the Flames would find the target. The answer is simple: often.
The national women quickly understood that they had to play out their height. Vanhaevermaet, Cayman and De Caigny all scored with their heads in the first half. In between, Wullaert scored the 3-0.
After the second of the evening for Vanhaevermaet (5-0) Nicky Evrard was allowed to distinguish himself. The goalkeeper had taken the place of Justien Odeurs and did so with gusto. Twice she took a penalty from Kosovo.
After the break, the foot went off the accelerator. Wullaert boosted her statistics with 2 goals, after that the local brass band was mainly allowed to entertain the public in Leuven.
Tuesday the clash with Norway
On Tuesday, Belgium will meet a tougher opponent in the World Cup preliminary. Then the Flames visit Norway.
Earlier in the day, the Norwegians did not get further than a scoreless draw on a visit to Poland.
The clash with Norway will undoubtedly be a crucial duel for first place, which will yield a ticket to the World Cup final round in Australia and New Zealand. The runner-up plays the play-offs.
Tessa Wullaert: “It has to be more aggressive when losing the ball”
After a resounding victory, goalscorer Tessa Wullaert still sees a point for improvement.
“We have to react more aggressively when losing the ball. Now it was just Kosovo, but if we lose the ball on Tuesday, we will have a problem,” the experienced attacker knows. “Anyway, we created a lot of opportunities and capitalized on them.”
Going to Norway 7-0 is fun for confidence. “We are not going to get that many chances there”, Wullaert knows, “but we do score one goal every game.”
Nicky Evrard: “Super fun to take penalties”
“We have put in a great team performance”, says goalkeeper Nicky Evrard. “It must have been a great game to watch.”
Evrard had little work to do, but saved a penalty twice. “That’s a super nice feeling,” she says. “I didn’t hesitate and chose the same angle twice.”
The 26-year-old goalkeeper soon realized that she would be under the bar. “I understood it at the start of the internship. I don’t know what happened between Justien (Odeurs, ed.) and the coach. Those are internal matters. I deliberately don’t pay too much attention to it.”
Ives Serneels: “Well handled the opportunities”
“We have used the opportunities very efficiently and that gives me great pleasure”, a satisfied coach looks back. “Small downside: sometimes we gave away too much space. That should not happen in Norway.”
Norway and Poland drew 0-0, no surprise for Ives Serneels. “The three of us are fighting for the direct World Cup ticket,” he knows.
“Norway has players at top clubs in Europe. It is up to us to make them restless and take advantage of that ourselves next Tuesday,” the national coach concludes.