In front of 11,425 fans at Saarbrücken's Ludwigspark, Borussia Dortmund's U23s made a good account of themselves and put in a good away performance – particularly in the second half. At the end of the day, however, the Black and Yellows were defeated thanks to an injury-time winner from Saarbrücken.
Personnel: Coach Christian Preußer made five changes to his starting eleven from the 4-0 defeat in Ingolstadt last Sunday and also changed his system to a 4-2-3-1. In goal, Marcel Lotka made his competitive debut for the Black and Yellows, while Kolbeinn Finnsson and Mario Suver were the full-backs. Moritz Broschinski played on the left wing, with the goalscorer from the Wiesbaden game, Rodney Elongo-Yongo, starting on the right wing. That meant Luca Unbehaun, Soumaila Coulibaly and Prince Aning (all not in the squad) as well as Lion Semic and Ole Pohlmann (both on the bench) lost their places in the starting 11.
The opposition: 1. FC Saarbrücken had gone into the match with a flawless record of two wins from two games and had not even conceded a goal. Coach Uwe Koschinat also made five changes from the 2-0 win in the Saar derby against Elversberg, as Krätschmer, Uanferro, Gnaase, Rabihic and Cuni replaced Thoelke, Frantz, Kerber, Schwede and Jacob in the starting line-up.
The match: In the opening stages, BVB had to fight off an onslaught from their hosts. Cuni had a good chance with a header after 3 minutes, and Jänicke took aim one minute later, but both were a little too inaccurate.
After ten minutes, there was more action in the U23s' penalty area: new signing Lotka had knocked the ball a little too ahead of him, but cleaned up his mistake.
Shortly afterwards, the focus was once again on the Borussia keeper. Dortmund's shot-stopper stood up tall to keep out Jänicke's attempted lob – it was a superb save by the Polish U21 international on 13 minutes.
In the middle of the first half, the Borussia youngsters were able to start some attacks of their own, Elongo-Yombo set up Fink excellently on a counter-attack, but Fink's lob was also saved by the Saarbrücken keeper.
On 34 minutes came the next battle between Lotka and FCS, and this time BVB's Duisburg native tipped a free-kick over the bar.
With a little luck and plenty of passion, Dortmund's second team kept it at 0-0 and almost took the lead just before the half-time whistle. This time, Fink set up Elongo-Yombo, whose shot was parried by Saarbrücken's goalkeeper.
BVB came out of the break firing, but Fink was not quite expecting Pfanne's pass in behind. The next opportunity to take the lead came in the 54th minute and fell to Abdoulaye Kamara after he worked hard to win the ball in the opposition's penalty area. The French youngster did not dally on the ball, but his attempt went just over the crossbar.
The Black and Yellows were now starting to pick up steam and continued to create chances, such as the counter-attack which set up substitute Justin Njinmah, whose shot whistled narrowly passed the Saarbrücken post on 79 minutes. Perhaps the best opportunity for BVB came in the second minute of injury time, when Fink beat his man with a nice body feint, but last year's top scorer for the U19s also narrowly missed the target. That proved to be an extremely costly miss, because Grimaldi landed a lucky punch at the other end to give the hosts a 1-0 lead just seconds before the final whistle, so Borussia Dortmund had to travel home without a point.
Franz Pfanne: "We wanted a response after the heavy defeat against Ingolstadt. We managed to do that against a team who are one of the favourites to win the league. Conceding a last-second goal is, of course, a slap in the face. But we can still be proud of our performance today."
BVB U23s: Lotka – Finnsson, Dams, Papadopoulos, Suver (Semic, 59) – Kamara (Michel, 88), Pfanne – Broschinski (Pasalic, 73), Eberwein, Elongo-Yombo (Njinmah, 73) – Fink
Goals: 1-0 Grimaldi (90+4)
Next up: Borussia Dortmund's U23s will play host to Red-White Essen on Saturday, 13 August. Kick-off at SIGNAL IDUNA PARK is at 14:00 CET.