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01.04.2016, 12:16
Belgium count on the unknown for play-offs against Turkey
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PREVIEW: Belgium may have lost their two most recent matches against Turkey, but when the two teams meet again in the play-offs of the EHF EURO 2018 Qualification, it will be a whole different affair says Red Wolves Left wing Damian Kedziora.
 

Belgium count on the unknown for play-offs against Turkey

Belgium have a good chance to reach the main phase of the EHF EURO 2018 Qualification for the first time since 2010 when they meet Turkey in the intermediate play-offs on 6 and 9 April.

However, according to left wing Damian Kedziora everything must fall in place for the 'Red Wolves' in order to grab that almost unique possibility.

“At home Belgium can win, but away in Turkey it wil be very difficult,” said Kedziora told eurohandball.com.

Last January Turkey defeated Belgium 31:28 in Istanbul in the qualifiers for the World Championship 2017. In the return leg, the team suffered a 24:31 loss.

Kedziora hopes that the team has learned from its mistakes.

“Our squad was not complete. Our team knows Turkey now, but they don’t know some of our players. Our attack is quite good. We score a lot of goals, also against strong teams like the Czech Republic and Egypt,” said Kedziora.

The left wing was a joint top scorer together with Tom Robbens with five goals against Turkey in Kortrijk, but it wasn't enough to stop the Turks who ran away with the game after the break.

The need to go abroad

“It’s possible for us to score more than 30 goals per game, but the problem is the defence sometimes. We concede a lot of goals. We have to work on the defence.” said Kedziora.

Defence may be an achilles heel, but Kedziora believes Belgian players must play professionally abroad to push the national team to the next level.

Kedziora plays for Belgian club HC Achilles Bocholt and was voted best player in his position in the league last season.

“There are a lot of good players, but they have to go to France or Germany to professionalise. We train a lot, but it’s not the same. The young players should do it. That way we can get good results.”

Belgium ensured its ticket for the play-offs against Turkey after topping its group in the first qualification phase. The Red Wolves defeated both Cyprus and Greece over two legs.

The Belgian team will gather on Sunday to prepare for the double-header. This time it should be a closer affair than in January.“I think it’s going to be 50:50. It’s possible. We are well prepared. We count on our home support, even though with the recent terror attacks it’s a bit strange,” said Kedziora.


TEXT: Samindra Kunti / ts
 
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