Borussia Dortmund's women's football team finished eighth in the Westenergie women's socca cup. At the small-pitch tournament in Essen's city centre, the Bezirksliga champions were unsuccessful against their rivals from higher divisions.
Kennedyplatz in Essen's city centre was the venue for a very special small-sided football tournament. Borussia Dortmund were one of eight participating teams competing in a pop-up stadium with space for 3,000 fans. BVB - made up of players from the club's first and second teams - had to compete in the group phase against Bundesliga team 1. FC Köln and Regionalliga sides SGS Essen U20 and Hannover 96.
In the first match against the U20s of SGS Essen, the Black & Yellows struggled more with the slippery surface than with their opponents. Nevertheless, Dortmund had a great chance to take the lead early on through Laura Wasmuth. However, the striker was unable to put the ball in the back of the net after a lapse in concentration by the SGS defence. The Regionalliga outfit from Essen, on the other hand, were very effective in front of goal and ran out 3-0 winners. For BVB, Merle Greulich made a debut appearance in the Black & Yellow kit. The 18-year-old, who will join the squad for the coming season, has been training with the team since April and was eligible to play in the small-sided tournament. "It was very nice to appear in the BVB jersey for the first time, but I was also very nervous," said Greulich about her debut.
Borussia Dortmund against 1. FC Köln. This high-profile clash was the second match of the day for BVB. Bezirksliga against Bundesliga. The outstanding player during the twelve minutes of play was Black & Yellow goalkeeper Lena Kölmel. She made numerous superb saves to frustrate the Köln strikers before finally being beaten. Olympic champion and two-time Bundesliga top scorer Mandy Islacker ensured a narrow 1-0 victory for the favourites, who play five divisions higher than Borussia. "Of course it was fun to play against such a strong opposition and to be able to make a strong impression. It was a pity that we conceded a goal at the end," said Kölmel after the game.
In the last group match, it was another BVB goalkeeper, Sandra Schröer, who earned the most applause from the fans in the mini stadium. No matter what Hannover 96 tried, there was no getting past Schröer - until the final seconds. Anna-Lena Füllkrug - sister of Bundesliga top scorer Niklas Füllkrug - found the back of the net with the very last kick of the game. Borussia were unlucky to lose 1-0, especially after Marjana Naceva and Ana Louisa Haslsteiner both hit the crossbar.
In the final match for seventh place against Arminia Bielefeld, the BVB women again failed to score a goal. Despite having numerical advantage at one point, it just wasn't the Black & Yellows' day in front of goal. The game ended in a 2-0 win for a Bielefeld team who play in the Regionalliga. "We are grateful for the invitation, the great experience and the cool atmosphere in Essen city centre. We saw the good quality and high standard of our opponents and thus got a sense of where the journey can take us," said coach Thomas Sulewski, adding: "Even if the sporting result wasn't the best, the girls had fun and we took a lot away with us."
BVB women's team: Schröer, Kölmel, Kaleja, Wiese, Reinhardt, Wasmuth, Gerres, Naceva, Haslsteiner, Greulich (df)