5,500 spectators watched an intense but ultimately goalless encounter at Essen's Hafenstraße. BVB had the better of the match but couldn't convert their superiority into a goal. RWE had the chance to snatch a last-minute win with a ''lucky punch'', but BVB goalkeeper Oelschlägel did fantastically well to deny Jonas Erwig-Drüppel.
Following their 3-0 win over TV Herkenrath, BVB went into the match in sixth place in the Regionalliga West table. RW Essen were fresh off the back of a defeat away to Alemannia Aachen and found themselves level with BVB on points in seventh place.
BVB coach Alen Terzic made five changes to the side that lined up against TV Herkenkrath, with Herbert Bockhorn, Gianluca Rizzo, Luca Kilian, Massimo Ornatelli and Leonardo Balerdi all dropping out of the starting line-up.
The first half:
The match got off to a scrappy start, with an abundance of petty fouls preventing the game from flowing. BVB were nonetheless able to impose themselves as the superior side. RW Essen, for their part, were giving the ball away far too easily in midfield, but Borussia weren't able to pounce and turn these slip-ups into goal-scoring opportunities. With 15 minutes on the clock, the first real chance of the match fell to Mory Konaté. The central defender was able to out-jump everyone in the box to get on the end of a Duman corner, but he couldn't quite keep his header down. Just a few seconds later, Boyamba was kept out by the side-netting after trying his luck from a tight angle.
Midway through the first half, Borussia remained on top. Bah-Traore and Gomez both saw goal-bound efforts deflected away by some last-ditch defending on the part of the Essen rearguard. It took 38 minutes for Essen to carve out their first real goal-scoring opportunity, but Oelschlägel was on hand to palm Scepanik's free-kick away for a corner. BVB had unquestionably been the better side over the course of the half, but the men in black and yellow were unable to really make this superiority count. RWE managed to pick themselves up for the last five minutes before half-time, and so it was that the sides returned to the dressing room with the score tied at 0-0.
The second half:
BVB continued to have the better of proceedings after emerging from the half-time break, with some impressively assured link-up play paving the way for a handful of chances. A 53rd minute long-range effort from Taylan Duman was flying towards goal, but RWE goalkeeper Heller managed to get his body in the way. Alen Terzic chose to make his first change of the match an hour in. Dominik Wanner came on to replace the fatigued Jano Baxmann in the three-man offensive line. This phase of the match saw much of the energy sapped from the encounter, with several small fouls interrupting the flow of the game.
BVB pushed Essen back deep into their own half in the closing stages of the match. The Black & Yellows were constantly winning second balls, and despite their less imposing physical presence, BVB's offensive players were often able to get the better of their opponents in 50-50s. However, in the last minute of regulation time, Jonas Erwig-Drüppel found himself one-on-one with Eric Oelschlägel. The 23-year-old goalkeeper did fantastically well to make the initial save, with Urban's effort from the rebound flying over the crossbar. Everyone on the BVB bench breathed a deep sigh of relief when the referee blew his whistle for full-time shortly afterwards.
What BVB coach Alen Terzic had to say:
''We absolutely deserved the point today. We played really well over the course of the 90 minutes, we showed a lot of courage and we wanted to dominate the ball. We were able to create a few good opportunities, but the final ball was just lacking at certain moments. A draw is more than deserved, overall I thought we controlled the match, there's a lot for us to build on.''
BVB U23 will continue their Regionalliga West campaign when they host FC Kaan-Marienborn in a rescheduled match in the Rote Erde Stadion this Tuesday evening.
BVB U23: Oelschlägel – Bah-Traore (89. Kilian), Rente, Konaté, Hanke – Schwermann, Boadu, Duman (80. Ametov) – Gomez, Boyamba, Baxmann (63. Wanner)