4-0! U23s get some breathing space with victory over Zwickau
The alternative venue is proving to be something of a lucky charm: Borussia Dortmund's U23s won their second home game at Oberhausen's Niederrhein stadium, following up their 4-0 victory over Mannheim with another 4-0 (2-0) win against FSV Zwickau.
The scenario: Both teams went into the match deadlocked on 24 points. Thanks to their better goal difference, the U23s were in 18th place – one place ahead of Zwickau in the table. BVB had won the first meeting between the sides this season 2-1, and were hoping to take three points from their Saxon opposition once again to earn some breathing space ahead of their opponents.
Personnel matters: Dortmund coach Jan Zimmermann made one change to his starting line-up from the 2-1 defeat in Oldenburg four days earlier, with Ted Tattermusch in the starting line-up and Antonios Papadopoulos dropping to the bench. U19 players Abdoulaye Kamara, Prince Aning and Nnamdi Collins returned to the squad after their Youth League exploits earlier in the week, but also started on the bench.
The match: The Black and Yellows almost got off to a lightning-fast start, but Ole Pohlmann's shot from the edge of the penalty area flew just past the Zwickau goal in the very first minute. BVB dominated the game against their passive guests in the minutes to follow, but at first failed to create clear chances. However, that all changed after captain Franz Pfanne won the ball and played it out to Tom Rothe on the left. Ted Tattermusch got his head on the end of his ball into the six-yard box to open the scoring on 16 minutes.
BVB showed their clinical side and put together a nice move to make it 2-0. Can Özkan passed the ball from the right touchline to Michael Eberwein, who played it through to Njinmah. The striker raced away from the defenders and slotted the ball into the far post after 25 minutes. The away side had their best opportunity when Dominic Baumann found himself in space in front of Marcel Lotka's goal, but the Dortmund keeper pulled off an excellent save to tip Baumann's shot from an acute angle out for a corner on 37 minutes. Shortly before the break, Ole Pohlmann was brought down in front of the penalty area by Zwickau's Maximilian Jansen. Pohlmann picked himself off the ground to curl the resulting free-kick around the wall to the right, but FSV goalkeeper Johannes Brinkies made a good save with 44 minutes on the watch.
As in the first half, BVB once again almost got off to lightning-fast start after the break. Justin Njinmah shot from the right corner of the penalty area. The ball looked destined to find its way into the top corner, but keeper Brinkies was once again on his toes and made the save in the 47th minute. After the break, the away side were more agile, but lacked creativity and the Dortmund back line looked solid.
And the Black and Yellows continued to carve out opportunities. Abdoulaye Kamara, who had just been introduced seconds before, found Pohlmann in six-yard box, but he couldn't find the net on 71 minutes. A few moments later, Njinmah's deflected shot from the edge of the box dangerously looped toward the FSV goal, forcing Brinkies to tip the ball over the crossbar after 72 minutes. Substitute Papadopoulos won the ball in his own penalty area and played the ball forward to Njinmah, who shook off his opponent and squared the ball into the path of Moses Otuali. The Dortmund substitute prodded home to 3-0 make it on 75 minutes. Otuali missed a chance to bag a brace after a nice pass from Pohlmann found him in space, but he failed to beat Brinkies in the 79th minute. Man of the match Justin Njinmah put the exclamation mark on the scoreline, converting substitute Prince Aning's ball from an acute angle to make it 4-0 with 90 minutes on the watch.
Head coach Jan Zimmermann: "The three points were important for us. We are finishing the busy week with midweek action feeling good. I am as happy as I can be with the performance. There were one or two phases in the game when we got a little bit sloppy, but we defended well. We did that much better today. We scored at the right times. The margin of victory in the end is great for our strikers and for our goal difference. It wasn't that comfortable, but we'll happily take it."
Outlook: Next Sunday, the U23s will travel to play 1860 Munich. The match will be played in the stadium on Grünwalder Straße. Kick-off is at 13:00 CET.
U23s: Lotka – Özkan, Dams, Coulibaly, Rothe (Aning, 89) – Pfanne – Njinmah (90+2 Akono), Eberwein (Papadopoulos, 46), Michel (Kamara, 71), Pohlmann – Tattermusch (Otuali Omohe, 71).
Goals: 1-0 Tattermusch (16), 2-0 Njinmah (25), 3-0 Otuali Omohe (75), 4-0 Njinmah (90).