Belgium women's national football team

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Belgium
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Belgian Red Flames
Association Belgian Football Association (KBVB/URBSFA)
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Ives Serneels
Captain Aline Zeler
Most caps Aline Zeler (90)
Top scorer Tessa Wullaert (31)
Home stadium Den Dreef
FIFA code BEL
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 23 Increase 2 (24 March 2017)
Highest 23 (March 2017)
Lowest 35 (November 2010, March 2011)
First international
 France 1–2  Belgium
(Reims, France; May 30, 1976)
Biggest win
 Belgium 11–0  Azerbaijan
(Tubize, Belgium; June 19, 2010)
 Belgium 11–0  Greece
(Leuven, Belgium; September 13, 2014)
Biggest defeat
 Spain 9–1  Belgium
(Alginet, Spain; February 29, 2004)
 Norway 8–0  Belgium
(Oslo, Norway; September 26, 1992)
UEFA Euro
Appearances 1 (first in 2017)

The Belgium women's national football team (nicknamed Belgian Red Flames) represents Belgium in international women's football. It is controlled by the Royal Belgian Football Association, the governing body for football in Belgium. Their home stadium is Den Dreef and their current coach Ives Serneels. During most of its history the team has had poor results, but has shown improvement in the Euro 2013 and 2015 World Cup Qualifiers, to qualify in 2016 for their first major tournament: the Euro 2017.

History[edit]

Early days (1976–1984)[edit]

Belgium played its first match against France on May 30, 1976 at Stade Auguste Delaune in Reims, France. The game ended in a 2–1 victory. A year after this debut, the Belgian team played against Switzerland and France, tying both matches, 2–2 and 1–1 respectively. They played the same teams again the next year, this time beating both with 1–0 and 2–0. Another victory followed against Yugoslavia with 1–0. The team's first defeat however came at the hands of England: 3–0, which was followed by a 2–0 loss against France and a 2–2 tie against the Netherlands. In the following years, Belgium kept playing mostly against European teams.

First tournaments (1984–1989)[edit]

Belgium participated in qualifications for the first time for the 1984 European Competition for Women's Football. They were sorted in Group 4 with the Netherlands, Denmark and West Germany. The campaign started off well with a 3–2 victory over the Netherlands, but continued with a 1–0 loss against Denmark and a 1–1 draw against West Germany. Despite having a neutral goal difference at this point, the Belgian team ended up last in the group after a 5–0 defeat against the Netherlands and draws against their other two opponents, 2–2 against Denmark and 1–1 against West Germany.

Their second attempt at qualifying was for the 1987 European Competition, where they were joined in Group 3 by France, the Netherlands again and Sweden. Their games against France were one win and one loss, both 3–1. Their matches against their two other opponents however were all defeats: 3–1 and 3–0 against The Netherlands, and 5–0 and 2–1 against Sweden. This resulted in Belgium again ending last in the group.

Belgium finally came close to qualifying for the tournament in its next iteration, in 1989. They played in Group 4 against four other teams: Czechoslovakia, France, Spain and Bulgaria. Among the eight games, they won two, drew four and lost two, with 7 goals for and 4 against. This earned them third place in the group of five, which did not suffice for qualification.

Stagnation (1990–2011)[edit]

The Belgian team suffered a series of poor results from 1990 to 2011. They never won even half of their matches in any of the qualification campaigns during this period, except for one. This notable exception was the 2003 Women's World Cup qualifiers, where they won five games and suffered only one loss. Scotland however had achieved the same result and with better goal difference, leaving Belgium second in their group. This is nevertheless Belgium's best performance at the World Cup qualifiers so far (as of 2015), although it was followed by their worst: they lost all eight games in the next iteration (2007). At the UEFA Women's Euro qualifications, their best performances during this period were at the 1995 edition and the 2009 edition, both times losing 'only' half of their matches and drawing one.

Improvements (2011–present)[edit]

An era of victories began when Ives Serneels replaced Anne Noë as manager in 2011. Serneels led the team to improved qualification campaigns for Euro 2013 and 2015 World Cup, both times ending third in the group (just short of qualifying). Between both campaigns, the Belgian female football team adopted the nickname "Belgian Red Flames".[1] Following the improvements, the RBFA invested in more growth in 2015, targeting qualification for Euro 2017.[2] After a successful start in their qualifications group, the team were invited to play at the 2016 Algarve Cup in Portugal, one of the most prestigious women's international football events. The team eventually finished second in their Euro 2017 qualifications group (after England), which was enough to earn them their first ever qualification to a continental or world championship.

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following players were called up for the friendly games against  Spain and  Scotland on 8 and 11 April. [3]
Caps and goals are correct as of 11 April 2017 after the friendly game against  Scotland.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Nicky Evrard (1995-05-26) 26 May 1995 (age 22) 16 0 Belgium Gent
1GK Diede Lemey (1996-10-07) 7 October 1996 (age 20) 3 0 Belgium Anderlecht
1GK Sofie Van Houtven (1987-08-03) 3 August 1987 (age 29) 25 0 Belgium Ladies Genk

2DF Heleen Jaques (1988-04-20) 20 April 1988 (age 29) 74 1 Belgium Anderlecht
2DF Maud Coutereels (1986-05-21) 21 May 1986 (age 31) 66 9 France LOSC Féminines
2DF Laura Deloose (1993-06-19) 19 June 1993 (age 23) 18 2 Belgium Anderlecht
2DF Elien Van Wynendaele (1995-02-19) 19 February 1995 (age 22) 16 1 Belgium Gent
2DF Imke Courtois (1988-03-14) 14 March 1988 (age 29) 18 0 Belgium Standard
2DF Laura De Neve (1994-10-09) 9 October 1994 (age 22) 10 0 Belgium Anderlecht

3MF Tine De Caigny (1997-06-09) 9 June 1997 (age 19) 26 7 Belgium Anderlecht
3MF Janice Cayman (1988-10-12) 12 October 1988 (age 28) 65 19 United States Western New York Flash
3MF Sara Yuceil (1988-06-22) 22 June 1988 (age 28) 21 2 France Olympique de Marseille
3MF Nicky Van Den Abbeele (1994-02-21) 21 February 1994 (age 23) 26 0 Belgium Anderlecht
3MF Lien Mermans (1990-09-27) 27 September 1990 (age 26) 48 9 Belgium Ladies Genk
3MF Jassina Blom (1994-09-04) 4 September 1994 (age 22) 7 2 Netherlands SC Heerenveen
3MF Lenie Onzia (1989-05-30) 30 May 1989 (age 27) 31 4 Netherlands FC Twente

4FW Aline Zeler (captain) (1983-06-02) 2 June 1983 (age 33) 90 28 Belgium Standard
4FW Davina Philtjens (1989-02-26) 26 February 1989 (age 28) 53 7 Netherlands Ajax
4FW Tessa Wullaert (1993-03-19) 19 March 1993 (age 24) 55 31 Germany Wolfsburg
4FW Yana Daniels (1992-05-08) 8 May 1992 (age 25) 24 4 Belgium Anderlecht
4FW Jana Coryn (1992-06-26) 26 June 1992 (age 24) 17 1 France LOSC Féminines

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following footballers have been selected for Belgium in the past 12 months, but are not part of the current squad.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Justien Odeurs (1997-05-30) 30 May 1997 (age 19) 19 0 Germany Jena v.  Denmark on 28 November 2016

DF Lorca Van De Putte (1988-04-03) 3 April 1988 (age 29) 53 2 Sweden Kristianstads DFF 2017 Cyprus Cup from 1 to 8 March 2017

MF Justine Vanhaevermaet (1992-04-29) 29 April 1992 (age 25) 8 0 Belgium Anderlecht 2017 Cyprus Cup from 1 to 8 March 2017
MF Davinia Vanmechelen (1999-08-30) 30 August 1999 (age 17) 7 3 Belgium Standard 2017 Cyprus Cup from 1 to 8 March 2017
MF Julie Biesmans (1994-05-04) 4 May 1994 (age 23) 43 2 Belgium Standard v.  Denmark on 28 November 2016
MF Zandy Soree (1998-08-01) 1 August 1998 (age 18) 0 0 United States UCF Knights v.  Denmark on 28 November 2016
MF Kassandra Missipo (1998-02-03) 3 February 1998 (age 19) 1 0 Belgium Gent v.  Denmark on 28 November 2016
MF Charlotte Tison (1998-04-21) 21 April 1998 (age 19) 0 0 Belgium Anderlecht v.  Denmark on 28 November 2016
MF Elke Van Gorp (1995-05-12) 12 May 1995 (age 22) 17 5 Belgium Gent v.  England on 20 September 2016
MF Silke Demeyere (1992-06-20) 20 June 1992 (age 24) 4 0 France Lille v.  Estonia on 3 June 2016
MF Cécile De Gernier (1986-05-25) 25 May 1986 (age 31) 28 5 Belgium White Star v.  Estonia on 12 April 2016

FW Sarah Wijnants (1999-10-13) 13 October 1999 (age 17) 4 0 Belgium Standard 2017 Cyprus Cup from 1 to 8 March 2017
FW Tine Schryvers (1993-03-11) 11 March 1993 (age 24) 6 3 Norway Vålerenga 2017 Cyprus Cup from 1 to 8 March 2017
FW Chloé Vande Velde (1997-06-06) 6 June 1997 (age 19) 0 0 Belgium Gent v.  Denmark on 28 November 2016
FW Amber Maximus (1997-01-12) 12 January 1997 (age 20) 1 0 Belgium Gent v.  Russia on 23 October 2016

Staff[edit]

Manager Belgium Ives Serneels
Assistant manager Belgium Tamara Cassimon
Goalkeeping coach Belgium Sven Cnudde
Fitness coach Belgium Cédric Lehance
Physiotherapist Belgium Fabienne Van De Steene

Current campaign[edit]

UEFA Euro 2017[edit]

The Belgian Red Flames finished second in Group 7 during the Euro 2017 qualifiers. This result earned them their first ever spot to the final tournament, which will be held in The Netherlands in July–August 2017. For the group stage, Belgium was sorted into Group A with host Netherlands, Norway and Denmark.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  England 8 7 1 0 32 1 +31 22 Final tournament 1–1 7–0 1–0 5–0
2  Belgium 8 5 2 1 27 5 +22 17 0–2 1–1 6–0 6–0
3  Serbia 8 3 1 4 10 21 −11 10 0–7 1–3 0–1 3–0
4  Bosnia and Herzegovina 8 3 0 5 8 17 −9 9 0–1 0–5 2–4 4–0
5  Estonia 8 0 0 8 0 33 −33 0 0–8 0–5 0–1 0–1
Source: UEFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

2019 FIFA World Cup[edit]

Belgium was sorted into Group 6 for the 2019 World Cup qualifiers. This campaign will begin in September 2017.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup Date TBC Date TBC Date TBC Date TBC
2  Belgium 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Play-offs if among four best runners-up Date TBC Date TBC Date TBC Date TBC
3  Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Date TBC Date TBC Date TBC Date TBC
4  Portugal 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Date TBC Date TBC Date TBC Date TBC
5  Moldova 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Date TBC Date TBC Date TBC Date TBC
First match(es) will be played on 11 September 2017. Source: UEFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

Competitive record[edit]

Belgium has not yet featured at the World Cup, but has reached the end stage of the Euro 2017 tournament. Their best qualification rounds before that were for 2003 World Cup, 2013 Euro and 2015 World Cup.

FIFA Women's World Cup[edit]

FIFA Women's World Cup record Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
China 1991 Did not qualify 6 1 0 5 1 12
Sweden 1995 6 2 1 3 15 13
United States 1999 8 0 1 7 6 23
United States 2003 6 5 0 1 13 9
China 2007 8 0 0 8 8 25
Germany 2011 8 3 1 4 18 13
Canada 2015 10 6 1 3 34 11
France 2019 To be decided 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 52 17 4 31 95 105
* Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

UEFA Women's Championship[edit]

UEFA Women's Championship record Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
Denmark England Italy Sweden 1984 Did not qualify 6 1 3 2 7 12
Norway 1987 6 1 0 5 6 17
West Germany 1989 8 2 4 2 7 4
Denmark 1991 6 1 0 5 1 12
Italy 1993 4 1 2 1 1 8
England Germany Norway Sweden 1995 6 2 1 3 15 13
Norway Sweden 1997 Belgium and 17 other nations were not part of a proper qualification group
Germany 2001 Belgium and 16 other nations were not part of a proper qualification group
England 2005 8 1 0 7 5 39
Finland 2009 8 3 1 4 7 15
Sweden 2013 10 6 2 2 18 8
Netherlands 2017 Qualified 8 5 2 1 27 5
Total 1/12 70 26 15 32 94 133
* Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

Minor Cups[edit]

Algarve Cup[edit]

Belgium was invited to play at the 2016 Algarve Cup in Portugal and ended fifth out of eight teams. The teams were divided into two groups; after the group stage, placement matches were played among the equally ranked teams from both groups. Belgium ended third in Group A, and won the placement match against Russia (third place in Group B) with 5–0.[4]

Cyprus Cup[edit]

Belgium played at the 2015 Cyprus Cup. They were sorted into group C with Mexico, Czech Republic and South Africa, and ended last in the group. They also lost the placement match (after penalties) against South Korea, resulting in the last place of all 12 teams.

They were invited again to the 2017 Cyprus Cup, achieving better results.[5] Belgium ended third in Group A with Switzerland, North Korea and Italy, and eventually reached 7th place (out of 12) after winning the placement match (after penalties) against Austria.

Records[edit]

Aline Zeler

As of 11 April 2017:

  • Belgium's biggest win is 11–0, both against Azerbaijan on 19 June 2010 and against Greece on 13 September 2014.
  • Belgium's highest FIFA rank was 23 (in March 2017).
  • The Red Flame with the most caps is Aline Zeler, who featured in the national team 90 times.
  • The highest number of goals scored by a single player is 31. This record is held by Tessa Wullaert.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Van Lindt, Aernout (20 Sep 2013). "Belgian Red Flames: eerst de naam, dan de hype?" (in Dutch). Vrouwenvoetbalkrant. Retrieved 5 Mar 2016. 
  2. ^ "Belgians invest in women's game from grassroots up, targeting EURO2017". insideworldfootball.com. 12 January 2015. 
  3. ^ BelRedFlames (27 Mar 2017). "SQUAD LIST 8/4 vs @SeFutbol 11/4 vs @ScottishFA" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  4. ^ "Fixtures and Results – Algarve Cup". FPF. Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  5. ^ "Red Flames zevende in Cypriotisch oefentoernooi na zege tegen Oostenrijk" (in Dutch). De Standaard. 8 Mar 2017. Retrieved 8 Mar 2017. 

External links[edit]