The good news is that Borussia Dortmund's U23s remain unbeaten in all five Regionalliga games in 2020. However, there was more to Saturday afternoon's clash against relegation-battling Homberg than a draw suggests. After 90 minutes, the sides could not be separated, with the score 2-2. Taylan Duman bagged a brace for BVB.
The scenario before the match: Before the game, BVB were clear favourites. Currently the best U23 team in the league, sitting sixth in the table, up against relegation-threatened VfB Homberg, who had so far failed to collect any points in 2020.
The team: Following the 3-3 draw with Fortuna Düsseldorf, BVB coach Mike Tullberg changed things up. Mateu Morey replaced Kolbeinn Finnsson and slotted in on the right side of defence. Lars Bünning took up Finnsson's position on the left.
The match: In their games in 2020, it's gradually becoming a tradition for Borussia Dortmund's U23s to always concede first. So it was again against VfB Homberg, where the opposition were the first to celebrate. From Patrick Dertwinkel's free kick from the inside left channel, the ball was suddenly in the net in the 16th minute. Nobody could get a touch as the ball came into the area, and could only watch as it nestled into the bottom-right corner. Homberg set up to be defensive and compact with a back five, leaving little room for BVB's own attacking game. While lacking in ideas and invention, Homberg were always solid and deserved to lead at the break.
BVB were stronger in the second half, helped by an offensive substitution with the more attacking Dominik Wanner coming on in place of the defender Bünning. BVB's best phase of the game was created down their newly formed left flank. Chris Führich played Taylan Duman through on goal and he was able to slot in the equalizer from close range. Just a few minutes later, the same situation played out again. This time, however, it was Wanner with the assist for Duman, whose finish pulled Dortmund ahead, to much celebration. At this point, it felt as though BVB would end up winning the game, but Homberg rallied and struck the equalizer to make it 2-2 with just over 10 minutes left to play.
In the end, BVB were guilty of being sloppy on the counter at times and of having too few ideas going forward in the first half. Nevertheless, they remain unbeaten in 2020 and temporarily moved up to fifth in the table following this result.
Next up: This coming Sunday, the U23s welcome their second-string counterparts from 1. FC Cologne. Kick off is at 14:00 CET at the Stadion Rote Erde.
BVB U23s: Unbehaun – Morey, Rente, Hippe, Bünning (49' Wanner) – Duman (86' Rizzo), Raschl (77' Tunga), Hober – Boyamba, Tigges, Führich
Goals: 1-0 Dertwinkel (16'), 1-1 Duman (63'), 1-2 Duman (68'), 2-2 Kader (78')