The Borussia Dortmund U23s played their Matchday 26 fixture on Sunday afternoon. Two goals from Steffen Tigges in the opening stages gave coach Enrico Maaßen's side an early 2-0 lead, but the guests from Wiedenbrück were able to pull one back before half-time before finding an equaliser in the second period. When all was said and done, the Black & Yellows had to make do with a point.
The scenario: The game between Borussia Dortmund and SC Wiedenbrück was the only fixture which could take place this weekend. Large parts of North Rhine-Westphalia were still buried under snow on Sunday, which led to the mass cancellation of matches. The Black & Yellows came into the game as league leaders and had the chance to pull further ahead of second-placed RW Essen.
Personnel matters: BVB coach Enrico Maaßen made one change to the team that defeated Sportfreunde Lotte: Ansgar Knauff came into the side to replace Dominik Wanner.
The match & analysis: The conditions were more or less perfect for a game of football. The artificial grass pitch, cleared of snow, looked in an excellent state as the sun shone and the thermometer lingered around the freezing point. Borussia got off to a bright start and were able to dictate the tempo early on. In the ninth minute, BVB earned a corner on the right-hand side after turning the ball over. Taylan Duman lofted the ball in towards Steffen Tigges, who timed his header perfectly and found the back of the net to make it 1-0. The Black & Yellows were in complete control and it took them just five minutes to score their second goal of the match. A long ball forward from the boot of Maximilian Hippe eluded the Wiedenbrück defence. Even goalkeeper Marcel Hölscher misjudged it and failed to clear the danger. BVB captain Steffen Tigges was switched on and managed to find a finish to make it 2-0.
As the first half progressed, the Black & Yellows continued to dictate proceedings and put their opponents under pressure. Wiedenbrück, for their part, could barely get going offensively. On the few occasions they did push into the final third, the Dortmund defence was able to repel them back with ease. BVB goalkeeper Stefan Drljaca also put in a typically solid performance. In the 25th minute, he got down well to deny striker Viktor Maier from scoring on the counter-attack. Towards the end of the first half, the visitors began to find their foothold in the match. Viktor Maier added the finishing touches to a 37th-minute counter-attack to bring the score to 2-1. Drljaca managed to get something on the close-range effort, but it wasn't enough to prevent the ball from rolling over the line. The Black & Yellows went in at the break with a narrow one-goal lead.
Enrico Maaßen sent out an unchanged side for the second half. Dortmund's approach also remained unchanged. The Black & Yellows controlled the game and were able to push Wiedenbrück back into their own half. However, on the hour mark, the guests were able to capitalise on a lapse in concentration in the Dortmund defence to draw level at 2-2. Daniel Latkowski was the scorer from close range. BVB coach Maaßen reacted to the setback by bringing on fresh legs in the form of Richmond Tachie, Moritz Broschinski and Dominik Wanner. After conceding, BVB needed some time to reestablish themselves in the game. Wiedenbrück posed a constant threat. The Black & Yellows struggled to rekindle the spark they showed in the first half, even from set pieces they were not as effective as they had been earlier in the game. The closing stages were action-packed, as Borussia poured men forward in search of a winner. Three minutes from time, Moritz Broschinski had a gilt-edged opportunity to seize all three points, but his effort on goal was saved magnificently by Wiedenbrück goalkeeper Hölscher. The scoreboard read 2-2 as the referee blew the whistle for full-time.
Enrico Maaßen: ''We're obviously not satisfied with the draw. We managed to take a 2-0 lead in a game that we knew was going to be difficult. We were obviously delighted about the lead, but we should have been a lot smarter after that. We gave away two cheap chances and we conceded two goals as a result. Of course that gave our opponents the momentum, but looking at the game as a whole, we gave very little away, apart from the two individual errors that led to the goals. It's annoying, but that's how football is sometimes.''
Franz Pfanne: ''That feels like a defeat. When you're 2-0 up after 15 minutes then you should be full of confidence. We didn't play our best game today. We didn't create enough chances over the 90 minutes. Wiedenbrück defended really well. We struggled to get past their five-man defensive line, we couldn't find our flow.''
Outlook: The Borussia Dortmund U23s are back in action next weekend, when they travel to play Bonner SC. Kick-off in the Sportpark Nord is scheduled for 14:00 CET on Saturday.
Team & goals
BVB U23: Drljaca, Maloney, Hippe, Hober, Bakir (79, Harlass), Duman, Tigges (63, Broschinski), Pfanne, Dams, Raschl (63, Tachie), Knauff (63, Wanner)
Goals: 1-0 Tigges (9), 2-0 Tigges (14), 2-1 Maier (37), 2-2 Latkowski (59)