In front of 1,273 spectators in the Stadion Rote Erde, Borussia Dortmund's U23s secured the first three points of 2020. An intense game played at temperatures hovering around the freezing point saw BVB gain a well-earned victory, winning 3-1 (1-1). Marco Hober, Steffen Tigges and Joseph Boyamba scored for Mike Tullberg’s team.

The scenario before the game: After 19 games, the Black & Yellows youth team were in eighth place, having given away a few points in 2019. Even if it will probably be asking too much to get to the top of the table, Dortmund are looking to push a little higher. Wuppertal are facing a relegation battle and are only slightly above the drop zone with 17 points.

Personnel: BVB coach Mike Tullberg was able to count on three members of the first team, with Mateu Morey, Leonardo Balerdi and Tobias Raschl in the starting eleven. U19s goalkeeper Luca Unbehaun, 18, celebrated his Regionalliga debut. Chris Führich passed a late fitness test and was also on the pitch from the start.

The match: BVB had big plans coming into the match, but after 10 minutes, Mike Tullberg’s team were already 1-0 down. After a cross from the right-hand side, Marwin Studtrucker was left unmarked and was able to beat debutant Unbehaun for the first time, giving the young keeper no chance with the finish. It was a wake-up call for the Black & Yellows, who began to put Wuppertal under constant pressure, operating in the new 3-5-2 system. Leonardo Balerdi hit the post shortly after the opener, but BVB didn’t have to wait long for the equaliser. The effort they showed was rewarded in the 22nd minute, as Marco Hober slotted home to make it 1-1 following an assist from Steffen Tigges. Tigges had a chance to make it 2-1 before the break (34), but hit the side netting.

Shortly after the restart, BVB were forced to make a change due to injury. Julian Schwermann replaced Lars Bünning in the three-man back line. It was Schwermann's first taste of action in the Regionalliga after being out injured for 169 days. Yet the Borussen did not let the injury distract them – on the contrary! Chris Führich set up Steffen Tigges from the left-hand side, who fired in an unstoppable shot for 2-1 after 50 minutes. The match developed into a thriller, with Wuppertal also playing their part. But before WSV were able to produce any real results offensively, BVB scored a third. Chris Führich played the ball to Tigges, who teed up the unmarked Joseph Boyamba in the box. The captain simply had to put the ball over the line and produced an acrobatic celebration. The game appeared to be settled, not least because Luca Unbehaun refused to be beaten. The 18-year-old impressively denied ex-BVB player Ametov in a one-on-one in the 75th minute. The Borussen managed their lead well and were rewarded with the three points in the end.

Next up: Next Saturday afternoon, the U23s are away at Alemannia Aachen. Kick-off at the Tivoli is 14:00 CET.

BVB U23s: Unbehaun – Balerdi, Rente, Bünning (Schwermann, 48) – Morey, Raschl (Tunga, 88), Hober, Führich (Wanner, 85), Finnsson – Boyamba, Tigges

Goals: 0-1 Studtrucker (10), 1-1 Hober (22), 2-1 Tigges (50), 3-1 Boyamba (59)