Borussia Dortmund's U23s claimed a 3-0 (3-0) win over SC Verl at the Lotter Kreuz thanks to an impressive first-half display. An Ansgar Knauff goal and a Berkan Taz brace sealed the victory for the Black & Yellows, who subsequently moved up to eighth in the table.
The opposition: The East Westphalians had won only one of their previous nine matches. Coach Guerino Capretti, who has been in the role since 2017, and his charges find themselves in a relegation dogfight and went into this match a point adrift of safety, with a six-point cushion over bottom-of-the-table Havelse.
Personnel matters: BVB coach Enrico Maassen made one change to the starting XI that was held to a goalless draw by Kaiserslautern, with Ansgar Knauff replacing Youssoufa Moukoko.
The match & analysis: The match got off to a terrible start for the Black & Yellows, as centre-back Niklas Dams was forced off after getting injured in a collision. He was replaced by Tobias Raschl, with captain Franz Pfanne dropping back into central defence. Overall, the hosts had slightly more of the game and coped better with the tough conditions.
The game was 20 minutes old by the time BVB showed their first signs of attacking intent, with Richmond Tachie forcing goalkeeper Brüseke into a save on 22 minutes and Immanuel Pherai narrowly missing the target from range three minutes later. Only moments later, Berkan Taz and Tachie had further opportunities to open the scoring but shot-stopper Brüseke intervened decisively.
BVB were finally rewarded for their committed performance with 10 minutes of the first period to go, with Immanuel Pherai teeing up Ansgar Knauff to poke the ball home from close range. Only a minute later, Berkan Taz pulled the trigger from 16 metres and doubled the lead to 2-0. Brüseke could not keep out his well-placed effort into the bottom left corner.
The goal frenzy continued for the Black & Yellows, who linked up smoothly on the poor surface and oozed enthusiasm: shortly before the interval, Berkan Taz added a third goal (43) to put his side on the path to an away victory. The half-time whistle sounded soon after with the score 3-0.
The home side stepped it up a notch in the second period but then had an even bigger mountain to climb once Cobuz had been sent off for a second booking on the hour mark. Now a man up, BVB had several chances to run out even clearer winners. Berkan Taz tested Brüseke (60) and Immanuel Pherai struck the post after some excellent individual play (65).
Opponents Verl visibly had no energy left in the tank, but BVB still wanted more and continued to try to make an impact going forward. Ansgar Knauff had a cheeky lob kept out by Verl's excellent shot-stopper before Marco Hober had a go from range, as an intense match full of challenges from both sides drew to a close. The Black & Yellows impressed with yet another passionate performance and were rewarded with some stunning goals.
BVB U23s: Drljaca – Coulibaly, Dams (Raschl, 7), Maloney – Knauff (Bueno, 82), Pfanne, Papadopoulos, Viet – Pherai (Hober, 82), Taz (Pohlmann, 72), Tachie (Tattermusch, 72)
Goals: 0-1 Knauff (34), 0-2 Taz (35), 0-3 Taz (43)
Outlook: Next up is a home game against 1860 Munich next Saturday. Kick-off at Stadion Rote Erde will be at 14:00 CET.