Belgium suffered against Spain with their rejuvenated team but they still managed to come back to the score late in the game thanks to two goals from Tom Boon.
With the many absentees (Arthur Van Doren, Alex Hendrickx, Florent van Aubel, Cédric Charlier, Sebastien Dockier, Antoine Kina or Loïck Luypaert) in the Belgian camp for this resumption of the Pro League against Spain, the supporters were curious to see what face the Red Lions would show for this first international duel. But the first quarter of an hour was quite balanced and the players of Michel van den Heuvel, with a rejuvenated team and the first of Nelson Onana, Guillermo Hainaut and Arno Van Dessel, started the hostilities rather well. Tom Boon obtained a first possibility on penalty from the 6th minute to which Marc Miralles replied directly, also on pc But as the minutes went by, the Spaniards, already at cruising speed since they were playing their 5th meeting in just 7 days, took the lead in duels. The Lions lacked aggressiveness in the duels and left far too much space for the Spaniards. And in the 16th minute, the visitors logically opened the scoring via Marc Reyne. The 9th nation in the world was much more incise and uncompromising in the defensive game.
Character and 2 goals for Tom Boon
In the second half, when Belgium seemed to resume with better intentions, it was Marc Miralles who doubled the lead for his team with a powerful penalty (39th). The reaction was fortunately immediate, since less than 60 seconds later, John-John Dohmen reduced the gap on a serve from Nicolas De Kerpel. But the joy was however short-lived as Spain continued its march forward on a penalty phase ended by Alvaro Iglesias (41st). The Red Lions regained color and picked up the score via Tom Boon (48th), pushed by the 2,000 spectators present in the stands in Antwerp. They then moved into the Spanish camp and pushed hard to equalise. The pressure was growing and Tom Boon, top scorer in the Division d’honneur, scored twice, 4 minutes from the final whistle (3-3). During the shoot-out session, the Red Lions won the bonus point.
“We finished the championship ten days ago, and we had to integrate 3 young players into the squad,” said Tom Boon straight away. “And despite that, we managed to come back at the end of the game by not offering our best performance. But we showed character and that is perhaps the most important thing. This match was frustrating because we wanted to do well but the body didn’t follow. We struggled to maintain intensity during the 60 minutes but we nevertheless found the necessary resources to equalize and win this shoot-out duel. »
We will therefore remember the proud reaction of the Belgians after 3 complicated quarters of an hour, the good performances of the newcomers and this victory in the shoot-outs to pocket the bonus point.