The Borussia Dortmund U19s kicked off the main round of the Westfalenpokal with a 3-0 win away to ambitious Westfalenliga outfit TSG Sprockhövel. They will next face SC Verl in the quarter-finals on 29 March.
The completely new-look team, which was without usual first-choice attackers Julian Rijkhoff, Samuel Bamba and Paris Brunner plus centre-backs Filippo Mane and Nnamdi Collins, went about their business in a serious manner. "In front of a large crowd, Sprockhövel lined up in a 5-4-1 formation and only waited for counter-attacking opportunities. It wasn't easy," summarised coach Mike Tullberg. The opener was scored by Noa-Gabriel Simic, who converted a penalty in the 10th minute, before Danylo Krevsun (84) and Simic again (90) netted in the closing stages to make it 3-0.
"I was happy that I was able to field 11 players," explained Tullberg. Michael Ludwig injured himself in the warm-up which meant that Hendry Blank, who is under the weather at the moment, moved into the starting XI and Bismark Quayson was left as the only outfield player on the bench. "Hendry was the best player on the pitch, his development has been phenomenal," praised Tullberg. Simic also gave a positive account of himself.
U19s: Zacharias – Rashidi, Cisse, Blank, Korzynietz – Ubani (Quayson, 70) Lubach, Walz. Krevsun – Simic, Nnawachukwu
Charles Herrmann scores for Germany U17s
Elsewhere, Borussia's junior internationals kicked off the European Championship qualifying rounds with their respective age categories. Nnamdi Collins and Tom Rothe were part of the Germany U19 team that lost 3-2 to Italy in Bremen. Centre-back Filippo Mane played a flawless game for the Italians. The German national team's next opponents are Belgium and Slovenia. Only the group winner will qualify for the EURO finals.
Meanwhile, the Germany U17s won by a 2-1 scoreline in Türkiye thanks to a goal from Charles Herrmann. Herrmann was joined in the starting line-up by Paris Brunner and Almugera Kabar. Kjell Wätjen came on as a 46th-minute substitute. The DFB team will next face Finland and Spain. (wiwi)