They have trained, sweated and worked to achieve their objective since the summer – and now they have: the Borussia Dortmund women have sealed promotion to the Bezirksliga thanks to a 4-0 (3-0) win against TV Brechten II, prompting exuberant scenes of celebration after the final whistle.

Watched on by 1,000 spectators at the Bezirkssportanlage in Dortmund-Nette – including BVB managing director Carsten Cramer and former BVB players Teddy de Beer and Patrick Owomoyela – the Black & Yellows started in dominant fashion and dictated proceedings on the pitch. But initially they could not find a way through Brechten's deep-lying defence. The Dortmund ladies also lacked accuracy in their attacking play and looked visibly nervous in their promotion play-off. 

It therefore seemed apt that the opener came from a set-piece: Luisa Bergmann curled the ball into the penalty area and Marina Jung played it into the path of Vanessa Heim, who slotted a tidy finish into the left corner to make it 1-0 (18). But then an underhit pass by BVB defender Sandra Schröer was intercepted by TVB player Jessica Meyer, who was brought down by Jung in an attempt to clear the ball. As the last defender, she was shown a straight red card for a professional foul. Sulewski reacted by bringing on central defender Lilli Prinzen in place of forward Carolin Kaul.

Heim narrowly missed only a short while later, before Ann-Katrin Lau almost made it 2-0 with a low shot. Annika Billig should have extended the lead but fired the ball over the goal from an unmarked position. But Billig did not curse her luck for long, rolled up her sleeves and eventually got on the scoresheet a minute later. Latching on to a wonderful pass from Glänzer that travelled half the length of the pitch, she kept her nerve in front of Brechten goalkeeper Kimberley Chukwu and coolly slotted home to make it 2-0 to BVB! In first-half stoppage time, Lau had a pop at goal from 18 metres out but Chukwu was on hand to make a fine save. However, she could do nothing to stop Heim, who extended the advantage to 3-0 following a Bergmann corner on the stroke of half-time. 

Brechten started the second period with lots of momentum, but the Dortmund defence held firm. Lau had another opportunity to add a fourth goal for BVB six minutes after the restart with another low shot, but missed the target by the narrowest of margins once again. Fortunately for BVB, Leonie Haarmann hammered the ball against the crossbar shortly afterwards, having been clean through on Schröer. In the 67th minute, referee Tobias Eckert restored the numerical balance to the match by sending off Brechten's Jennifer Meyer, who had already been yellow-carded, for a second bookable offence. With a comfortable lead to fall back on, Dortmund were the better team – but lacked the finishing touch in their attacking play. Heim and Billig could have both made it 4-0, only to be denied by Chukwu's excellent reactions. With eight minutes remaining, substitute Annika Fälker was felled in the TVB box and BVB were awarded a spot-kick! Lau did not squander the chance and coolly slotted the ball into the right corner (82).

"I'm ecstatic that we deservedly won the match by this margin. The game had everything: substitutions due to injury, red cards and a few goals. We could definitely have scored more. All in all, a deserved victory and a deserved promotion," was the conclusion drawn by a beaming and beer-soaked Thomas Sulewski, the mastermind behind the promotion. Match-winner Vanessa Heim, who contributed two goals, added: "The game was very gruelling; I was briefly concerned after the red card. But in the end, the victory was totally deserved. And the season was terrific, we have an awesome team!"

BVB: Schröer – Schneider (Fälker, 28), Glänzer, Jung, Klemann – Zabell, Bergmann (Becker, 60) – Lau, Billig (Rogge-Herper, 80), Heim – Kaul (Prinzen, 23) 

Goals: 1-0 Heim (18), 2-0 Billig (34), 3-0 Heim (45+2), 4-0 Lau (82)

Incidents of note: Jung red carded for professional foul (20), Meyer sent off for repeated foul play (67)