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Match report

U17s beat Schalke and win the Westfalenpokal

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Borussia's U17s have followed up their German B-Junior Championship triumph by winning the Westfalenpokal. Marco Lehmann's charges came out on top in the final against FC Schalke on Wednesday evening (22 May) thanks to a 4-2 penalty shootout victory. Normal time had ended goalless – in part thanks to BVB goalkeeper Aaron Held, who shone on several occasions. Oliwer Blaszczyk, Joshua Burstedde, Jonah Markötter and Luca Reggiani scored for the ecstatic Black & Yellows, who showed remarkable spirit in this final.

Even though Elias Benkara, Tyler Meiser, Ousmane Diallo, Taycan Etcibasi (all with the U19s), Thierry Tazemeta (with Austria at the U17 European Championships), Luca Riedl, Leon Wörsdörfer and Mussa Kaba (injured) were not available, Marco Lehmann was still able to field a strong team. However, Schalke also did not have their strongest line-up. 

As expected, the team lacked freshness and focus after their triumph in the final of the German B-Junior Championship and the training-free days that they were subsequently granted. The Borussia players thus made passing errors during good counter-attacks in particular. "We gave away many transitional moments," remarked Marco Lehmann at half-time.

Both teams largely cancelled each other out and it was only in the closing stages – when Borussia's energy levels noticeably waned and they had to finish off the match a man down after Anas Mahjoubi had been sent off (68 minutes) – that Schalke gained more of an advantage. The visitors, who had previously been denied by the BVB defence and goalkeeper Aaron Held, had a great opportunity to win the final in normal time shortly before the final whistle, only for Aaron Held to save a penalty kick taken by Maxime Penda Ndong.

It was the perfect farewell for Marco Lehmann, who is set to take charge of Borussia's U16s in the 2024/25 season as part of the coaching rotation, and the players, who will move up to the U19s. The same goes for Fritz Fleck, who like Leon Wörsdörfer has decided to join Borussia Mönchengladbach.

BVB: Held – Cena (Burstedde, 54), Nwofor (Fahrenhorst, 65), Reggiani, Feddersen – Degener, Blaszczyk – Fleck (Driedger, 70), Hoy (Schwarz, 58), Mahjoubi – Ngambia (Markötter, 74)