U23s win 4-1 at 1860 Munich
Borussia Dortmund's U23s took all three points home from Bavaria thanks to a fast and furious start. The Black and Yellows claimed a 4-1 (3-0) away win against 1860 Munich to break the 30-point mark for the season.
The scenario: The U23s had slipped back into the relegation zone after Bayreuth's 2-1 win in Dresden the previous day and were looking to leave the Bavarian state capital with all three points. The reverse fixture in the first half of the season was a 1-1 draw.
Personnel matters: Dortmund coach Jan Zimmermann had to make three changes to his starting eleven from the 4-0 win against Zwickau last week. Tom Rothe and Soumaila Coulibaly are away on international duty, while Franz Pfanne was suspended after picking up five yellow cards for the season. Guille Bueno returned to the starting line-up at left-back. It was the Spaniard's first appearance since the beginning of February. Bjarne Pudel and Abdoulaye Kamara also came into the starting line-up.
The match: The U23s got off to a dream start on Grünwalder Straße: After a throw-in from Can Özkan on the right-hand side, Michael Eberwein headed the ball on to Justin Njinmah, who found Ole Pohlmann in the right-hand corner of the penalty area. Pohlmann struck the ball perfectly on the half-volley to open the scoring with just five minutes on the referee's watch.
The Black and Yellows were spurred on by their early advantage and dominated the opening stages. Justin Njinmah was brought down about 20 yards out from goal. Ole Pohlmann stepped up and curled the resulting free kick into the corner to make it 2-0 after 15 minutes. Only a few seconds later, Pohlmann was denied a hat-trick by an impressive save by 1860 goalkeeper Marco Hiller. Ted Tattermusch's attempt on the follow-up was cleared off the line by a defender, who also deflected Falko Michel's effort on the rebound over the Munich goal on 16 minutes.
The resulting Pohlmann corner was headed out of the box, but Kamara floated the ball back into the six-yard box, where centre-back Bjarne Pudel, who had come up for the corner, creatively flicked it into the net despite being on the ground. That made it 3-0 to Dortmund's U23s with just 17 minutes played. At the other end, a flat cross from the right-hand side of the defence found Munich's captain Stefan Lex, but Guille Bueno was alert and cleared the ball off the line on 23 minutes.
The hosts, who made two changes at half-time in an attempt to turn the game around after the break, but the Dortmund defence held firm and hardly allowed 1860 to create any chances. Instead, Abdoulaye Kamara rounded off a great piece of link-up play. He himself initiated the move before Moses Otuali, who had come on to the pitch just seconds earlier, found Kamara, who drove a low shot towards the near post to make it 4-0 on 79 minutes. In the closing stages, the hosts managed a consolation goal. After Dortmund captain Niklas Dams brought down Munich's Albion Vrenezi with a sliding tackle in the area, 1860 were awarded a penalty, which Raphael Holzhauser converted to pull one back at 4-1 five minutes before full-time.
Head coach Jan Zimmermann: "Playing a first half like that in Munich and then defending it to the end, it was fun to watch the lads today. The lads are gradually starting to understand that hard work during the week pays off. At the moment, we are very purposeful going forward. The lads are taking what we do during the week on board. For me, it is very important that things are working on the pitch, because that will only make their faith and confidence grow. I am pleased for Ole Pohlmann. For weeks, I have been telling him what a great footballer he is, what prospects he has, and that ultimately, something finally has to happen for him. I will continue to challenge him so that he does not stop working."
Outlook: The U23s will play host to Hallescher FC next Saturday (14:00 CET) If the reconstruction work is on schedule, this game can be played back in the Rote Erde stadium.
U23s: Lotka – Özkan (Elongo-Yombo, 90), Dams, Pudel, Bueno (Suver, 64) – Michel, Kamara (Akono, 90), Eberwein, Pohlmann – Njinmah, Tattermusch (Otuali, 79)
Goals: 0-1 Pohlmann (5), 0-2 Pohlmann (15), 0-3 Pudel (17), 0-4 Kamara (79), 1-4 Holzhauser (85)