Matchday 24 of the Regionalliga West season saw the Borussia Dortmund U23s play host to Sportfreunde Lotte. The Black & Yellows recorded a 4-0 (2-0) victory over their struggling visitors – the goals coming from Dominik Wanner, Richmond Tachie and Taylan Duman, who notched a brace – to take their points tally to 56 and return to the summit.
The scenario: BVB knew that a win would take them back above leaders RW Essen ahead of next weekend's top-of-the-table clash. Lotte, meanwhile, were in a relegation battle and needed every point to boost their survival hopes.
Personnel matters: Head coach Enrico Maaßen made two changes to the starting XI that claimed victory in Mönchengladbach, replacing Ansgar Knauff and Richmond Tachie with Dominik Wanner and Alaa Bakir.
The match & analysis: It was clear from the first whistle that BVB were going all-out for the win. They dominated the opening stages, pinning the visitors back into their own half. Maaßen had called for his team to be more effective in front of goal over the winter break, and he will have been happy to see their first chance of the game nestle in the back of the net. Taylan Duman fed Alaa Bakir, who in turn teed up the unmarked Wanner for a tap-in at the back post. 1-0! The visitors from Lotte could not keep up with the tempo and were totally overrun by BVB, who doubled their advantage only 10 minutes later. Wanner was involved in the move again, fizzing a ball across goal that was flicked on by Tobi Raschl towards Taylan Duman. The 23-year-old raced in at the back post and tapped the ball in to make it 2-0.
With the Black & Yellows creating chances by the minute, Dominik Wanner soon had two more opportunities. But he fired one of them over the bar from an unmarked position and then struck the post from a tight angle only minutes later. Lotte reacted to the Dortmund tidal wave by bringing on an additional defender and switching to a back five. That helped the visitors to stem the tide and reduce the threat, though BVB still carved open some good opportunities to extend their lead. The best of those chances fell to Alaa Bakir, but his left-footed shot in the 38th minute missed and the half-time whistle sounded with the score 2-0.
BVB made one substitution at the break, Moritz Broschinski replacing Steffen Tigges. Lotte had not thrown in the towel and tried to put BVB under pressure once play had resumed. They initially succeeded in this regard, with the visitors enjoying slightly more of the ball. Enrico Maaßen reacted by bringing on Ansgar Knauff and Richmond Tachie for Dominik Wanner and Tobi Raschl. Lotte were much livelier in the second period, albeit without ever creating clear-cut chances. BVB seemed to be struggling slightly and weren't getting so many shots away. But it was during this spell that the Black & Yellows killed off the game with a clinical counter-attack in the 73rd minute. Marco Hober and Richmond Tachie linked up to feed Taylan Duman, who tapped the ball home from 10 metres. The game was up, and substitute Tachie rounded off the scoring when he added a fourth eight minutes from time.
The match reactions:
Enrico Maaßen: "It was a very good way to round off the English week. We came out all guns blazing and scored two wonderful goals. I think that we should've added two more goals thereafter and then the game would've been done and dusted relatively quickly. Then the opposition switched things around slightly and we didn't play with such precision any more. But the game was all over once we made it 3-0 and 4-0. Lotte have quality too. That was no walk in the park; it was a really tough game. I'm very happy."
Taylan Duman: "We played superbly for the first 20 minutes. We had the opposition with their backs to the wall, it was exactly the way we'd envisaged it. But then up until half-time and also afterwards it was more of a battle. It was very important that we added the third goal. The team performed well. I'm happy that we're now back in top spot."
Outlook: Next on the agenda for the Borussia Dortmund U23s is a top-of-the-table clash in the Regionalliga West. The league leaders will travel to Hafenstraße on Saturday (14:00 CET) to take on second-placed Rot-Weiß Essen.
Team & goals
BVB U23s: Drljaca, Maloney, Hippe, Hober, Bakir (Harlass, 76), Duman, Tigges (Broschinski, 46), Pfanne, Dams, Raschl (Tachie, 57), Wanner (Knauff, 54)
Goals: 1-0 Wanner (6), 2-0 Duman (15), 3-0 Duman (73), 4-0 Tachie (82)