The U23s looked certain to win for much of their game in hand on Tuesday evening, but coach Jan Siewert's team were ultimately held to a 1-1 draw by Wegberg-Beeck on the Dutch-German border.
Having boosted their self-confidence with a 3-1 friendly victory over Arminia Bielefeld during the international break, the U23s kicked off a hectic week that will see them play three times in seven days – the other two opponents are Wiedenbrück on Saturday and Fortuna Düsseldorf II next Tuesday – with a trip to newly-promoted Wegberg-Beeck.
Jan Siewert made six changes to the team that were disappointingly held to a goalless draw by Erndtebrück last time out, recalling Jo-Hoo Park und Sören Dieckmann – among others – to the starting XI. Midfield engine Herbert Bockhorn was ruled out with muscular problems.
The youngsters, who were clearly going for the win, had the game under control from the first minute. Their first chance came through Philipp Hanke, who was among the six recalls to the starting line-up, in the second minute but he was denied by the Wegberg-Beeck shot-stopper. The hosts followed that up with a spate of chances, the best of which came from a set-piece in the 15th minute. A Patrick Pflücke free-kick perfectly picked out the almost unmarked Patrick Mainka, who deservedly broke the deadlock with a header. Scoring will have come as a relief for the captain, who missed from the penalty spot last time out. That miss, however, had been consigned to history long before kick-off and the team's desire was clear for all to see. BVB dropped off slightly and gave their visitors more space in what remained of the first period, though it did not result in any clear goalscoring opportunities and so the hosts took in a narrow but deserved lead at the break.
With around 800 fans watching on, BVB continued to dominate proceedings after the restart while Wegberg sat back and gave them space, instead looking to strike through counter-attacks or set-pieces. But with the hosts having failed to double their advantage through Pflücke and Kampetsis, the visitors threw everything forward in the closing stages in a bid to force the equaliser. It came when the Black & Yellows conceded a free-kick in the 79th minute of the match, with a header with a rather unusual trajectory ultimately finding its way into the back of the net. The late leveller meant that a rather downbeat and disappointed BVB side had to settle for a point. A victory would certainly have been deserved against the newly-promoted outfit given the vast number of chances, as Siewert suggested after the game. "It is a real pity that we were unable to see out the win. We had several goalscoring opportunities after we had taken the lead which could have killed the game for us. Unfortunately we didn't manage it on the day."
Next up on the agenda is the trip to SC Wiedenbrück on Saturday (kick-off 15:00 CET). Timo Lammert