Borussia Dortmund continued their unbeaten summer run by drawing their fifth pre-season friendly 1-1 (1-0) with French outfit Rennes. Lukasz Piszczek put the Black & Yellows 1-0 ahead inside 90 seconds only for Rennes to level from the spot in the 90th minute.
Boris Rupert reporting from Altach
Favre, who had to do without Hitz, Toljan, Guerreiro, Toprak and Weigl (mostly on individual training regimes), again opted to line his team up in a 4-1-4-1 formation with Reus the lone frontman and Sahin the defensive midfielder. Diallo partnered Akanji in central defence, with the experienced Piszczek and Schmelzer providing the width. The four-man offensive midfield consisted of Pulisic (left) and Wolf on the flanks, with Götze and Dahoud in the central positions.
Borussia initially kept Rennes, who finished fifth in Ligue 1 last season, pinned back into their own half and broke the deadlock with their very first chance in the second minute. Pulisic sent a corner into the box and Piszczek met it with a powerful downward header, although the set-piece arguably should not have been awarded. A Dortmund foul went unpunished in the lead-up to the corner, which Reus won by forcing goalkeeper Koubek into a save.
High intensity in training starts to show
After a quarter of an hour, however, the team started to show signs of their intense training regime, with the heat on the pitch undoubtedly playing a part too. The tempo slowed down and Rennes grew into the game, with Sarr forcing Bürki into a save following a quick-counter attack on 17 minutes and Bourigeaud shooting narrowly wide from a tight angle on 28 minutes. Bürki made another outstanding save nine minutes later, denying Sakho following a Traore cross from the right.
BVB immediately went downfield and could arguably have had a penalty for a foul on Pulisic, who six minutes earlier had come close after going on a solo run that was stopped by Mexer at the last. There was another moment of danger in the 41st minute, when Diallo shot following a Pulisic corner – but a French defender cleared the ball off the line.
The second half saw Favre make a total of nine changes in two separate instances, with only Bürki and Diallo playing for the full 90 minutes. With 10 minutes remaining, Philipp drew an audible gasp from the crowd of 4,000 spectators in Altach when he controlled the ball with his back to goal before turning on a sixpence and shooting from 20 metres, missing narrowly. Gómez later came close with another effort from distance (85).
In the last minute, Rennes were awarded a penalty for handball when Burnic chested the ball and the referee deemed it to have struck his arm. Del Castillo converted it.
BVB's next friendly comes on Tuesday (19:30 CET) in St. Gallen, when they take on Italians Napoli. Tickets are still available in sufficient quantity for that match and can be purchased via www.fcsg.ch
BVB: Bürki – Piszczek (Hakimi, 46), Diallo, Akanji (Zagadou, 46), Schmelzer (Burnic, 64) – Sahin (Delaney, 64) – Wolf (Bruun Larsen, 64), Götze (Gómez, 64), Dahoud (Kagawa, 64), Pulisic (Sancho, 64) – Reus (Philipp, 46)
Goal: 1-0 Piszczek (Pulisic corner, 2), 1-1 Del Castillo (penalty for handball, 90)
Attendance: 3,940 (in Altach)