Borussia Dortmund's U23s earned a 1-1 draw against TSV 1860 München and produced a resolute performance. Marco Pasalic scored a crucial equaliser.
Personnel: Coach Christian Preusser made four changes: Luca Unbehaun was absent with back problems and was replaced in goal by Silas Ostrzinski, who came from the U19 championship-winning team in the summer and made his 3. Liga debut today. In addition, Kolbeinn Finnsson came in for Soumaila Coulibaly (moved to the professional squad), Guille Bueno replaced Rodney Elongo-Yombo, and Ole Pohlmann played up front in place of Jayden Braaf. Like Coulibaly, Antonios Papadopoulos and Marcel Lotka also moved up to the full BVB squad.
The scenario: Before the two-week international break, the U23s had achieved an important win at FSV Zwickau: BVB turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 victory and took their season tally to seven points. After nine league games, 1860 München had 22 points to their name and were in 2nd place behind league leaders Elversberg (also on 22 points). Joseph Boyamba has been a key player this season for 1860. He played for BVB U23s from 2018 to 2020 and was captain in his second season.
The match: Playing in heavy rain, both teams delivered an intense and balanced first half. TSV centre-backs Niklas Lang and Jasper Verlaat put headers wide of the goal (11th and 37th minutes). Munich's attacker Albion Vrenezi was prevented at the last moment from a finishing in a dangerous situation by Niklas Dams (15). And Boyamba's left-footed shot was blocked by Michael Eberwein (45).
On the other side, BVB striker Pohlmann battled his way through to create a chance, but shot just wide (12). Marco Pasalic (17) and Justin Njinmah (26) were also unlucky with their attempts. And Falko Michel's powerful half-volley failed to find the net thanks to superb reactions from TSV goalkeeper Marco Hiller (37) – the biggest opportunity of the first 45 minutes. It was a half in which BVB succeeded very well in keeping Munich's dangerous strike force at bay (2.4 goals per game).
This continued in the second half. BVB had the stronger start with two great opportunities: First, Njinmah shot centimetres wide of the left of goal after beating Verlaat (56). Then it was Michel who once again failed to beat Hiller (58). But it was bad news for the determined BVB U23s when they went behind out of nowhere.
Stefan Lex was fouled by BVB keeper Ostrzinski in the penalty area. The penalty kick was converted by Vrenezi (62). But, as in Zwickau, U23 coach Preusser's team showed how resilient they were and came back: After a pass from Pohlmann, it was Pasalic who moved from the right into the middle and scored in the left-hand corner with a powerful left-foot strike (68). His second goal of the season – beautiful and important in equal measure.
Even when the game was suspended for a few minutes after the equaliser due to strong rain and hail showers, Dortmund did not lose their focus. Njinmah had another opportunity (84), as did Verlaat (83, 90+4). But in the end neither team could capitalise on their half-chances and it remained a draw. It was a result that BVB deserved thanks to a strong fighting performance and some excellent moments in the game.
Christian Preusser: "If you look at our season so far, we can be very happy with the point. We played a great game. You can see that our routines are getting better and better. But of course we wanted to win the game. We have to work on being more clinical. We let too many chances go to waste because we weren't clinical enough. At the end of the day, we've got something out of the game. It doesn't help us much in the table but we're going in the right direction."
BVB U23s: Ostrzinski – Pfanne, Dams, Finnsson – Pasalic, Eberwein (replaced by Ercan, 81st minute), Özkan, Bueno (Elongo-Yombo, 89) – Michel – Njinmah, Pohlmann (Tattermusch, 84)
Goals: 0-1 Vrenezi (penalty, 62), 1-1 Pasalic (68)
Next up: BVB U23s will have to wait until a week on Monday for their next 3. Liga match. They play away to Hallescher FC in the Leuna-Chemie-Stadion (10 October, kick-off 19.00 CET).