The Borussia Dortmund U23s are back in second place in the Regionalliga table. Jan Siewert's side ran out 5-0 (3-0) winners against Rot-Weiss Essen in a rescheduled Matchday 12 fixture. Alexander Isak grabbed a majestic first half hat-trick, with Julian Schwermann and Dominik Wanner also getting themselves on the scoresheet.
Timo Lammert reporting
The scenario: Borussia Dortmund entered the match in third place in the table. Rot-Weiss Essen were in sixth place with 24 points, having managed to overcome SC Wiedenbrück away from home last weekend. Borussia were fresh off the back of a home loss against Borussia Mönchengladbach's second string.
Personnel: Compared to Saturday's match, it was primarily in midfield that BVB coach Jan Siewert chose to make his adjustments. Shinji Kagawa and Sebastian Rode dropped down from the first team squad to join the side. Luca Killian replaced Amos Pieper, and Dominik Wanner stepped in to the injured Sören Dieckmann's position at left-back. After his absence on Saturday, Phillip Hanke slotted back in at right-back.
The first half: The match got underway 15 minutes late in a well attended Rote Erde stadium. The referee had decided to delay proceedings so that both teams could enjoy an extended warm-up. As soon as the ball was rolling, BVB exploded into action. The Black and Yellows made their attacking presence felt right away, with Shinji Kagawa taking up the role of midfield general and playmaker. The clock read just six minutes when Alexander Isak gave BVB the lead after an assist by the lively Japanese number 10. RWE then got themselves back in the game, but BVB made the most of a counter attacking opportunity to bring the score to 2-0. 15 minutes in, it was once more Shinji Kagawa who set up Alexander Isak, with the young forward finishing with ease. After half an hour of play, the visitors had their first real opportunity of the match, but Kai Pröger was only able to hit the post from close range. Almost immediately afterwards, the Black and Yellows got their third goal of the match. Once more, it was that Kagawa – Isak combination which proved decisive.
The second half: The second half began with a double whammy. Julian Schwermann backed himself from 25 yards out and found the back of the net to make it 4-0. The young Dortmund player earned special praise from his coach after the match: ''Julian gave a brilliant performance after his injury.'' Only 60 seconds later, Dominik Wanner made it 5-0 in the 47th minute. The match was only going to end one way. Borussia were happy to play the ball around and save their energy for the upcoming match on Saturday away to Alemannia Aachen. The 984 fans present in the Rote Erde stadium were nonetheless treated to some brilliant saves from Eric Oelschlägel, who was always on hand to keep all Essen attacks at bay and secure a clean sheet. Sebastian Rode left the pitch in the 67th minute. After an extended absence due to injury, the midfielder will be happy to be back in competitive action. Massimo Ornatelli came on in his place. The only way RWE really managed to trouble BVB in what remained of the match was through unnecessary fouls. The Black and Yellows held on to their imposing lead until the final whistle. In the end, the richly deserved 5-0 win was never in doubt. BVB are back in second place.
What BVB coach Jan Siewert had to say: ''Of course I'm happy with the win, we gave a good performance. Shinji Kagawa and Sebastian Rode got back in action after their injuries. That's so important for the lads.“
What's next: The U23s are next in action on Saturday with a match away to Alemannia Aachen at Tivoli (15.30 CET). This will be the last match of the first round of fixtures.
BVB U23: Oelschlägel – Hanke, Kilian, Rente (87. Hober), Wanner – Boadu, Schwermann, Rode (67. Ornatelli) – Boyamba (81. Tekiela), Isak, Kagawa
Goals: 1:0 Isak (6.), 2:0 Isak (16.), 3:0 Isak (28.), 4:0 Schwermann (46.), 5:0 Wanner (47.)