Borussia Dortmund's women's football team have been beaten 4-0 (1-0) in the Westfalenpokal semi-final by Regionalliga side Arminia Bielefeld. Sulewski's side suffered their first competitive defeat of the season against the defending champions, who play two leagues higher than the Black & Yellows.

Last year, Dortmund's Westfalenpokal campaign came to an end in the quarter-finals against VfL Bochum. This season, defending champions Arminia Bielefeld proved a step too far for the BVB ladies in the semi-final. For the first time in the 76th competitive game in their history, the BVB women failed to score.

It was also the first time the Dortmund ladies went into a game this season as clear outsiders. As a result, Thomas Sulewski lined up in a 4-2-3-1 system, with Kimberly Becker and Lisa Gomulka operating as a double pivot in defensive midfield. He named a debutant in central defence, with Madita Sommer from the second team in the starting line-up.

The league leaders in the Landesliga were well in the game right from the start. BVB looked to play through the high-press of the two Arminia strikers, and the Borussia women usually came out on top in the duels. In an even first half, Sulewski's team grew in confidence and increasingly got more of a foothold in the game before creating the first real chance to take the lead, which fell to Marah Tayeh in the 21st minute. But it was precisely in that period in which the Black & Yellows were looking increasingly stronger that the team in fifth in the Regionalliga struck with their first real chance at goal. Sophia Thiemann followed up after Emelie Klingen's shot hit the post to give Bielefeld the lead in the 33rd minute.

"At half-time, we once again urged the girls not to show them any more respect," said Sulewski, and during the second half, he also opted for a bolder approach, bringing on Mia Macarena Bedarf for Becker, and switched to the tried-and-tested 4-1-4-1 system. Sommer missed the biggest chance to equalise, but her far post header after a corner only found the side netting on the hour mark 

A quickfire double with Jocelyn Hampel's 69th-minute header and Klingen's long-range shot one minute later ended the Black & Yellows' dreams of making the final. In the 77th minute, Thiermann made it 4-0 with her second goal, and that would remain the final score as the clinical hosts ran out clear winners. "Any lapse in concentration is punished immediately against such opponents. In the end, we deserved to lose, but not by that much." Debutant Sommer came to a similar conclusion: "Until the 60th minute, there was little between the sides. We had a chance to make it 1-1, but then the game turned on its head in two minutes and the result sounds more convincing than it was."

The BVB women won't have long to wait for the next big match: at 17:30 CET on Sunday, 7 April, they will be playing in the ESO Stadion at second-placed Borussia Dröschede in the Landesliga, where they are hoping to take what could be a decisive step toward the league title.

BVB women: Jäger – Geldschläger (Klemann, 77), Jung, Sommer (Haslsteiner, 84), Glänzer – Becker (Bedarf, 63), Gomulka – Tayeh, Grothe, Greulich (Tan, 72) – Naceva

Goals: 1-0 Thiemann (33), 2-0 Hampel (69), 3-0 Klingen (70), 4-0 Thiemann (77)