Our boys prepare the match with seriousness and more maturity after the experience of the day before. They now know who they are dealing with. They know that they will have to increase the physical and mental intensity to support the rhythm imposed by our opponents. The staff, on its side, brings some strategic solutions to lighten the weight of the opposing attacks and to be able to leave our camp with more serenity. The task is difficult against the Belarusians but the motivation to do better than the day before transcends the fear and increases the desire to show our true face.
We know that the matches of this importance depend on the first 20 minutes. The longer we keep our opponents under pressure and in a feeling of insecurity, the more chance we will have to make them break. Unfortunately, we missed that first quarter. Some inaccuracies cost us 2 goals, then quickly a third one, letting the Belarusians settle comfortably in the game. Too bad...
Then, our boys entered fully in the fight. Their attitude changed, they reacted and finally freed themselves! They managed to develop their game, to find combinations, to embarrass the Belarusians and to create some opportunities... unfortunately without being able to score. The score of 0-4 was severe, but fair. This did not prevent all the players to keep their heads high, to show an exemplary behavior and to fight until the last second. Respect!
At the beginning of the last quarter, Guillaume went on the field under the applause of all his teammates. For 15 minutes, he overcame his stress and made some great saves to keep the score up and join the party with his friends. Everyone participates, everyone is involved. One team, one group, one family!
The guys finished the game on their kneecaps, exhausted and free of any blame. Obviously the disappointment was present, but the pride to have progressed compared to the first game also. We tried. We learned again. We'll try again. We'll learn again. We're growing, we're improving and we're taking advantage of the experience.
Around the meal, the players spoke. You could feel their frustration and revenge. They want to give themselves the means to control more the games. They want to combine the beginning of the game against Switzerland and the end of the one against Belarus. They also want to take the necessary risks to finally score that first goal that would deliver them for good! The motivation is intact and the podium is still reachable. We will fight until the end to get the best possible result.
We will take advantage of a good day of rest to spend time together off the field and recharge our batteries. The next game is on Thursday against Lithuania.
Thanks again to everyone in Luxembourg for your warm support!
The LU dream team!
(by Maxime Haflants)