They gave it their all, fought bravely but in the end, couldn’t manage to make it into the German B-Junior Championship final for a fourth time.
Werder Bremen’s U17s produced a strong performance with a 3-0 victory at the Brackel training centre and qualified for the final next Sunday after their home-leg 1-1 draw in the semi-final. They will face off against FC Bayern (who lost 0-1 against Schalke but won the first leg 3-0).
The game was practically decided after five minutes, as David-Markus Koj showed BVB centre-back Niclas Knoop a red card for his challenge on Leon Sitz. “Never in a million years was that a foul,” exclaimed youth head coach Edwin Boekamp. Koj was having a tough afternoon, evident later on when he sent off Bremen player Luke Dettki due to a bad tackle on Paul Besong.
Bakir misses golden opportunity to take the lead
An excellent starting position was thus negated by Knoop’s dismissal. Sebastian Geppert reacted immediately, taking midfielder Emre Aydinel out of the game and putting Julius Schell into central defence. Following this, Alaa Bakir had a golden opportunity to put the Black and Yellows into the lead in the 17th minute in front of 750 spectators. After a nice solo run, the attacker missed the target due to superb reactions from Bremen’s keeper Luca Plogmann. BVB continued to press forwards. Yassin Ibrahim narrowly missed the target (20th minute) and Florian Rausch was also denied by Plogmann in the 24th minute.
Like a bolt from the blue, Bremen took the lead in the 28th minute. Luca Unbehaun kept out a sharply struck shot, but new on the pitch Leon Sitz smelt his chance and hoovered up the chance to put the visitors in front. BVB Manager Geppert, complaining about the referee’s decision-making, was also shown a red card. Borussia continued to play bright and courageous football. Alaa Bakir once more found himself in a great position to score but was again too hasty and wasted the opportunity.
Watzke applauds too
“The boys did brilliantly. An equaliser would have been highly deserved,” was the assessment of Hans-Joachim Watzke, the Chairman of the Board, who postponed his holidays to support the B-Juniors. Football expert Watzke suspected already “the group won’t make it through the high temperatures, that’s where Werder have a lot of quality”.
There was more to come at the end. Although Tobias Miβner had a half-chance in the 50th minute, the Black and Yellow’s hold on the game began to wear off. In the 70th minute, David Philipp finished off a textbook attack to make it 2-0. BVB went on the attack once more after Dettkis’ dismissal, but Werder kept a cool head and countered in the 78th minute, scoring through Philipp to make it 3-0.
“A compliment to the team who gave it everything in both matches,” was the verdict of Youth Coordinator Lars Ricken to his boys. Geppert summed it up – “It’s just a shame that the boys have been so punished. But we can be proud that we put in a good shift”.