Belgium women's national football team
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 showed improvement in the Euro 2013 and 2015 World Cup Qualifiers. In 2016 they qualified for their first major tournament: Euro 2017.
Early days (1976–1984)
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)
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.
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.
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". Following the improvements, the RBFA invested in more growth in 2015, targeting qualification for Euro 2017. After a successful start in their qualifications group, the team was invited to play at the 2016 Algarve Cup in Portugal, one of the most prestigious women's international football events.
Belgium finished second in their Euro 2017 qualifications group (after England), which was enough to earn them their first ever qualification for a major tournament. At Euro 2017 Belgium secured a 2–0 upset win over Norway during group stage. However after losing 1–0 to Denmark and 2–1 to the Netherlands they finished third in their group and did not advance to the knockout round.
Belgium performed well in UEFA World Cup Qualifying for the 2019 World Cup and secured second place in Group 6 behind Italy. As a result they qualified for the UEFA Play-offs as they were one of the top 4 ranked second place teams. Switzerland, the Netherlands and Denmark were the other teams in the play-off. Belgium faced Switzerland in their play-off semi-final, after two legs the aggregate score was 3–3, but Switzerland advanced on away goals. The Netherlands then defeated Switzerland in the play-off final to claim the final UEFA qualifying spot at the 2019 World Cup.
Recent schedule and results
This section lists results from the past 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.
|31 August 2018 2019 World Cup Qualifying G6||Romania||0–1||Belgium||Stadionul Municipal, Botoșani|
||Referee: Lina Lehtovaara (Finland)|
|4 September 2018 2019 World Cup Qualifying G6||Belgium||2–1||Italy||Den Dreef, Leuven|
||Referee: Florence Guillemin (France)|
|5 October 2018 World Cup qualifier – Play-off SF||Belgium||2–2||Switzerland||Den Dreef, Leuven|
Referee: Anastasia Pustovoitova (Russia)
|9 October 2018 World Cup qualifier – Play-off SF||Switzerland||1–1||Belgium||Tissot Arena, Biel/Bienne|
||Referee: Jana Adámková (Czech Republic)|
|27 February 2019 2019 Cyprus Cup Group Stage||Belgium||3–0||Slovakia||AEK Arena, Larnaca|
|1 March 2019 2019 Cyprus Cup Group Stage||Austria||0–0||Belgium||Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium, Larnaca|
|4 March 2019 2019 Cyprus Cup Group Stage||Nigeria||0–1||Belgium||GSZ Stadium, Larnaca|
|6 March 2019 2019 Cyprus Cup Third Place Match||Austria||0–0|
|Belgium||GSZ Stadium, Larnaca|
|7 April 2019 Friendly||United States||6–0||Belgium||Los Angeles, California|
||Report||Stadium: Banc of California Stadium|
Referee: Ekaterina Koroleva (United States)
|24 May 2019 Friendly||Greece||1–2||Belgium|
|1 June 2019 Friendly||Belgium||6–1||Thailand|
Caps and goals may be incorrect.
The following players were named to the squad for the friendly against Thailand on 1 June 2019.
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|GK||Nicky Evrard||26 May 1995||16||0||Sporting Huelva|
|GK||Justien Odeurs||13 May 1997||33||0||Anderlecht|
|DF||Maud Coutereels||21 May 1986||86||9||Lille|
|DF||Laura De Neve||9 October 1994||15||0||Anderlecht|
|DF||Heleen Jaques||20 April 1988||89||2||Fiorentina|
|DF||Davina Philtjens||26 February 1989||78||8||Fiorentina|
|DF||Shari Van Belle||22 December 1999||3||0||Gent|
|DF||Aline Zeler||2 June 1983||100||28||PSV Eindhoven|
|MF||Julie Biesmans||4 May 1994||47||2||PSV Eindhoven|
|MF||Celien Guns||18 June 1998||4||0||SC Heerenveen|
|MF||Marie Minnaert||5 May 1999||3||0||Gent|
|MF||Kassandra Missipo||3 February 1998||13||0||Gent|
|MF||Lenie Onzia||30 May 1989||34||4||Gent|
|MF||Justine Vanhaevermaet||29 April 1992||10||0||Røa IL|
|FW||Janice Cayman||12 October 1988||92||34||Lyon|
|FW||Yana Daniëls||8 May 1992||32||4||Bristol City|
|FW||Elena Dhont||27 March 1998||6||1||Gent|
|FW||Lisa Petry||12 February 2001||1||0||Standard Liège|
|FW||Ella Van Kerkhoven||20 November 1993||7||1||Anderlecht|
|FW||Tessa Wullaert||19 March 1993||78||39||Manchester City|
The following players have been selected for Belgium in the past 12 months, but are not part of the current squad.
This list may be incomplete.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|GK||Lisa Lichtfus||29 December 1999||0||0||Standard Liège||v. United States, 7 April 2019|
|DF||Laura Deloose||19 June 1993||24||3||Anderlecht||v. United States, 7 April 2019|
|FW||Tine De Caigny||9 June 1997||36||9||Anderlecht||v. United States, 7 April 2019|
|FW||Chloé Vande Velde||6 June 1997||6||1||Gent||v. United States, 7 April 2019|
|FW||Davinia Vanmechelen||30 August 1999||16||4||Paris Saint-Germain||v. United States, 7 April 2019|
|Assistant manager||Tamara Cassimon|
|Goalkeeping coach||Sven Cnudde|
|Fitness coach||Cédric Lehance|
|Physiotherapist||Fabienne Van De Steene|
Belgium has been sorted into Group H for the Euro 2021 qualifiers. Matches begin in August 2019.
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
|FIFA Women's World Cup record||Qualification record|
|1991||Did not qualify||6||1||0||5||1||12|
UEFA Women's Championship
|UEFA Women's Championship record||Qualification record|
|1984||Did not qualify||6||1||3||2||7||12|
|1997||Belgium and 17 other nations were not part of a proper qualification group|
|2001||Belgium and 16 other nations were not part of a proper qualification group|
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.
Belgium has been invited to the Cyprus Cup four times, as of 2019. Their first appearance was in 2015. They were sorted into group C that year, 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. In 2017 Belgium finished third in Group A with Switzerland, North Korea and Italy, and eventually reached seventh place out of 12 after winning the placement match against Austria. 
Belgium was also invited to play the tournament in 2018, in a group with Austria, Czech Republic and Spain. They ended second in the group behind eventual winner Spain, and fifth overall (out of 12) after winning the placement match against South Africa.Belgium returned to the Cyprus Cup in 2019. They were in Group C with Austria, Slovakia and Nigeria. Belgium finished in third place after defeating Austria on penalties in the third place match.
As of 12 July 2019:
- Belgium's biggest win is 12–0, achieved against Moldova on 19 September 2017.
- Belgium's highest FIFA rank has been 19 (in July 2019).
- The Red Flame with the most caps is Aline Zeler, who featured in the national team 111 times before retiring.
- The highest number of goals scored by a single player is 41. This record is held by Tessa Wullaert.
- "The FIFA/Coca-Cola Women's World Ranking". FIFA. 12 July 2019. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
- Van Lindt, Aernout (20 Sep 2013). "Belgian Red Flames: eerst de naam, dan de hype?" (in Dutch). Vrouwenvoetbalkrant. Retrieved 5 Mar 2016.
- "Belgians invest in women's game from grassroots up, targeting EURO2017". insideworldfootball.com. 12 January 2015.
- "Women's World Cup play-off draw on Friday". Retrieved September 6, 2018.
- "Fixtures and Results – Algarve Cup". FPF. Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
- "Red Flames zevende in Cypriotisch oefentoernooi na zege tegen Oostenrijk" (in Dutch). De Standaard. 8 Mar 2017. Retrieved 8 Mar 2017.
- "Cyprus Women's Cup 2019". Cyprus Women's Cup. Retrieved 17 Feb 2019.