Two wins in as many games: the season could not have started better than that! Having beaten Alemannia Aachen 1-0 away from home, the U23s followed that up with a deserved 2-1 home win over 1. FC Cologne at the Rote Erde on Saturday lunchtime. Richmond Tachie and Dominik Wanner scored the goals.
BVB started the opening half with lots of possession. Cologne, playing in a 4-4-2 with a midfield diamond, were very compact and initially made life tough for the Black & Yellows. But they kept their concentration and started to play higher and higher up the pitch. However, a moment of carelessness in defence was enough to see them fall behind for the first time under Enrico Maaßen, with Kasra Ghawilu putting the men from the Rhineland a goal up after half an hour. BVB goalkeeper Unbehaun could do nothing about it.
But BVB did not let the setback disrupt their rhythm; the hosts continued to play attacking football and repeatedly carved out goalscoring opportunities. Richmond Tachie was one of the liveliest-looking players in the opening period, setting up the two best chances for his team and converting the third opportunity himself in the 44th minute of the match. The half-time whistle sounded with the score tied at 1-1.
The 300-strong crowd saw an even more dominant BVB after the break. Enrico Maaßen's charges created chance after chance, with Cologne spared only by a lack of clinical finishing. Steffen Tigges missed a chance midway through the second half after being teed up by Tachie, before Dominik Wanner finally put his team into a deserved lead on 68 minutes. Wanner was perfectly set up by Taylan Duman, who spent pre-season training with the senior squad.
With BVB giving away the odd opportunity now and again, it remained a tense affair until the final whistle. But their focused defending, combined with their regular forays forward to relieve the pressure at the back, were enough to secure the next three points. It was a deserved win in the end for BVB, who currently occupy second place in the table. They will next be in action when they take on eighth-placed Sportfreunde Lotte on Wednesday evening.
The match reactions
Richmond Tachie: "The first two matches were very difficult. We established a very good foothold for ourselves, demonstrated our quality and that's how we've got six points. We have a very, very good team, in terms of the atmosphere too. There's something exceptional going on, something special and you can see it, today too."
Niklas Dams: "We've very happy about our second victory. You always need to be satisfied if you take maximum points. There are of course some things still to improve, but I think when it comes to the basics we've got quite a lot right so far."
Enrico Maaßen: "Cologne were highly versatile and flexible. That wasn't so easy for us at all. We embraced it very well and found solutions. In the second period we showed even more desire and overall we created even more goalscoring opportunities for ourselves. We do need to become more clinical in front of goal, but it was still a very encouraging performance from us."
BVB U23s: Unbehaun, Duman, Tachie, Weigelt (Maloney, 46), Tigges, Harlaß (Bakir, 83), Finnsson, Pfanne, Krebs (Ercan, 71), Dams, Wanner (Schmeling, 89)
Goals: 0-1 Ghawilu (28), 1-1 Tachie (44), 2-1 Wanner (68)