U23s lose 1-0 to Wiesbaden despite having good chances
The Borussia Dortmund U23s suffered a narrow 1-0 home loss to promotion candidates Wehen Wiesbaden. BVB again created a spate of good chances in the third-tier match.
The scenario: Wehen Wiesbaden had beaten both league leaders Elversberg (1-0) and Halle (3-2) since the World Cup break and went into the matchday in second place in the table. The Borussia Dortmund U23s had started the new year with two defeats: the Black & Yellows had initially lost to Bayreuth (3-1), before suffering a reverse at the hands of VfL Osnabrück (2-1) and dropping into the relegation zone.
Personnel matters: U23 coach Christian Preusser made three changes to the team for his 50th third-tier match in the dugout. Having recently missed the game against VfL Osnabrück on Tuesday due to injury, captain Franz Pfanne was reintroduced in defence. Midfielder Abdoulaye Kamara returned to the starting XI after a long injury lay-off and Moses Otuali made his competitive debut. The pacey forward had only arrived from the Hamburger SV reserves this week.
The match & analysis: The strong Wiesbaden side made the better start to the match, keeping the ball and Borussia on the move and creating goalscoring chances. Johannes Wurtz was denied twice at the outset by the strong reactions of BVB keeper Marcel Lotka (6, 18), while SVW striker Ivan Prtajin headed over the bar (11). The U23s better adjusted to the tempo and playing style of the promotion contenders throughout the first half, containing their attacking moves and linking up in front of goal themselves. But with Cyrill Akono shooting wide (26) and Justin Njinmah's attempt blocked (36), it remained goalless at the break.
After the interval, Wiesbaden looked a little more alert again and were rewarded when Benedict Hollerbach opened the scoring to make it 1-0 (49). Wiesbaden almost doubled their advantage to 2-0 a short while afterwards, only for Lotka to thwart Thijmen Goppel's effort (58). It was end-to-end, up-and-down action at this point.
Otuali first had a goal disallowed for offside following a lovely ball from Kamara (54), before the referee pointed to the penalty spot for BVB after Akono had been brought down by Wiesbaden shot-stopper Arthur Lyska. But Borussia were dealt a setback: Lyska made amends for his mistake and kept out Njinmah's spot-kick, thus denying the Black & Yellows a major opportunity to restore parity (63). Preusser's charges remained unperturbed, however, with Otuali soon in the thick of the action again, only to see his header kept out by the upright (68).
BVB had to endure another heart-in-mouth moment in defence when Lotka made a double save to keep out Prtajin and Robin Heußer (75). Borussia made every effort to cause the side in second spot headaches, with Preusser bringing on fresh legs in attack, but the final big chance to equalise fell to a defender when the unmarked Niklas Dams fired over the crossbar (82). Around 10 minutes later, the final whistle sounded.
Christian Preusser: "The first half was not so good from a footballing perspective, but was okay off the ball. We then played very nicely in the second half. We just failed to get our reward for it once again. The chances were there, but we missed them. It's not easy to take. But fundamentally, the quality is there. I have a lot of belief in us."
Outlook: The U23s will be away to FC Ingolstadt on Saturday (4/2). Kick-off is at 14:00 CET.
BVB U23s: Lotka – Collins, Dams, Pfanne – Njinmah (Elongo-Yombo, 82), Papadopoulos, Kamara (Gürpüz, 82), Rothe (Aning, 72) – Pohlmann (Tattermusch, 87) – Akono (Eberwein, 72), Otuali
Goals: 0-1 Hollerbach (49)