The Devils hold their fate in their hands before facing Portugal: “The alternatives may be important”

The Devils hold their fate in their hands before facing Portugal: “The alternatives may be important”

They were almost there. But they finally cracked in the 87th minute to move from the status of virtual leader of Group A, with 4 points, to second place (with 2 points), thanks to the total goals scored (2) from the bottom-bottom countries. (1). “The question I ask myself is what happened between the two halves?”Jackie Mathisen wondered again Sunday morning, the day after that split against Georgia (2-2).

After an upset night of questions, the coach got up trying to provide answers. “There was this goal, it fell a little bit like that. We can ask ourselves: were the positions as good as they were in the first half? Because we wanted to stay in the same framework, with very attacking wings. But football is strange, you concede a goal and you know immediately that what could not happen, that gives hope to the opponent and the audience, just happened.

De Cuyper’s top scorer and passer, De Ketelaere is not so subtle: Devils’ notes after the split against Georgia (2-2)

Damage done. And Jackie Mathisen hasn’t lost his sense of humor when debriefing the cold game with reporters. He can already see the glass half full and satisfied with his favorite spot in the Netherlands and Portugal, the two favorites in this group of death. “Today is a new day, with a new challenge. We will look at fatigue and injuries and how best to deal with the only possible scenario: winning this match.

Obviously, beating Portugal this Tuesday (6pm CEST) will allow the Devils to fend for themselves. They will then have five units on the clock and will be guaranteed to finish in one of the first two places in the group, regardless of the outcome of the duel between Georgia and the Netherlands. But qualification to the quarter-finals will also be possible in the event of a split. We will then have to count on a Georgia win or a split in which the Dutch won’t score more than Belgium in order to maintain this positive rate.

Jackie Mathisen talked about the cold game Sunday morning.

One thing is certain: the Portuguese are not going to let it go because they can still qualify if they win and lose at the hands of the Dutch. “We had two tough games, physically for sure. The third one will be of the same caliber. I said it at the start, players who might not have started in the first game can show their importance after that.

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The coach knows that players such as Michel Ange Balikuesha, Largi Ramazani and Hugo Siquet – substitutes for Wednesday’s first match against Holland (0-0) – can still bring freshness. Just like Nicholas Raskin, Ignace van der Brempt, Olivier Diman and Amine Dakhil – all four of whom came on in the second half on Saturday – the other reserves are ready to come off the bench.

A meeting to explain the inexplicable between the two demons: “We are no longer the same team”

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About the Author: Lucinda Lima

"Desbravador de cerveja apaixonado. Álcool alcoólico incurável. Geek de bacon. Viciado em web em geral."

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