The Borussia Dortmund U23s drew 1-1 at home to a strong Borussia Mönchengladbach II side in the Regionalliga West on Sunday thanks to defender Lars Bünning's equaliser.
The visitors from Mönchengladbach dictated the play in the opening stages of the match, while a BVB side in a new-look 4-1-4-1 formation with Finnsson in the defensive midfield role opted to let the Foals come at them with a view to striking on the counter-attack. Gladbach's confident and tough-tackling approach served as an early indication for the Black & Yellows as to what type of game it was going to be.
Tullberg's charges appeared to a certain extent to be overwhelmed by the performance of their opponents, who opened the scoring in the 15th minute when Marco Cirillo fired a shot past BVB shot-stopper Eric Oelschlägel and into the bottom right corner after the hosts had failed to clear the ball following a sweeping attacking move.
But BVB quickly regrouped and levelled the scores at 1-1 only nine minutes later when left-back Lars Bünning netted a spectacular strike to put the home side back on level terms. Bünning capitalised on the visitors' failure to clear a corner-kick by letting rip with a long-range effort from around 30 metres that the Gladbach shot-stopper was powerless to keep out. BVB showed more structure and confidence after the equaliser.
It was not a particularly good Regionalliga performance from either side after the break, though BVB keeper Oelschlägel had a good day between the sticks and made several key saves. The Black & Yellows had several good opportunities in the second period too, but both Balerdi and Boyamba spurned chances to put the hosts in front and in the end a 1-1 draw was a fair result for both teams – and certainly a step in the right direction for BVB.
Speaking after the match, BVB boss Mike Tullberg was satisfied with his side's performance. "I thought that my boys played with their heart and soul today," he said, adding: "Everyone gave their absolute all. In our situation, we're satisfied with the point."
Outlook: The U23s will next be in action next Sunday (14:00 CET) when they face Fortuna Köln at Südstadion.
BVB U23s: Oelschlägel – Morey, Ruprecht, Balerdi, Bünning (Tunga, 63) – Finnsson, Raschl (Hober, 56), Boyamba, Führich (Kaastrup, 85), Tigges – Rizzo (Duman, 56)
Goals: 0-1 Cirillo (15), 1-1 Bünning (24)