The perfect start to the Regionalliga season continued for the BVB U23s. Steffen Tigges scored both goals as the Black & Yellows picked up a 2-0 win away to Sportfreunde Lotte on Wednesday evening.
Enrico Maaßen made three changes to the side that defeated 1. FC Cologne, with Ansgar Knauff, Lennard Maloney and Maximilian Hippe moving into the starting line-up. It took just 120 seconds of his debut Regionalliga match for 18-year-old Knauff to play Steffen Tigges through on goal, but the striker narrowly missed the target from a tight angle. The match then settled down into something of a midfield battle. Both teams were strong in the tackle, but also prone to the occasional misplaced pass. The next real sight of goal came in the 20th minute, when Lotte's Ryoya Ito gave BVB goalkeeper Luca Unbehaun his first real test of the evening.
The hosts managed to have the slight upper-hand in terms of possession, but their attacking ventures were generally limited to long balls forward due to their inability to play through compact Dortmund defence. BVB were lacking fluidity on the ball, but in the 25th minute, they found themselves with an opportunity to take the lead from the penalty spot. After winning the ball and driving forward, Richmond Tachie was felled just inside the box. The winger stepped up to take the penalty he had won, but he was unable to get the better of the Lotte goalkeeper. However, the resultant corner - taken by Florian Krebs - ended up with the ball in the back of the net: a powerful header from Steffen Tigges meant the Black & Yellows took a 1-0 lead in the 27th minute.
BVB had now settled into their groove and were in control of proceedings at the Lotter Kreuz stadium. Their hosts were shaken, giving away far too many cheap balls in midfield. Although Borussia failed to capitalise on these situations, they nonetheless posed a threat through Florian Krebs's set-piece deliveries. As it was, they went into the dressing room at half-time with a narrow but deserved 1-0 lead.
At the beginning of the second half, Kolbeinn Finnsson came on to replace midfield playmaker Philipp Harlass. This meant Ansgar Knauff had more freedom to attack down the left-hand side. The tempo dropped somewhat compared to the end of the first half, and both sides struggled to create chances. Enrico Maaßen made his second tactical adjustment on the hour mark, bringing right-back Haymenn Bah-Traoré on to replace Ansgar Knauff. Taylan Duman shifted over to take up Knauff's space on the left wing. Dortmund came close to conceding an equaliser in the 63rd minute, but an impressive double save from Luca Unbehaun was enough to maintain their lead. The young goalkeeper palmed away a fizzing free-kick from 20 metres out and then, just five seconds later, saved a well-directed shot from the edge of the box. Not long afterwards, with Lotte in the ascendancy, Maaßen made his third substitution: Dominik Wanner entered the action in the place of Richmond Tachie.
Lotte started to attack more and more, which meant the Dortmund offensive players had more and more space in which to operate. Tigges headed just over the bar from a Bah-Traoré cross after a turnover in midfield. The BVB forward made no mistake just minutes later, as he pounced on a rebound to fire home and make it 2-0. This came shortly after Duman had an effort on goal saved by Lotte goalkeeper Peitzmeier. The result now seemed beyond any doubt; the Black 7 Yellows continued to defend resolutely while posing a threat going forward. They had a chance to add a third goal shortly before full-time, but a strong save from Peitzmeier was enough to deny Dominik Wanner. The scoreboard read 2-0 as the referee blew his whistle for full-time - three wins in three games for BVB.
Luca Unbehaun: ''It was a hard match, a difficult stadium to play in and a tough opponent. We rose to the challenge and won 2-0. Although the long-ball game isn't exactly our favoured style of play, we still have to be content with the ugly win today. You have to be switched on all game long as a goalkeeper. I'm happy that I was able to help the team out by making two big saves in the second half.''
Enrico Maaßen: ''Lotte pushed us all the way today. It was a really intense game, and we were up for it. That's not always the case for an U23 side. We gave very little away, created more chances and came away with a deserved win.''
BVB U23: Unbehaun, Maloney, Hippe, Duman (85, Duman), Tachie (66, Wanner), Tigges, Harlass (46, Finnsson), Pfanne, Krebs, Dams, Knauff (58, Bah-Traoré)
Goals: 1-0 Tigges (27), 2-0 Tigges (69)
Highlight: Tachie penalty saved by Peitzmeier (26)