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U19s lose 3-1 to Stuttgart in cup final

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The final of the U19 DFB-Pokal ended in defeat for Borussia Dortmund, who went down 3-1 to VfB Stuttgart in Potsdam's Karl Liebknecht Stadion. Julian Rijkhoff scored to bring BVB back to within a goal after VfB surged to a 2-0 lead. 

Coach Mike Tullberg sent his side out in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with captain Lütke-Frie returning to the starting XI after his injury-enforced absence. The young Black & Yellows were variable in attack, with players regularly switching positions. The crowd at Potsdam's Karl Liebknecht Stadion, the majority of whom were BVB fans, watched Dortmund control proceedings in the opening stages. But despite their dominance, Borussia posed no real threat to the Stuttgart goal, with the final ball too often missing the mark. In the 19th minute, for example, Rijkhoff failed to connect after a penetrating run forward by Gürpüz. "Faster," shouted coach Mike Tullberg at his charges, who soon came close to scoring from a Bynoe-Gittens corner. However, Stuttgart goalkeeper Werdich was able to palm the ball to safety over the crossbar (22). Two minutes later, Stuttgart showed BVB how to score from a corner, as Reichardt flashed a header into the back of the net. VfB were 1-0 up after converting their first real chance of the game.

With hot temperatures bearing down, the game paused for a water break, and Tullberg made the most of it to give his players some verbal encouragement. Nonetheless, it was Stuttgart who re-emerged stronger. The Swabians combined down the left flank and drove into the Dortmund box. Goalkeeper Ostrzinski rushed out to make the initial save, but the follow-up fell kindly at the feet of Winkler, who had an easy finish to give the reigning cup holders a 2-0 lead (28). 

With a two-goal advantage, VfB were cruising. Tullberg looked to turn things around with a tactical adjustment: Semic moved up with the pitch, with Collins, Kleine-Bekel and Rothe now forming a three-man defensive line. The switch seemed to be working, as soon Bynoe-Gittens had two efforts on goal: first he fired a free-kick just over the bar (35), then, just afterwards, he hit the side-netting after going for goal from a corner (37). Six minutes later, the Black & Yellows finally managed to hit the back of the net: Lütke-Frie played Rijkhoff in on goal with an inch-perfect pass, and the striker drilled the ball into the far corner with his left foot to bring the score to 2-1. BVB then had two long-range efforts to close out the first half: first Hoppe's attempt drifted just wide of the left-hand post (45), then Bynoe-Gittens sent the ball soaring over the bar (47). 

BVB emerged out of the dressing room after the interval with more attacking intent, with Bamba coming on for Semic, but it was Stuttgart who had the first chances of the second half. First Knappe fired just wide of the target after a corner (48), then, just afterwards, an important intervention from BVB keeper Ostrzinski was required to intercept a dangerous through ball. Down the other end, Fink looked poised to score the equaliser after a long ball from Rothe, but a last-ditch challenge from a VfB defender was enough to divert the ball to safety. Five minutes later, Rothe had a golden opportunity to score, but he was unable to keep the ball under the bar from a few metres out. 

The young Black & Yellows had two chances in quick succession in the 75th minute: Rothe hit the post with a header from a free-kick delivery, then the ball rebounded to Collins, who fired over the bar from four metres out. Two minutes later, Bynoe-Gittens fired a shot just wide of the left-hand post. BVB were creating all the chances, but in the end it was Stuttgart who would score the next goal. Tibidi went to ground in the box after a coming-together with Collins. The referee pointed to the spot, and Kastanaras stepped up to convert the resultant penalty four minutes from the end to bring the final score to 3-1 in favour of Stuttgart.

Next weekend, the Black & Yellow U19s will once again make the trip to Berlin, where they will face Hertha BSC in the final of the German Championship on Sunday (29 May, kick-off 13:00 CET).

Goals: 1-0 Reichardt (24), 2-0 Winkler (28), 2-1 Rijkhoff (43), 3-1 Kastanaras (86)

BVB: Ostrzinski – Semic (46, Bamba), Collins, Kleine-Bekel, Rothe – Cissé (83, Mengot), Lütke-Frie (72, Walz) – Gürpüz, Rijkhoff, Bynoe-Gittens – Fink
Christina Reinke