Borussia Dortmund's U23s have cemented their lead at the top of the Regionalliga West with a win at FC Wegberg-Beeck. Richmond Tachie and Florian Krebs scored late in the second half to seal the win and prompt scenes of celebration.
The scenario: BVB went into Matchday 29 of the Regionalliga West as league leaders. The home side were languishing down in 15th and battling relegation. A victory would see BVB move six points clear of RW Essen, who would not be in action until Sunday.
Personnel matters: BVB boss Enrico Maaßen was without several key figures. Alaa Bakir had received his fifth yellow card against Wiedenbrück. Steffen Tigges had flown to Munich with the first-team squad and Dominik Wanner, Patrick Osterhage, Moritz Broschinski and Taylan Duman were all missing through injury.
The match & analysis: Borussia Dortmund dominated proceedings in the early stages as the sun shone brightly at the Waldstadion in Beeck. The home side initially focused on shoring up their defence and allowed BVB to control possession in the opening minutes. Captain Franz Pfanne had the first shot on the five-minute mark but fired narrowly over the crossbar. While BVB demonstrated their attacking intent, the hosts were already playing for time after 10 minutes and were trying to disrupt the rhythm of the match with minor fouls. Richmond Tachie headed the ball against the crossbar from a corner kick around the half-hour mark – the best opportunity of the match so far. But the hosts also had their first major opportunity in this period, Jannik Mause unleashing a shot that also struck the crossbar on its way over. The rest of the first half elapsed and the half-time whistle sounded with the score goalless.
BVB restarted the second 45 minutes on the front foot and with lots of attacking momentum. Kolbeinn Finnsson missed from a tight angle in the first moments of the half. Maaßen's charges were pushing for the opener and were camped inside the opposition half. Florian Krebs and Richmond Tachie both had shots in the 52nd minute that were kept out by the excellent reactions of the Wegberg goalie. The young Black & Yellows were indefatigable but the luck was not on their side in the decisive moments, with an opponent always managing to get in the way. Wegberg barely got out of their own half, with Luca Unbehaun in the Dortmund goal little more than a spectator. When Ansgar Knauff fired the ball wide on the 75-minute mark, the Black & Yellows still had a quarter of an hour to find a goal. And it eventually came from the penalty spot after Richmond Tachie had driven forward towards the Wegberg goal and was fouled five metres out. Tachie himself stepped up to take it and scored the long overdue opening goal. 1-0! The home side threw everything forward but in second-half stoppage time, Henri Weigelt won the ball and played it through to Richmond Tachie. He squared it to Florian Krebs in front of goal, who made it 2-0 and sealed the victory.
The match reactions:
Enrico Maaßen: "The most important thing is that we won the match. That was our number one priority. We knew that it'd be a difficult encounter. We made a few changes due to the many absences. We had a good plan but we were not able to move the opponent so well on the pitch. It's a big step forward in our development that we were able to switch our game at the press of a button. When you have so many opportunities in the final third, a goal will come."
Florian Krebs: "We're happy that we were able to take the three points here. It's obviously always something different when players occupy new positions on the field. We all did that well and accepted it as it was. The coach is happy too. We deserved to win."
Outlook: The Black & Yellows are next in action away to RW Ahlen next Saturday (kick-off 14:00 CET).
Team & goals
BVB U23s: Unbehaun, Maloney, Hippe, Hober (Ercan, 78), Tachie (Mackrekis, 89), Finnsson (Bah-Traoré, 78), Pfanne, Krebs, Dams, Knauff, Raschl (Weigelt, 70)
Goals: 0-1 Tachie (pen., 87), 0-2 Krebs (90)