Aubameyang on target as BVB beat Zulte Waregem 3-2
Borussia Dortmund have claimed another friendly victory during their training camp in Marbella, narrowly beating Belgian Cup winners Zulte Waregem 3-2. The Black & Yellows struggled in the opening 45 minutes, then spurned several chances to net a fourth goal after the break.
Although Borussia Dortmund took a 27-man squad to their training camp, a few players – the likes of Reus, Rode and Larsen – are still undergoing rehabilitation. In addition, the trio of Schmelzer, Guerreiro and Pulisic were unavailable due to injury and, with a gastrointestinal virus sidelining a further nine players, the Black & Yellows only had 17 men available for their evening friendly with Belgium's Cup winners. It would have been fewer if youth goalkeepers Eike Bansen and Jan Reckert had not made a late journey to Marbella via Malaga to link up with the squad.
Nonetheless, Peter Stöger was happy the friendly was able to take place. Lukasz Piszczek, Mario Götze and Gonzalo Castro all made their comebacks, while Erik Durm got some more minutes under his belt – before being substituted off with a shin injury. The playing surface was less than ideal, given the heavy rainfall in southern Spain, but the groundsmen worked for hours to get the pitch into a playable condition. Another consequence of the weather conditions on the Costa del Sol was that the team will now be flying back to Dortmund on Tuesday morning, rather than returning home in the afternoon as was previously planned.
The Black & Yellows dominated the first half, creating good chances to open the scoring through Götze, who was denied by Waregem's keeper, and Castro, who fired Götze's clever cut-back narrowly wide of the upright from a distance of 14 metres out (14). Instead, a counter-attack down the Dortmund left saw the Belgians go in front, with De Pauw fizzing a ball into the centre and Harbaoui tapping home from the edge of the six-yard box (23).
The leveller came only six minutes later when Piszczek headed a Castro corner kick into the far corner to make it 1-1. But it was short-lived as a corner at the other end gave the Belgians their second goal from their second chance, with Derijck heading home (33). Bansen prevented BVB from falling 3-1 behind when he denied Harbaoui in a one-on-one (37). Dortmund levelled at 2-2 following a counter in which Yarmolenko set up Aubameyang (42), who made it 3-2 eight minutes after the restart when he latched on to a Sancho through-ball, beat an opponent and coolly slotted in.
Waregem's shot-stopper Bostin subsequently made spectacular saves to prevent Aubameyang (65) and Sancho (67) from making it 4-2. Isak also had two opportunities to get a fourth but could not convert Toljan's cross (77) or Weigl's excellent ball (82).