The 319 fans at the Rote Erde Stadion on Saturday saw the Borussia Dortmund U23s suffer their fourth defeat of the season. The reserves lost 2-0 (1-0) against Borussia Mönchengladbach II despite having some good chances in the second half.
BVB coach Jan Siewert made a number of changes following the midweek game at SG Wattenscheid. Philipp Hanke and Massimo Ornatelli were rested, with Dzenis Burnic and Marco Hober replacing them in the starting line-up.
The game got off to an incredibly unfortunate start for the Borussia Dortmund U23s when Joseph Boyamba fouled a Gladbach forward in the penalty area. The ensuing spot-kick was saved by Eric Oelschlägel, who dived the right way and kept out Torben Müsel's strike with an outstretched left arm.
The first good opportunity for the Black & Yellows fell to Alexander Isak on the quarter-hour mark, but his shot was blocked at the last second and went behind for a corner. The Borussia youngsters showed great versatility, with Sergio Gomez in particular popping up all over the pitch. The tempo died down somewhat midway through the first period, with both teams focused on retaining possession and chances few and far between. The biggest opportunity for the visitors came in the 33rd minute, when Mandela Egbo had a shot from around 25 metres out that struck the bar. That attempt served as a wake-up call for the BVB forwards, who came close on 35 minutes when Herbert Bockhorn went on a solo run from his own half only to see his attempt from 16 metres kept out by custodian Moritz Nicolas.
Mönchengladbach opened the scoring a short while later, at a time when BVB had more of the game. Charalampos Makridis gathered the ball in the middle and fired an unstoppable shot past Oelschlägel.
Jan Siewert opted to bring on an attacking midfielder at half-time, introducing Dominik Wanner to the fray. He came on in place of Sören Dieckmann. The Black & Yellows made a courageous start to the second half and came close to restoring parity through Dzenis Burnic in the 55th minute, though the young midfielder did not quite make the right connection and the visitors retained their slender advantage. Barely 60 seconds later, Marco Rente came close to connecting with a free-kick at the back post and the Black & Yellows had other good chances, with Joseph Boyamba heading inches wide of the mark in the 63rd minute.
With BVB throwing everything forward, Gladbach created an opportunity to put the game beyond reach in the 79th minute, but Oelschlägel did very well to deny the unmarked Müsel from 10 metres out. With five minutes remaining, the visitors made life more difficult for themselves when Gladbach centre-back Markus Pazurek was shown his marching orders for a bad foul on Rizzo. But BVB were unable to take advantage of their numerical superiority and Justin Steinkötter doubled the advantage for the away side on the 87-minute mark. Borussia refused to give up, but there were no further goals as the game ended 2-0. They will have a chance to make amends on Tuesday, when they have another game in hand against RW Essen.
BVB U23s: Oelschlägel – Bockhorn, Pieper, Rente, Dieckmann (Wanner, 46) – Boadu, Burnic (Baxmann, 81), Hober – Gomez, Isak (Rizzo, 69), Boyamba
Goals: 0-1 Makridis (38), 0-2 Steinkötter (87)