This postponed Matchday 14 meeting saw two very tactically astute teams lock horns and largely cancel each other out for more than 70 minutes. In fact it was only when the Dortmund U23s, who fell behind to an early goal, really upped the pressure that the result began to take shape. The Black & Yellows ultimately beat their Borussia Mönchengladbach counterparts 5-1 (0-1) thanks to goals from Dominik Wanner, Ansgar Knauff, Alaa Bakir and Tobias Raschl, plus an own goal from Gladbach's Lukas Müller.
The scenario: The Gladbach game was the final fixture in the first half of the 2020/21 season. After consulting with the federation and the local authorities, the two clubs had agreed at short notice to switch the home advantage. BVB had two wins from two games in 2021, while the visitors had lost their opening game of the year to SV Rödinghausen.
Personnel: Head coach Enrico Maaßen stuck with the same line-up that started against the 1. FC Cologne reserves.
The match & analysis: Precisely 150 seconds of this intense Regionalliga match had been played by the time BVB had their first major chance. Richmond Tachie and Taylan Duman linked up nicely before teeing up Steffen Tigges, although Gladbach shot-stopper Olschowsky was able to thwart his shot from a tight angle. Both teams wanted to play attacking football, with the visitors also seeking to get forward quickly. And when the Black & Yellows failed to clear the ball properly in the sixth minute, Per Lockl was on hand to fire it straight into the bottom corner from 20 metres out, the shot taking a deflection off the leg of a Borussia defender on its way into the net.
Despite going a goal down, Dortmund dominated proceedings. Both teams were very vocal and covered a lot of ground. Gladbach pressed Dortmund early on, as did BVB whenever the Foals sought to build the play. With around 10 minutes left to play in the first half, Taylan Duman went down injured following a collision with Gladbach captain Thomas Kraus. He tried to play on after receiving treatment but eventually had to be replaced by Dominik Wanner in the 37th minute. Although BVB enjoyed more possession in the opening 45 minutes, clear chances were few and far between. Gladbach defended intelligently and deserved their 1-0 advantage at the break.
BVB opted against making any personnel changes at the break and continued from exactly where they had left off in the first half. Once again, it was only a matter of minutes before they created a shooting opportunity, though Dominik Wanner's 49th-minute effort sailed narrowly wide of the upright. The Black & Yellows upped the pressure and had several shots at the Gladbach goal in a short space of time. Enrico Maaßen made three changes on the hour-mark, with Moritz Broschinski, Florian Krebs and Alaa Bakir replacing Steffen Tigges, Marco Hober and Richmond Tachie. Dortmund were now looking even more dominant but still struggled to carve open clear chances. The game was repeatedly interrupted by minor fouls, and time seemed to be slowly running out.
It was only with a quarter of an hour left that BVB came into their own. Dominik Wanner levelled the scores at 1-1 with a thumping effort into the top corner of the goal, before Ansgar Knauff broke through the Gladbach ranks and fired the Black & Yellows into a 2-1 lead only two minutes later. With the Black & Yellows fully in the ascendancy by this point, Tobias Raschl initiated the third BVB goal with a cross into the box that a Gladbach defender inadvertently turned into his own net. The Foals were totally out of sorts by this stage and soon found themselves 4-1 down thanks to Alaa Bakir's 82nd-minute strike. Tobi Raschl then rounded off the scoring himself with a goal with a minute left to play. The 5-1 margin of victory might have been slightly flattering, but Dortmund definitely deserved the three points. The victory took BVB to within one point of league leaders RW Essen, having played the same number of games.
The match reactions:
Enrico Maaßen: "Both teams started with intensity. We made a mistake and conceded directly from it, although we'd already had the opportunity to make it 1-0 to us two minutes earlier. Gladbach played well off the ball. We kept trying to find solutions with the ball. We didn't manage that particularly well in the first half but we still kept the intensity up. Then in the second half, you could see the opposition gradually flagging. We went all-in. After we made it 1-1, the floodgates opened. You could see our fluidity and our strength. We scored some wonderful goals. That's a big point for us."
Dominik Wanner: "We knew that the opposition would tail off slightly at the end. I think that we were brilliantly prepared with the many substitutions and the fresh legs and we overran Gladbach in the end. The whole squad is important. We have a lot of congested weeks; that means we need every player. We're all raring to go and close to the starting XI. Whenever we do come in, we try to produce the best-possible performance on the pitch. Tobi cut the ball back superbly for my goal. I then told myself that I would smash it in. That was very important for me personally. I'm ecstatic."
Outlook: The Black & Yellows are next in action on Sunday when they play host to Sportfreunde Lotte. Kick-off in Brackel will be at 15:00 CET.
Team & goals
BVB U23s: Drljaca, Maloney, Hippe, Hober (Krebs, 60), Duman (Wanner, 37), Tachie (Bakir, 60), Tigges (Broschinski, 60), Pfanne, Dams, Knauff, Raschl
Goals: 0-1 Lockl (6), 1-1 Wanner (74), 2-1 Knauff (76), 3-1 Müller (own goal, 78), 4-1 Bakir (82), 5-1 Raschl (89)