Red Panthers begin European Championships with commanding win over Italy
The Belgian women's hockey team easily won their first game in Group A at the European Championships in Mönchengladbach, Germany, on Saturday afternoon. The Red Panthers beat Italy 6-0.
The Panthers had Italy on the ropes from the start, with Michelle Struijk opening the scoring from a penalty corner. Abi Raye then doubled the lead. In the closing stages, Belgium continued to add to their advantage. Charlotte Englebert scored from the penalty spot and later a penalty corner, Emma Puvrez and Stephanie Vanden Borre made it 6-0.
The Red Panthers, coached by Raoul Ehren, face world number 1 the Netherlands on Sunday at 15.00 and Spain on Tuesday at 17.00 in their remaining group matches. England, Germany, Ireland and Scotland are in the other group. The Red Panthers, who won bronze at Euro 2021, will be aiming for a place in the final.
The top two teams in each pool qualify for the semi-finals. The overall winner will qualify directly for next year's Olympic Games in Paris.
© BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM