It's one win after another for Borussia's youth teams: the U19s showed great desire to beat Arminia Bielefeld 3-1 and extend their lead over challengers Schalke 04 (1-1 in Paderborn) to 14 points in the A-Junior Bundesliga West. Meanwhile, the U17s moved up to second spot in the table thanks to a 5-0 win at Viktoria Köln.

U19 coach Mike Tullberg made four changes to his starting line-up compared to the derby away to Schalke. Marlon Zacharias replaced the ill Robin Lisewski in between the sticks, while Elias Benkara joined Nico Adamczyk in central defence, William Rashidi took over the right-back position and the duo of Tyler Meiser and Almugera Kabar started the game on the bench. Rafael Lubach missed out through suspension. Ousmane Diallo began on the left of attack, Cole Campbell on the right and Vincenzo Onofrietti dropped back into midfield. 

Mike Tullberg was forced into making personnel adjustments after 38 minutes, however. He reacted by making a triple substitution – partly in a bid to rouse his team, who had made a stuttering start and had defended carelessly. Kabar, Meiser and Alex Niziolek replaced Adamczyk, Korzynietz and Diallo. Bielefeld took advantage of a defensive mistake to make it 1-0 through Niklas Möllers in the seventh minute, as BVB struggled to settle into their rhythm and deploy their usual link-up play. The equaliser at 1-1 from Wätjen (37) was more the result of chance than a well thought-out move. 

The energy-sapping schedule over the course of recent weeks meant the Dortmund players' legs grew heavy; they were lacking freshness, lightness and enthusiasm against a courageous and tough-tackling Bielefeld side. Marlon Zacharias, who earned special praise from his coach, had to be on his guard several times and the Borussia players spurned several chances in the opposition penalty area. Kjell Wätjen only netted the goal for 2-1 following a pass from Niziolek in the 83rd minute. The indefatigable Paris Brunner then stepped up to take a penalty that he had himself won to complete the 3-1 victory in stoppage time.

"You could tell that the boys were tired. But they showed spirit and fought. Kjell Wätjen and Paris Brunner were our difference-makers," remarked Mike Tullberg, who handed Filippo Mane his comeback in the 85th minute after almost five months out.

BVB are away to Borussia Mönchengladbach next Sunday. They will be without William Rashidi, who is suspended for accumulating five yellow cards.

U19s: Zacharias – Rashidi, Benkara, Adamczyk (Meiser, 38), Korzynietz (Kabar, 38) – Wätjen, Onofrietti (Mane, 84) – Campbell (Ubani, 69), Krevsun, Diallo (Niziolek, 38) – Brunner

Marco Lehmann praises strong first half

Marco Lehmann's U17s took advantage of the assist that was given to them in the form of SC Paderborn's surprising 2-1 away victory against FC Schalke 04 the previous day and strolled to a comfortable 5-0 win away to Viktoria Köln that lifted them up to second, which would be enough to qualify for the Final Round of the German Championship.

In addition to the points and the error-free performance in the first period in particular, Lehmann was delighted with the successful debut of Thierry Fidjeu-Tazemeta, who came on in the 65th minute and later scored the goal to make it 4-0. Goal-getter Diego Ngambia made his comeback following months on the sidelines with injury in the 72nd minute.

"The first half was top in all phases," praised Lehmann. The back line defended the opposition's long balls with determination and focus, while the team played with purpose in attack. A great move involving Tim Degener and Nick Cherny was rounded off by Valon Cena, who opened the scoring after 16 minutes. Luca Riedl upped the lead to 2-0 from a corner (23) and Justin Hoy increased the half-time advantage to 3-0 from long range (41).

BVB dropped down a gear after the interval, but the team did not allow the opposition any chances. "I didn't like the first 25 minutes because we invested too little. Overall, however, it was a really good performance," reflected Marco Lehmann. The fifth goal was the result of a shot from distance by substitute Joshua Burstedde.

The U17s will look to defend second place in the table when they face Fortuna Düsseldorf on Sunday (3/3, 11:00 CET).

U17s: Herdes – Cena (Ngambia, 72), Riedl, Reggiani, Feddersen – Kaba, Degener (Schwarz, 80), Blaszczyk, Fleck (Fidjeu-Tazemeta, 65) – Hoy (Burstedde, 72), Cherny
(wiwi)