At this summer’s World Cup, Belgian women’s hockey (FIH 7) was divided into a group with first country Australia (FIH 4), Japan (FIH 10) and South Africa (FIH 16). That was evident from today’s lottery.
A hopeful stat: The Red Panthers are unbeaten against Australia, their biggest opponent in the group stage in 5 years. Belgium and Australia tied 3 times in the last five matches. Our compatriots were the boss in the other two swordsmen.
The Red Panthers, coached by Dutchman Raoul Ehren, play their Group D matches in Terrassa, Spain.
- Group A consists of the defending champions and number 1 in the world, the Netherlands, Germany, Ireland and Chile.
- Group B consists of England, New Zealand, India and China.
- Argentina, Spain, South Korea and Canada play in Group C.
Only the four winners will advance directly to the quarter-finals. The second and third numbers play the crossovers with the last eight ticket as a wager. The World Cup takes place from 1 to 17 July.
The Red Panthers finished 10th at the previous World Cup in London in 2018. Last year they won a bronze medal at the European Championships in Amstelveen, as the Orange squad expanded their title to their people. With this third place, the Panthers secured qualification for the World Cup.
“It’s an interesting group. One where anything is possible,” said Belgium national team coach Erin. “It’s a good draw,” said the Belgian. “South Africa is still unknown to me. We will have to analyze this team thoroughly in the coming weeks. We know Australia and Japan. These are two countries that are the absolute leaders.”
Although the Netherlands is the co-organiser, Belgium will play all of its group matches in Terrassa. “The special thing about our group is that we will be playing in the heat of the Spanish sun. We have to take that into account in our preparations.”
Getting first place in the group stage would be a dream scenario for the Panthers. In this way, our compatriots avoid beating the two countries, Holland and Argentina, until a possible final.
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