The Belgians corrected the situation perfectly in their second Pro League meeting of the weekend. A more solid, more realistic and, above all, more successful performance than that offered on Friday evening.
After a disappointing performance in the first duel against Spain, the Belgian players were keen to put things right for their second meeting of the weekend. Without Alix Gerniers and France De Mot left to rest, Stephanie Vanden Borre (still in rehabilitation after her sprained knee) but with Astrid Bonami (Orée), who was honoring her first international selection, the Panthers were well aware that they would have to play a lot faster but also to be more aggressive and sharper in the duels to have a chance of jostling the 7th world nation.
But the first minutes of the game were, like the day before, a little soft with a very high press from their opponents. However, it was indeed Judith Vandermeiren who offered herself the first opportunity of the meeting. An opportunity that loosened the Belgians who were much more aggressive and finally dominated the Spanish. At the end of the first quarter of an hour, a sleeper from Ambre Ballenghien narrowly passed the goal. In the 20th minute, Justine Rasir made an individual effort on her left flank and Delphine Marien deflected the ball into the back of the net. A deserved opener for Raoul Ehren’s proteges, well on their legs, in this part. A little later, Tiphaine Duquesne had to save the day by pushing a ball off the line before Ambre Ballenghien doubled his team’s lead on stroke (27th).
Physically stronger Belgians
After the break, the Red Panthers continued diligently and got great chances as their opponents tried to come back and thus offered serious space to develop counter-attacks. Above all, they were more physically solid, unlike the meeting the day before. The Spaniards were experiencing a serious setback and could not find their hockey. In the last quarter, the Panthers did not relax their grip on the match even if their opponents obtained several pc (5 in total for the match) and Elena Sotgiu had to make an incredible save. In the 56th minute, Abi Raye punctuated the convincing performance of the day with a third goal. This third Belgian victory in the Pro League (after the 2 against Germany, last October) will be good for morale after a good overall performance. It will now be necessary to confirm against China, on June 7 and 8, and continue the development and the rise towards the World Cup (July 2 to 17).