No Final Four and no Olympic ticket: Red Flames lose 4-0 to the Netherlands, which triumphs despite a monster score from England

© BELGIUM

No ultimate stunt for the Red Flames in this Nations League. Our compatriots lost 4-0 against the Netherlands and thus finished third in the group of death. The Netherlands became group winners in the very last minute.

Valerie Van Avermaet in the Netherlands

The Red Flames no longer had their fate in their own hands beforehand. To become group winners and advance to the Final Four of the Nations League, they needed a win against the Netherlands and England had to lose points against Scotland. However, neither condition was fulfilled.

Much has been said and written about the match between England and Scotland. With a view to an Olympic ticket for Great Britain – which can be earned in the Final Four – the Scots benefited from a big victory over the English and so it happened. England won by no less than 0-6, but in the end it was the Netherlands that could call themselves group winners after a crazy finish.

Despite the English victory, the Red Flames were still able to secure retention in the A division of the Nations League. After all, a victory in the den of the Orange Lionesses would result in second place in the group, but a victory was never actually possible in Tilburg. From minute one, the Netherlands monopolized possession, while the Flames were too sloppy the few times they had the ball. Their favorite and previously successful counter game did not turn out that way this time.

It ultimately resulted in a smooth 4-0 victory for our northern neighbors. First it was Lineth Beerensteyn who scored twice, twice it was the otherwise strong Tine De Caigny who made a mistake at the back. Ultimately, Egurrola made it 3-0 and in the final minute it even became 4-0. The Netherlands thus became group winners. The Flames could only manage two attempts from Tessa Wullaert and thus finished third in the group of death after a strong campaign in this Nations League – they still scored eight points.

© BELGIUM

As third in the group, a jump-off match will follow in February against a number two from division B. The stakes: retention in the A division and an advantage in qualifying for the 2025 European Championships in Switzerland. The draw for those jump-offs will take place on Monday. The Flames’ possible opponents are Hungary, Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

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