Borussia Dortmund's U19s have reached the final of the German A-Junior Championship, in which they are the reigning champions, after recording a 2-1 (1-0) victory in their semi-final second leg with VfL Wolfsburg thanks to goals from Luca Kilian and Hüseyin Bulut. The Black and Yellows will now face either Schalke 04 or Bayern Munich in Monday's final.
Boris Rupert reporting
Coach Benjamin Hoffmann was still without key forward Jakob Bruun Larsen (stress fracture in foot), defensive specialist Patrick Fritsch (torn cruciate ligament) and Dario Scuderi (rehab following operation) for this one. Dzenis Burnic and Orel Mangala, whose involvement had been in doubt in the run-up, lined up alongside first-teamer Felix Passlack in the starting XI. Wolfsburg recalled Gian-Luca Itter following his recent promotion to the first-team squad.
The visitors, who were looking to overturn a 3-2 deficit from the first leg, were very much the superior side in the opening half but it was BVB – clad in their all-black strip – who had the first chance of the match when David Kopacz dragged a shot wide of the far post following a quick counter in the third minute.
But the crowd of around 1,300 inside a packed Brackel training complex saw the hosts open the scoring in the sixth minute after VfL 'keeper Menzel had parried a shot from centre-back Amos Pieper into the path of Luca Kilian following a Passlack free-kick, leaving the young defender with a simple tap-in.
Wolfsburg now needed to score twice to take the game to penalties and piled the pressure on Eike Bansen's goal, but the young custodian was a picture of calm and made a fine save to deny a long-range Itter effort in the 19th minute.
Although Borussia were happy to let the Wolves have the ball, they defended well and hardly gave away any shooting opportunities, while continuing to threaten from set-pieces themselves. One such moment of danger came when Amenyido forced Menzel into a save from a 38th-minute free-kick, before Pieper missed the follow-up from a narrow angle. Despite their opponent's dominance, it was BVB who had the better chances and Kopacz again missed narrowly four minutes before the break after being set up by Hüseyin Bulut.
Youth Coordinator Lars Ricken might have described Wolfsburg as "an extremely strong side" at the break, but he was celebrating a second Dortmund goal five minutes after the restart when VfL shot-stopper Menzel was forced to make a clearance following a misplaced backpass. Bulut was the quickest to react, pinching the ball from a Wolfsburg defender and slotting it into an empty net.
The relief was only short-lived, however, with David Nieland directing an unstoppable header into the top corner of Bansen's goal following a 56th-minute corner to reduce the deficit to 2-1.
"Unjust" sending-off for Mangala
An erroneous decision from the otherwise prudent referee Osmanagic in the 70th minute saw the hosts reduced to ten men and the tension raised in the closing stages. The unfortunate Orel Mangala was involved in an incident with Yannik Möker, who sustained an injury in the process, on the edge of his own box and was shown a second yellow card despite having been fouled himself.
But even with ten men, the defending champions were giving nothing away and will now face the winner of the second semi-final between Schalke 04 and Bayern Munich in the final at Signal Iduna Park on Monday evening (19:30 CET).
BVB: Bansen – Passlack (Baxmann, 77), Kilian, Pieper, Beste – Burnic, Mangala – Kopacz (Schwermann, 73), Bulut (Kyeremateng, 55), Laukart – Amenyido (Serra, 84)
Goals: 1-0 Kilian (6), 2-0 Bulut (50), 2-1 Nieland (56)
Attendance: approx 1,300 (sold out)
Red card: Managala (repeated fouling, 70)
Yellow cards: Beste – Itter, Saglam