The Borussia Dortmund U23s were held to a 2-2 (0-0) draw away to TuS Haltern on Friday evening. Despite having taken a 2-1 lead with a quarter-hour remaining, an 87th-minute spot-kick for their opponents ensured the game finished all square. Maximilian Hippe and Steffen Tigges scored the goals for BVB.
The pre-match scenario: TuS Haltern went into their meeting with BVB having taken six points from three games. The Black & Yellows, meanwhile, only had one win to their name. Haltern lost to Aachen on Tuesday, while BVB were beaten in Wuppertal a fortnight ago.
The personnel: BVB coach Mike Tullberg was boosted by reinforcements from the senior squad, with both Tobias Raschl and Leonardo Balerdi in the starting XI. New signing Kolbeinn Birgir Finnsson made his debut for the U23s as well.
The first half: Borussia Dortmund made a courageous start to the opening 45 minutes. In what was perfect weather for football, the Black & Yellows dominated the first 10 minutes and posed a threat going forward. TuS Haltern, meanwhile, defended solidly and waited for opportunities to counter-attack. BVB came very close to opening the scoring through a promising counter in the third minute, but it was ultimately brought to an end courtesy of a cynical Tim Kallenbach foul. The Haltern midfielder did well to escape with a caution.
The U23s continued to enjoy the upper hand as the minutes ticked by, although they did struggle to break down their deep-lying opponents on what was a sub-standard surface. New signing Finnsson drove down the left wing and created a good goalscoring opportunity in the 29th minute, although his cross from the byline missed Tigges by a matter of centimetres. There was another close moment two minutes later when the ball fell to Chris Führich following a Duman free-kick, though his attempt sailed wide of the mark. It was a case of everything but the goals from Dortmund and the score was still 0-0 when the referee's whistle sounded for half-time.
The second half: The almost 2,000 spectators saw a second half that started in much the same vein as the first had ended, with BVB often lacking the final pass and Haltern hardly threatening up front aside from a long-distance effort from Möllers, 25 metres out, that sailed over Eric Oelschlägel's crossbar. On the hour-mark, striker Tigges came close to breaking the deadlock but was denied by the Haltern shot-stopper from 16 metres. Then, with 63 minutes played, TuS took a 1-0 lead through Ilias Anan. The goal was very much against the run of play and allowed to stand despite strong suspicions of offside.
But Borussia Dortmund's momentum was only briefly halted and they quickly resumed their dominance, with Maximilian Hippe rising highest following a Finnsson corner and heading home what was a deserved leveller. Nonetheless, TuS did play slightly more boldly in the second period, while BVB continued to lack consistency going forward. With a quarter of an hour remaining, right-back Hippe played a long diagonal ball into the box towards Tigges. The new signing from Osnabrück beat an opposing defender and slotted home his second goal of the season to make it 2-1.
BVB showed their class in the closing minutes, keeping their composure while in possession of the ball and continuing to look lively going forward. But Haltern snatched an equaliser when referee Dominik Jolk pointed to the penalty spot – much to the surprise of all the Black & Yellows – for a supposed foul following a set-piece. Stefan Oerterer comfortably slotted home the penalty to make it 2-2 shortly before the final whistle.
The reaction from BVB captain Joseph Boyamba: "In the end, a 2-2 draw is tough to take. We bounced back brilliantly and showed spirit. But ultimately it feels like a defeat having come back like that. We need to keep our heads up; we did show that we can come from behind and that we can do so against a deep-lying opponent. At the end of the day, there's nothing we can do about it and we simply need to try to recoup some points when we play against Düsseldorf next Sunday."
The BVB U23s: Oelschlägel – Hippe, Rente, Balerdi, Finnsson – Raschl, Duman (Hober, 77), Führich – Kaastrup (Aydinel, 80), Tigges, Boyamba
Goals: 1-0 Anan (63), 1-1 Hippe (67), 1-2 Tigges (76), 2-2 Oerterer (87)