Perfect start to the UEFA Youth League: Borussia's U19s celebrated a surprising but deserved 1-0 victory against heavy favourites Paris Saint-Germain in Paris. Julian Rijkhoff scored the goal courtesy of a dream strike from 22 metres.
Mike Tullberg initially favoured a formation with a back three (Filippo Mane, Leonardo Posadas and Hendry Blank) at Stade Georges Lefèvre, but he opted to correct this tactical approach after 20 minutes. On the one hand because the team could not establish control over the game and opponent, on the other because Leonardo Posadas was shown an early yellow card. The switch to a 4-2-3-1 did the team good. William Rashidi covered the right side of defence together with Cole Campbell, while Jaden Korzynietz shored up the left flank with support from Samuel Bamba.
PSG pressed early in the opposition half, causing Borussia difficulties when it came to building the play and prompting careless passing errors. Around the half-hour mark, they started to look more self-confident and courageous, initially kept the opposition's strong left flank in check and made an impact of their own. The first dangerous situation came from a corner-kick taken by Rafael Lubach that Hendry Blank headed narrowly wide of the target.
The Black & Yellows were celebrating barely 120 seconds later. A move involving Samuel Bamba and Cole Campbell was rounded off by Julian Rijkhoff, who controlled the ball perfectly and volleyed home a dream strike to make it 1-0. Rijkhoff could have even scored a second following an intelligent ball from Campbell six minutes later, but keeper Laurenden came charging off his line.
Goalkeeper Robin Lisewski helps seal the victory
The hosts created one or two opportunities. One came in the 18th minute when Gadue beat two Dortmund players but could not find the net. The biggest opportunity for the home team came when Zague, who was brilliantly set up by Ethan Mbappé, was thwarted by BVB goalie Robin Lisewski (65). Lisewski also kept a cool head during the frenetic finale and helped to hold onto the win by making three stunning saves.
But BVB – and in particularly Hendry Blank – not only defended passionately, they also managed to launch some dangerous forays forward and counter-attacks despite several losses of possession. Julian Rijkhoff and Paris Brunner in particular posed constant headaches for the PSG defence. And if referee Van Der Eijk had opted to award a penalty kick following a challenge on substitute Charles Herrmann in the 68th minute, there would probably have been few protests from the Parisians. Herrmann spurned another clear counter-attacking chance a short while later when he passed the ball too hastily while his team outnumbered the opposition.
Despite a period of pressure from the hosts in the closing stages, in which Sherif Nhaga was sent off for a second bookable offence after roughly fouling Vincenzo Onofrietti, BVB deservedly won in the end and got their reward for a highly committed and convincing performance.
The first home game of the new Youth League season will take place against AC Milan, who kicked off their campaign with a 4-0 win over Newcastle United, at the Brackel Youth Performance Centre on 4 October.
U19s: Lisewski – Mane, Posadas (Rashidi, 20; Meiser, 79), Blank, Korzynietz – Bamba (Herrmann, 66), Lubach, Wätjen, Campbell (Onofrietti, 66) – Rijkhoff, Brunner (Krevsun, 79)