Belgian Barbarians Bring Down Slovakia’s Blue Army

Photos by: John Johnson

The Slovakians struck first scoring the game’s opening touchdown, but Team Belgium recovered and took a 12-7 halftime lead and finally went on to defeat Team Slovakia 40-22 in Ostend, Belgium on Saturday, August 22nd in the Treasure Cup.

In a game that both nations used as a tuneup for IFAF Europe qualifiers, Saturday was a beautiful day for American football and the enormous and enthusiastic crowd saw an excellent national team match-up between Belgium and Slovakia.

The Slovakian Blue Army opened the game with an impressive long touchdown pass and then tried an onside kick, but the Belgian Barbarians were able to recover the ball. What followed was a very intense game of football, with the Barbarians bouncing back and taking a narrow 12-7 lead at half time.

The 2nd half brought even more spectacle, showing the home crowd the progress their national team has made since their previous appearance at the Treasure Cup last year.

Although the Blue Army showed good blocking and solid running of the football, the Barbarian defense was still able to force plenty of three and out plays. Once the Belgian offense got rolling, they created some nice passing and running plays.

On offense, the Barbarians saw scoring from running backs Arkadi Meerschout and Rudy Mwamba, wide receivers Mike Schoonheyt and Ruben De Ruyter and quarterback Tomasz Firszt. Linebacker Nick Vanhee also added to the scoring with a pick six.

Belgium v. Slovakia

The 40-22 score gave Team Belgium their second victory of the year. And it proved the growth and development of the Belgian national program, both on and off the field.

The Belgian Barbarians thanked the national team of Slovakia for a hard and fair game of football, and also gave a very big thank you and respect for the Ostend Pirates organization for setting up the Treasure Cup. The Cup is growing every year, drawing more attention and spectators.

On Monday the Barbarians starting their preparation for their upcoming game in Poland and the Polish national team on September 12th. Look for Team Belgium to release their roster for the match next week.

Information via the Belgian Barbarians Facebook page.

John McKeon is a former professional and collegiate American Football player and coach now living and working in New York. His goal is to spread news, information, and opinion on the global growth of the sport he loves.