The Netherlands won this inaugural Pro League meeting against the Red Panthers without forcing their talent to hard (2-0).
It was in front of a heated crowd that the Red Panthers began their third Pro League season against the Olympic champions who already found the opening after only … 17 seconds of play via Lidewij Welten. A real cold shower that Raoul Ehren’s proteges tried to digest as quickly as possible to finally start their meeting. For their part, the Dutch demonstrated once again the extent of their qualities and that despite the renewal of executives (only 8 players were present in Tokyo this summer), they fully intended to renew their title in the competition for a third consecutive time. . Elena Sotgiu had to intervene on several occasions so as not to further complicate the meeting before the break. The Belgians were trying to build and develop their game. They even got a nice possibility via Barbara Nelen in the first quarter. In the 20th minute, the Netherlands inherited a first penalty but Aisling D’Hooghe intervened with authority on Sanne Koolen’s attempt. The Panthers were of goodwill but they lacked the inspiration to find the loophole in the Dutch wall.
After the break, the face of the meeting was quite the same. The world number 1 accelerated at times but without really being dangerous. While the Belgians tried to put their game down and put some rhythm into the exchanges but without succeeding in surprising the opposing block well in place. The opportunities were few and there was little opportunity for the public to get excited. The last quarter of an hour did not offer more spectacle. However, in the 52nd minute, the Dutch doubled their lead following an individual effort from Freeke Moes. But it really lacked the aggressiveness and bite in the Belgian game to have a chance to compete with the Oranje. What’s more,
“I am not very satisfied with the level that we proposed during this meeting”, admitted without detour Alix Gerniers, the captain of the day. “Yet we tried to play forward and we won a lot of duels. I don’t want to make excuses for us, but the level of the Belgian championship does not help us either. This level difference is quite impressive. Both goals are from individual mistakes and this will need to be corrected in the future. We must continue to look forward and above all continue to work. “
This weekend, the Red Panthers will meet their supporters for the double confrontation against Germany, at Uccle Sport. An important meeting that they do not want to miss and which will allow them to measure the work they still have to accomplish to achieve their ambitious goals.