Borussia Dortmund's U23s won a crazy game against SpVgg Unterhaching. Three times, the Black & Yellows found themselves behind before ultimately coming out on top, beating the hosts 4-3. In a fast-paced and entertaining match in front of 8,700 spectators, Ayman Azhil and an Ole Pohlmann hat-trick did the damage for Borussia Dortmund's U23s.

The scenario: Coach Jan Zimmermann's side had not tasted defeat on the road since the 2-0 loss to Erzgebirge Aue on 25 November 2023. With eight points from four games, BVB have proved difficult to beat. Tenth-placed Unterhaching went into the game boasting a strong home record, having lost only twice at home all season. Having conceded only nine goals, the hosts boasted the most solid defence at home in the league.

Personnel matters: Head coach Jan Zimmermann made multiple changes for the match, with Mateu Morey and Antonios Papadopoulos back in the starting line-up. Also back was fit-again Bjarne Pudel, who slotted back into the heart of defence. Falko Michel was also available again, having served his suspension for picking up a red card. As goalkeeper Marcel Lotka had to stay in Dortmund due to Gregor Kobel's injury, home-grown talent Silas Ostrzinski was in between the sticks.

The match: The hosts started on the front foot, disrupting the BVB build-up play from the halfway line and gave Zimmermann's side little space in the centre of the park from the first whistle. After just two minutes of play, the first chance fell to the home side. However, Unterhaching winger Aaron Keller's shot did not trouble Silas Ostrzinski in the BVB goal. The best chance fell to striker Patrick Hobsch, who got the tip of his boot on the end of a cross, but again Ostrzinski reacted quickly and tipped the ball on to the bar. A few minutes later, BVB had their first sight of the Unterhaching goal, but Lion Semic's cross fell straight into the arms of keeper René Vollath. 

Borussia Dortmund's second team were now clearly looking to get more control of proceedings by taking the pace out of the game and letting the ball do the running. However, apart from two long-range shots, the fourth-placed side initially struggled to carve out any meaningful opportunities. The hosts, on the other hand, were effective: Patrick Hobsch headed the ball home at the far post to give the hosts something of a shock 1-0 lead, and that was how the two sides headed into the dressing rooms at half-time.

Neither coach made any changes for the start of the second half. The Black & Yellows came out after the break with renewed vigour and immediately pushed for an equaliser. And they didn't have long to wait for the first chance of the second half. Semic and Ayman Azhil exchanged passes before the ball found its way to Ole Pohlmann, who got his shot away, but missed the target. Azhil did better in the 54th minute, firing home from 18 metres out to give BVB a well-deserved equaliser and make it 1-1. Just two minutes later, Antonios Papadopoulos and Azhil broke up an Unterhaching attack and Azhil's long ball found Hettwer, but his shot from a tight angle only hit the side netting.

But the hosts did not shy away from the fight. picking out Sebastian Maier with a long ball, who lobbed the out-rushing Ostrzinski to restore the hosts' lead at 2-1 in the 58th minute. BVB dusted themselves off again and once again began to lay siege to Vollath's goal. After great link-up play between Azhil and Hettwer, the ball landed at Rodney Elongo-Yombo's feet, who fought his way into box and was only stopped by a foul. Pohlmann stepped up to convert the Dortmund spot-kick and equalise for the second time in the game with 62 minutes on the referee's watch. From then on, the game was played at a very high tempo.

Manuel Stiefler gave the home side the lead for the third time in the match, slotting home from a corner to make it 3-2 in the 76th minute. At the other end, Pohlmann forced his way into the opposing box, where he was brought down for another Dortmund penalty. Pohlmann stepped up once again and equalised once again, making it 3-3 with ten minutes to go. A foul in the 88th minute gave BVB one last chance to turn the game on its head, and once again it was Ole Pohlmann who stepped up to the plate. This time, it was a free-kick, which he curled into the far post to give Zimmerman's side their first lead of the game. They would go on to see it over the line and bring home a 4-3 victory. 

Next Sunday (3 March), Borussia Dortmund's second string will travel to MSV Duisburg. Kick-off is at 19:30 CET in the Schauinsland-Reisen-Arena. 

U23s: Ostrzinski - Morey, Papadopoulos (Pfanne, 68), Roggow, Pudel (Suver. 68) - Azhil, Eberwein, Elongo-Yombo (Tattermusch. 90), Semic - Hettwer (Michel, 68), Pohlmann

Goals: 1-0 Hobsch (39), 1-1 Azhil (54), 2-1 Maier (58), 2-2 Pohlmann (62), 3-2 Stiefler (76), 3-3 Pohlmann (80), 3-4 Pohlmann (88)