The Borussia Dortmund U23s continued their impressive start to pre-season by beating third-tier outfit SV Meppen 3-1 (1-0) on Wednesday evening. Coach Mike Tullberg's charges travelled to the match venue, the sleepy municipality of Spelle-Varenrode, aiming to put into practice what they had been working on in their training camp and claimed the win thanks to a Steffen Tigges brace and a Gianluca Rizzo strike.
The third-division side from Lower Saxony enjoyed the upper hand in the opening stages, but created few moments of danger in the Dortmund box despite looking comfortable on the ball. But Borussia also had their moments in what was an open encounter at the outset, and would have taken the lead through Maximilian Hippe had the officials not ruled the goal out for offside – although it was the correct call. Dortmund allowed Meppen one or two chances in the ensuing period but the game remained goalless as the half-hour mark approached.
What was at that stage the best chance of the match then fell to the Black & Yellows in the 28th minute, although they were unable to see through a sweeping counter-attack that involved Rente, Bünnig, Boyamba and Tigges to the end. They did break the deadlock seven minutes later, however, when striker Steffen Tigges received the ball from the right wing, turned past his marker and fired an unstoppable left-footed shot into the corner of the goal. "The 1-0 scoreline is entirely deserved, even if Meppen did have one or two chances to score," said U23 team manager Ingo Preuß as he reflected on the first period at half-time.
The Black & Yellows made the brighter start to the second period and forward Steffen Tigges struck again to double their advantage in the 47th minute of the match, having dispossessed the Meppen shot-stopper and slotted the ball into an empty net. BVB continued to perform outstandingly against their third-tier opponents as the second half drew on, with hardly any goalscoring opportunities given away and control of the match still firmly in their hands. With the hour mark approaching, both coaches began to make numerous changes for the final 30 minutes.
Meppen created more chances in the closing stages and deservedly pulled a goal back in the 71st minute. In part due to the numerous substitutions, Dortmund looked to be lacking shape by this stage of the game. But the young Black & Yellows rode out the spell of pressure and got their reward in the 83rd minute when Gianluco Rizzo lobbed the Meppen goalkeeper from around 30 metres out to seal a third victory in four friendly fixtures. Mike Tullberg's charges remain unbeaten in pre-season and will face their next friendly fixture when they take on Regionalliga club TSV Steinbach on Saturday.
The BVB U23 XI: Reckert – Hippe, Rente, Konate, Bünning – Schwermann, Hober, Duman – Boyamba, Tigges, Kaastrup
The substitutes: Rizzo, Relucio, Aydinel, Et, Tunga, Hatano, Matthews, Hupe, Hawryluk, Wanner