U23s secure fourth-place finish with goalless stalemate against Bonner SC
A long season drew to a close on Sunday afternoon for the Borussia Dortmund U23s, who signed off for the two-and-a-half-month summer break with a 0-0 draw against Bonner SC to secure a fourth-place finish. Chances at the Rote Erde Stadion were few and far between and it ended in a goalless stalemate as both teams failed to find a winner.
Both teams still had something to play for going into the final day. BVB were hoping to secure a third-place finish, which would have been deserved following what has been a very decent season, while the visitors from Bonn were still battling relegation and were relying on the result at Fortuna Düsseldorf to go their way to be certain of beating the drop.
The Black & Yellows made a bright start to the game and controlled the opening minutes with lots of possession, though it was the visitors who created the first chance with a counter culminating in a header that was straight at custodian Jan Reckert. The men from the Rhineland grew into the match in the period that followed and it developed into an open affair midway through the first half, at which point the rain began to make its presence felt. There had been signs the weather might turn during the warm-up but it initially had little effect on the balance of play. On the whole, sights of goal were few and far between in a rather unspectacular opening 45 minutes and the two teams went in goalless at the break.
Half-time saw Jan Siewert bring on the pacey Philipp Hanke, who replaced Evangelos Pavlidis in attacking midfield. The first good attack of the second period for the hosts came in the 57th minute, when David Sauerland combined excellently with Philipp Hanke before being denied by BSC goalkeeper Monath. The 951-strong crowd saw a more committed BVB in the period that followed, and an increasingly nervous-looking Bonner SC who remained compact in defence and left Borussia little room for attacking play. The Black & Yellows were at a numerical disadvantage for the final 10 minutes of the match, after Gianluca Rizzo was dismissed. But despite being a man down, BVB piled on the pressure in the closing minutes as they attempted to nick a win at the death.
In the end, though, they couldn't manage it and the Borussia Dortmund U23s ended a turbulent campaign full of highs and lows in fourth place in the Regionalliga West. Speaking after the match, coach Jan Siewert said: "We weren't able to create so many goalscoring chances today. Jan Pascal Reckert saved us on a few occasions and secured the fourth-place finish. The season was a lot of fun for me, and I'm looking forward to the next one." Timo Lammert