Yesterday it wasn’t long before the ‘torch of the game’ was found after the Belgian women’s 1-6 win in Kosovo. Tessa Woolaert participated in every goal, with four goals and two assists. Even if it’s against mediocre opponents, scoring a lot is important as it can bring the Red Flames team closer to the World Cup.
It was a productive international break for Tessa Wallart. And I scored twice against Albania last week (0-5), against Kosovo I doubled it.
Consequently, Wallart reached a total of 15 goals in this campaign and is, with two games remaining, the top scorer in all groups. Top players Beth Meade (England) and Sene Bronn (Denmark) count 12 goals.
Tine De Caigny has already scored 10 goals and Wullaert leads the standings with 11 assists. These stats received a special boost against weaker opponents, for example Wallart’s 5 in the 19-0 win over Armenia. However, they can play an important role in the final settlement.
Among the top three runners-up?
The Red Flames were already guaranteed to take second place in the group. To lose them, they would have to lose already in Red Armenia. And winning the group from Norway does not seem realistic either, because then Hegerberg and his comrades must be defeated by 4 goals in September.
Secondly, it could mean that Flames will have to try to reach the World Championships with vaults for the first time. But these leaps come with strong evidence.
In total, nine numbers 2 are vying for three World Cup tickets (or indeed two set tickets, one still has to be charged through the Intercontinental Playoffs).
So nine second places, but the best three second places are “free” in the first playoff. The second best places are determined by ranking and goals become important.
One or two breaks
The ranking is determined after the campaign, with the points obtained as the first criterion (except for those obtained against the sixth in the deck, which do not count). If the number of points is equal, the goal difference is the next criterion that determines the ranking, followed by the number of goals (Other criteria can be found here†
The “worst” runners-up will meet each other in the first play-off round in three matches (without home and away). The three winners then face the first three contestants in the second playoff round, and play again in one match.
And these three winners can also go to Australia and New Zealand? It would have been very simple: the best between them is immediately confirmed, and the third plays the Intercontinental Playoffs on the last card. The best two are determined by the above rankings of the nine runners-up, complete with the second playoff round.
It is not simple, but what is clear: Red Flames can greatly facilitate their task if they take the top three second places. Therefore, it is important to achieve a good result against Norway.
Oh yeah, matches against the sixth in the group were omitted from the second-best standings. So 19 goals (and three points) for Armenia can already be omitted. The good news: Right now, the Flames don’t need those goals to finish third in second place. To go on, but first the European Championship.
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