Borussia’s U19s have kept their hold on top spot in the A-Junior Bundesliga West courtesy of a comfortable 4-0 victory against Victoria Cologne. 1. FC Cologne (18 points), who won the battle of the closest challengers 1-0 against Schalke, are currently one point behind in second place, with the Gelsenkirchen club in third (15). Dortmund’s Julian Rijkhoff bagged a brace.

“We succeeded in taking our chances early on and making sure that we then controlled the game comfortably for the most part,” said head coach Mike Tullberg after the final whistle. Following their demanding UEFA Youth League clash with Manchester City (3-3), BVB made a highly focused start to the match against Viktoria and were rewarded for their mature performance with two early goals, which played into the Black & Yellows’ hands. Because the 2-0 lead allowed the team to conserve some of their energy ahead of their winner-takes-all clash with FC Copenhagen in Europe’s elite youth competition this Wednesday.

The opening goal came in the ninth minute when Julian Rijkhoff slotted home a penalty kick. Samuel Bamba had turned on the afterburners and embarked upon an unstoppable solo run that Viktoria’s defenders could only bring to a halt by fouling him inside the box. Hendry Blank doubled the advantage to 2-0 in the 16th minute with a header from Rafael Lubach’s corner, after Michel Ludwig had failed to beat Cologne shot-stopper Juri Schüchter from close range.

With Filippo Mane out injured with a broken nose, Mike Tullberg opted to bring in Farouk Cisse to fill the right-back berth and put Rafael Lubach in the midfield position that had become vacant as a result. The former U17 international deserved to be singled out for praise by the coach, as did Jaden Korzynietz. “Both performed really well,” said Tullberg, who had to do without the services of Paris Brunner after releasing him to play in the U17s’ derby against Schalke 04 (Sunday at 11:00 CET, NLZ Brackel). In Brunner’s absence, Isak Nwachukwu started in attack for the first time since his recovery from injury.

Farouk Cisse substituted with injury

The only downside to the game was Farouk Cisse being substituted with a foot injury around the 70-minute mark. But the Black & Yellows had already put the game to bed by then. Julian Rikjhoff had upped the score to 3-0 in the 58th minute and put the final nail into the coffin of a visiting side that had never given up. Noa-Gabriel Simic, who came on to replace Samuel Bamba, rounded off the scoring in the 78th minute. Beforehand, the Black & Yellows had squandered further and, in some cases, well worked opportunities to win by an even greater margin.

“We went about our task with seriousness, only letting the reins slip a little between the 30th and 45th minutes and not allowing Cologne a dangerous attempt at goal,” commented a content Mike Tullberg. Borussia will next be in Bundesliga action when they visit Fortuna Düsseldorf next Sunday.

U19s: Kirsch – Cisse (Rashidi, 72), Collins, Blank, Korzynietz – Bamba (Simic, 66), Walz, Lubach, Michel (Onofrietti, 46), Nwachukwu (Mengot, 46) – Rijkhoff