The Borussia Dortmund U19s redeemed themselves and came mightily close to pulling off a sensational comeback in the second leg of their German Championship semi-final with Hertha BSC. The youngsters won the return match 3-1 but the 4-0 first-leg defeat in the capital prevented them from reaching the final for a third year in a row.

When David Kopacz's outstanding strike put the hosts 3-0 up in the 83rd minute, penalties looked like they could be on the cards. But Hertha hit BVB on the counter, making it 3-1 through Muhamed Kiprit in the 88th minute to end the home side's hopes of an unlikely comeback.

The Black & Yellows had two long breaks in the play to contend with on account of the adverse weather conditions, though both were justified. When referee Justus Zorn sent the teams back to the dressing rooms for the first time, the hosts were in the ascendancy and looked like scoring a third after Emre Aydinel's 71st-minute penalty had put them 2-0 up.

3-0 lead puts BVB within a whisker of penalties

The second break came a short while later as coach Benjamin Hoffmann's charges had the visitors pinned back inside their own penalty area, with Patrick Osterhage missing a huge opportunity before another storm made its presence felt and gave the capital club a welcome breather during a period in which the Dortmund lads were firmly in the ascendancy. The likes of Schwermann and Kilian were not to be perturbed and quickly rediscovered their rhythm, soon celebrating going 3-0 ahead. Then Hertha spoiled the party...

The first period was a relatively even affair, with BVB slightly superior as Hans-Joachim Watzke watched from the stands. The club's chief executive saw the Black & Yellows take a 23rd-minute lead through Enrique Pena Zauner following a Dominik Wanner cross. After the interval they upped the tempo and forced Hertha Berlin onto the defensive, with Julian Schwermann hitting the bar (66) before substitute Paul Besong was denied from close range. After Aydinel had converted from the spot and David Kopacz had powerfully fired home, a minor footballing miracle looked as if it could be on the cards. Then Kiprit scored.
Wilfried Wittke