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Belgium’s hockey women draw their first European Championships match

The Belgian national women’s hockey team the Rad Panthers have drawn the first match of their European Championships campaign. The 1-1 draw was against the nation ranked forth in the world of woman’s hockey Germany. Both goals fell in the fourth quarter of the match that like all other games in this year’s European Championships was played in the Dutch town of Amstelveen. 

After having missed out on qualification for this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, the Red Panthers took on a new coach, the Dutchman Raoul Ehren. Ehren opted for youth in the squad he has taken to the European Championships. The aim is qualification for next year’s World Championships. To achieve this Belgium will need to finish in the top 4 at this year’s European Championship. Although a 5th place might also provide a chance of qualification for the World Championships.  

The Belgians are currently ranked 12th in the world. Our women got off to an excellent start and the Germans looked shaky. During the first quarter Raiser’s shot went just wide for Belgium. The Belgian team defended well, and Germany penalty corners were rendered harmless during the second quarter.

If wasn’t until after the break that the Germans started to show their teeth. They pushed forward and the Belgians were forced on to the defensive. However, three penalty corners failed to deliver the goods for Germany. 

In the 4th quarter Belgium’s ring of steel was broken. Pieper scored what was a relatively easy goal for Germany. After so much effort already having been made, Belgium weren’t going to go down without a fight. Ballenghien’s strike found the back of the net to make for a full-time score of 1-1. 

The Red Panthers’ next European Championships match is against Italy on Monday 7 June at 2:45pm  

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