Borussia Dortmund's U19s rounded off a successful weekend for the Black and Yellows by making a perfect start to the new Bundesliga season. The reigning German champions celebrated victory in the derby in the season opener, beating Schalke 04, who are one of their biggest competitors and among the favourites for the West German championship. BVB put in a comprehensive team performance to win 3-1.
Mike Tullberg was smiling from ear to ear and laughed: "A perfect, amazing BVB weekend." And his boys were instrumental in it: the U19s beat Schalke 3-1 in the season opener.
Earlier in the weekend, Jamie Bynoe-Gittens and Youssoufa Moukoko – both U19 players – had played a major role in the 3-1 victory for the first team in Freiburg. And Bradley Fink, coached by Tullberg for the last two years, scored the goal of the day in the U23s' 1-0 victory against Rot-Weiss Essen. To top it all off, the new-look Dortmund U19s put the finishing touch a great weekend against one of their biggest rivals for the championship. "I am proud of this team that implemented our plan down to a tee," said head coach Tullberg.
The Black and Yellows managed a perfect first half. With Tom Rothe surprisingly lining up in the starting 11, who was replaced at the break as agreed with first team coach Edin Terzic, Borussia played highly focused and tactically disciplined football. They also enjoyed every duel they won against a robust Schalke side. "We played very a mature game," said Tullberg, praising the passionate yet structured performance of his team.
Rijkhoff involved in all the Black and Yellow goals
BVB were ruthless in exploiting their chances. Julian Rijkhoff started it all off, remaining ice-cool after link-up play between Noa Gabriel Simic, Vasco Walz and Michel Ludwig, who had played a fine pass into the penalty area on 12 minutes, leaving Rijkhoff with just the S04 goalkeeper Luca Podlech to beat. Last season's top scorer in the U19 Bundesliga West doubled his side's lead from the penalty spot four minutes later after he was brought down by Yannick Tonye. The third goal went to Ayukayoh Mengot. The hard-working attacker punished a mistake by goalkeeper Podlech after Rijkhoff's long ball and increased the Black and Yellows' lead to 3-0.
Schalke, for their part, did not disappoint and matched their Dortmund counterparts for extended periods. The difference was that the defence, centred around linchpins Filippo Mane and Nnamdi Collins, kept their cool even during difficult phases. Goalkeeper Marian Kirsch also made some superb saves, such as in the 42nd minute, when he parried Keke Topp's shot from a free-kick and then also saved the rebound from Matt Hansen.
In the second half, BVB looked to control the game, but failed to find the killer ball on the counter-attack. The rare chances offered to the away side were once again saved by Kirsch, except in the last minute of injury time, when he was a little clumsy as he challenged Hansen for the ball and referee Luca Maurer gave Schalke a penalty. Keke Topp's spot-kick was merely a consolation goal and BVB ran out 3-1 winners. "I am very happy about the performance and the result against a top team," said Mike Tullberg.
Next Sunday, the U19s will host newly promoted side VfB Hilden, who lost 3-2 at Bayer Leverkusen in the season opener.
BVB: Kirsch – Mane, Collins, Cisse – Husseck, Ludwig (Korzynietz, 80), Walz (Onofrietti, 85), Rothe (Blank, 46) – Simic (Lubach, 73), Mengot (König, 85) – Rijkhoff