The Borussia Dortmund U19s have extended their impressive run of success in the Bundesliga. Coach Mike Tullberg's team won 2-0 in their top match against German cup winners 1. FC Köln, claiming their seventh victory of the season and cementing their hold on top spot. Julian Rijkhoff and Paris Brunner scored the goals.
Mike Tullberg set his team up offensively with Julian Rijkhoff spearheading the attack, Paris Brunner and Cole Campbell on the left and right flanks respectively, and the creative Danylo Krevsun operating behind the forwards with Rafael Lubach and Kjell Wätjen in central midfield. BVB's brave approach was rewarded only four minutes in. Wätjen won the ball back in midfield and fed Krevsun. His dream ball found Rijkhoff, who left FC goalkeeper Alessandro Blazic with no chance.
BVB made a highly focused start, put together some impressive passages of play and created more good opportunities for themselves. One such moment came when the enterprising Brunner struck the side-netting following Krevsun's pass (12), as did Rijkhoff a short while later after Blazic had parried a tricky long-range strike from Brunner. "We could've extended the lead in this period," said Tullberg, bemoaning the chance conversion.
The plan to close down the middle in order to stop the link-up play of Köln's highly talented young footballers from settling into its flow paid dividends. At the other end, Köln consistently had difficulties as soon as the Black & Yellows kept the tempo high with quick passages of play. And they made life difficult for themselves by making simple errors. "Sometimes we weren't clean enough in our transition play, we should have put it to bed earlier," said Tullberg, who added that "we also had the rub of the green in some moments".
Tullberg: "2-0 came at the right time"
For example, Jaka Cuber Potocnik struck the crossbar with a header in the 54th minute following a strong spell of Köln pressure. Robin Lisewski also had to be on high alert to defend his goal – especially when it came to opposition set-pieces. "The goal for 2-0 came at the right time," admitted Tullberg. After Wätjen (48) and Campbell (58) had been denied by stunning reaction saves from Blazic, a piece of individual play by Brunner all-but sealed the win.
Borussia's goal-getter could only be stopped with a foul in the box and comfortably converted the resultant penalty himself to make it 2-0 (62). The visitors' resistance was largely broken by this point. Phil Thieltges, who had only just come off the bench, was red-carded for a foul on the excellent Wätjen (80). Charles Herrmann missed out on making it 3-0 shortly before the end when he met his match in Köln's keeper following a lovely one-two with Brunner.
"It was an interesting and a very good Bundesliga match," said Tullberg, who also praised the opposition: "Köln are a first-class team and are excellently coached by Stefan Ruthenbeck. But I have to pay my boys a big compliment for executing our plan so well." The bottom line was a deserved win for Borussia, who will now prepare the second UEFA Youth League group game against AC Milan at the Youth Performance Centre on Wednesday (kick-off 14:00 CET).
The Bundesliga will now pause for three weeks. VfL Bochum will be the next opponent on 21 October.
U19s: Lisewski – Rashidi (Meiser, 81), Mane, Posadas, Korzynietz – Lubach – Campbell (Herrmann, 70), Wätjen, Krevsun, Brunner – Rijkhoff (Onofrietti, 75).