Borussia’s U17s concluded the Bundesliga season by losing 2-1 to Bayer Leverkusen. Coach Karsten Gorges’ charges ultimately had to settle for fifth place in the table behind Schalke 04, Arminia Bielefeld, Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Mönchengladbach.

The theoretical chance of benefiting from a Bielefeld slip-up quickly slipped away. On the one hand because Arminia surged into an early 2-0 lead against Preußen Münster; on the other because Leverkusen levelled at 1-1 through Naba Mensah (35th minute). Kjell Wätjen, who had converted a penalty to make it 1-0 in the sixth minute, initially kept the hopes alive.

The team – who were heavily impacted by personnel problems, with a number of players missing through injury and the duo of William Rashidi and Cole Campbell on duty with the U19s – started the match promisingly but then increasingly allowed Leverkusen to establish a better foothold in the game. The outcome was decided in the 50th minute when Artem Stepanov made it 2-1. Although Karsten Gorges made some personnel and tactical changes in a bid to inject more power and dynamism into the attacking play, the equaliser would not come.

“The lads gave everything but it unfortunately was not enough in the end,” summarised Karsten Gorges. The U17s will continue their campaign away to VfB Waltrop in the Westfalenpokal on Wednesday (kick-off 19:15 CET). “We want to show that we can do better in this competition,” said Karsten Gorges.

BVB: Aabro – Numbisie, Adamczyk, Plöger, Kabar –Wätjen,, Fleck (Uka, 46), Feddersen (Meiser, 46), Wätjen, Herrmann, Burstedde (Mahjoubi, 72), Gürpüz (Kerlen, 87).