A package against Puerto Rico, a more than correct match against the American superpower and a resounding victory against Russia: the Belgian Cats did not steal their ticket for the World Cup. Three convincing achievements, perhaps less obvious than it seems at first glance.
A trip to Washington for the games against Puerto Rico and the United States, then a tiring trip to the Dominican Republic to face Russia in a dilapidated hall. Also enters countless PCR tests. Rather clever, what the Belgian Cats showed on the pitch.
Star player Emma Meesseman was very proud after the big win against Russia. “Certainly given the circumstances. The bus was late and it was bumpy terrain, but that only gave us energy,” says Meesseman.
The bus was late and it was bumpy terrain, but that just gave us some energy.
“It will remain Russia. We have a bit of a rivalry with that,” says Meesseman, himself employed by top Russian club Yekaterinburg. “So I’m happy that we were able to achieve such a performance.”
“Our 2nd half was a little less. We don’t move as well for each other and if we do that, we make it harder for each other. Fortunately, our defense was correct.
“You can already see the evolution in the short term, it can only go up,” says Meesseman. “In the summer there will finally be more time to train together and adapt to each other. I’m curious.”
German: “We deserve to be here”
“The course was tough and we didn’t have much time to recover, but we played a very strong game,” game distributor Julie Allemand said of the match against Russia.
However, the fact that fatigue played a part was not reflected in the German’s play, who hurt the Russians a lot with her energetic play. “At the start of the match, I felt this tiredness, but after that I found my second wind,” she said.
“I also received a lot of energy from the team. Together, we managed to forget the fatigue. We got away with it. We were present in all areas, both in attack and in defence. It made the difference.
At the start of the match, I felt this fatigue, but afterwards I found my second wind.
“We followed the coach’s instructions. Our first half was excellent. We were ready and we made it very difficult for Russia. I don’t think they expected us to be so fresh. But we imposed our game from the first minute and exploited their weaknesses.
“I think we can be very proud of our 3 matches. We also showed great things against the United States at the end. We deserve to be there in Sydney. It’s great that we are going to the World Cup.
Star Linskens: ‘I want to go as far as possible at the World Cup’
Center Kyara Linskens has been a mainstay for the Cats the last 3 games and has played great 3 times. “But my own performance is not the most important for me. I just wanted to win games and qualify for the World Cup,” she remains modest.
The interaction between Linskens and Meesseman was also a feast for the eyes at times. “It’s great to play with Emma. We feel good with each other and we like each other on the pitch.
The World Cup in Australia is only at the end of September, but the Belgian Cats already know a little about where they stand at the start of next month. The draw will take place on Thursday March 3. “We will see who we are with in a group. We are going to do everything to get as far as possible at the World Cup,” Linskens said.
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VIDEO: Belgian cats’ tiring journey to the Dominican Republic