An intense 90 minutes ended goalless between the Borussia Dortmund U23s and Hallescher FC. A crowd of 1,259 spectators were at Stadion Rote Erde to watch the first match since the renovation works were completed.

The scenario: There were two points separating the teams before the game. HFC had dropped into the relegation zone following Bayreuth's victory on Friday evening. The U23s were in 16th place, directly above the drop zone, with 30 points. Halle, meanwhile, were on a seven-match unbeaten streak (two wins and five draws). BVB had won their last two matches, scoring eight goals in the process. The reverse fixture had ended 0-0.

Personnel matters: BVB coach Zimmermann made two changes to the starting line-up that won away to 1860 Munich, with Soumaila Coulibaly and Tom Rothe replacing Bjarne Pudel and Guillermo Bueno.

The match & analysis: Barely two minutes had been played when Ole Pohlmann unleashed the first shot at the Halle goal. His attempt from the edge of the box flew centimetres over the goal. The visitors registered more possession in the opening stages, while BVB looked to win the ball back and counter. One such instance occurred when Ted Tattermusch regained possession in his own half and fed Justin Njinmah with ball in behind the HFC back four. The pacey wing forward latched onto the ball and shot from a narrow angle (16). His hard strike flew narrowly wide of the left upright.

In the period that followed, shots from Tattermusch (18) and Falko Michel (24) missed the away team's goal. Halle only got into dangerous areas on rare occasions, with shots at the Dortmund goal almost non-existent. It was only in first-half stoppage time that Marcel Lotka was required to intervene for the first time, the Dortmund shot-stopper turning a deflected shot from Aaron Herzog over the crossbar. 

BVB coach Zimmermann made two substitutions at the break: Guille Bueno and Franz Pfanne replaced Tom Rothe and Ted Tattermusch. The first two shots of the second period fell to the Black & Yellows: Abdoulaye Kamara (55) and Njinmah (56) were the players to test Halle's goalkeeper. At the other end, Lotka made a stop to thwart Herzog (60).

Can Özkan had the best chance for BVB shortly after the hour mark, but his shot from 11 metres was cleared behind for a corner by a defender at the last minute (64). The match developed into a battle. Both teams invested a lot, threw themselves into the challenges and attempted a lot of shots. The game slightly lost its flow as a result, in part because referee Nicolas Winter had to penalise a lot of fouls. Neither of the two teams ultimately took risks and so the game ended 0-0.

Outlook: The U23s will be away to MSV Duisburg on Easter Saturday. Kick-off is at 14:00 CET. The Zebras' game against league leaders Elversberg, which was due to take place today, was called off due to an unplayable pitch at Duisburg's stadium.

U23s: Lotka – Özkan, Dams, Coulibaly, Rothe (Bueno, 46) – Kamara (Papadopoulos, 78), Eberwein, Pohlmann – Njinmah, Tattermusch (Pfanne, 46), Michel (Otuali, 78)