Borussia Dortmund’s U23s have made it two wins from two games at their temporary home, the Stadion am Zoo in Wuppertal, after beating SC Verl 1-0 (0-0). An early second-half goal from Moritz Broschinski sealed the victory for BVB, who subsequently did not give their opponents a sniff and had many chances themselves to wrap up the game early.

The scenario:
The Black & Yellows were aiming to continue their run: Christian Preusser’s team were unbeaten in five matches and had kept three consecutive clean sheets. Visitors SC Verl were on a six-game undefeated streak themselves. 

Personnel matters:
Coach Preusser was forced to reshuffle once again due to illness and – in addition to the already injured or ill Abdoulaye Kamara, Prince Aning, Michael Eberwein and Ted Tattermusch – had to do without the experienced Niklas Dams. Also missing were the duo of Antonios Papadopoulous and Soumaila Coulibaly, who had travelled with the first team to Frankfurt.

BVB goalkeeper Marcel Lotka was again protected by a back three, which consisted of Kolbeinn Finnsson, Franz Pfanne and Mario Suver. Gille Bueno and top-scorer Marco Pasalic continued on the flanks, while Aday Ercan and Can Özkan formed a compact double pivot in holding midfield. Ole Pohlmann kept his place in front of the aforementioned duo, while coach Preusser placed his trust in the attacking duo of Timo Bornemann and Moritz Broschinski, who had fared well in Meppen recently. Visitors SC Verl only made one change, however. Coach Kniat opted to field Nico Ochojski in place of Tobias Knost at right-back.

The match & analysis:
It was the 30th meeting between the two teams, who had each won nine matches. And the evenness of that head-to-head record was reflected in the balance of play in the first half. Both teams sounded each other out and created little going forward as a result. The best chance fell to the visitors in the eighth minute when BVB goalie Lotka kept out a Maximilian Wolfram header. 

BVB’s best opportunities stemmed from two free-kicks: Ercan first narrowly missed the target with a header, then Pohlmann fired into the wall from a central position. Meanwhile, the visitors delivered a corner-kick into a dangerous area in the BVB box, but the sequence of headers from Wolfram and Vinko Sapina narrowly missed the goal. The BVB forwards linked up nicely a short while later, only for Broschinski’s effort to be blocked by a wall of defenders and Pohlmann’s shot two minutes later to be turned behind for a corner. Both teams showed more courage going forward from the 30th minute onwards and registered opportunities, but never created clear-cut chances in front of goal. 

There was penalty-box action at both ends on the stroke of half-time: Verl striker Wolfram first had probably the best chance of the match but was denied by Lotka. Then, at the other end, Broschinski worked his way into a good position, but his dangerous effort was turned behind for a corner by a defender at the last moment.

BVB showed their attacking intent straight from the restart and opened the scoring via their first attack, with Broschinski netting for the third game in a row. Bueno had played a lovely pass to Pohlmann, who managed to assert himself in the box and pass the ball towards Broschinski lurking behind the defence. He didn’t need to think twice and converted to put his team ahead (46).

In the 64th minute, Verl defender Daniel Mikic intercepted a cross-field ball from substitute Justin Njinmah just before it reached Broschinski in a dangerous position. A few minutes later, the visiting shot-stopper beat away a shot from Pasalic following a lovely attacking move involving Broschinski. The visitors were quick to go direct and often played high balls into the BVB box given the boggy playing surface in Wuppertal. But the BVB rearguard did not falter and consistently cleared the crosses away to safety. 

Some nice play from Pasalic allowed Pohlmann to break through down the right flank on the 74-minute mark and play a one-two with Broschinski, but the visiting defence was on hand to clear his square ball and avert the danger. At the other end, Borussia continued to give no chances away, defending well and consistently against the visitors’ powerful strikers. A counter-attacking move involving another substitute Göktan Gürpüz, Njinmah and Falko Michel was thwarted by goalkeeper Niclas Thiede, with the crossbar denying Elongo-Yombo the chance to make it 2-0 two minutes later. A matter of seconds later, Thiede again excelled by saving a shot from Gürpüz, while a Michel attempt went narrowly wide of the mark. BVB were closer to making it 2-0 than the visitors were to restoring parity, with BVB enjoying by far the majority the chances.

Elongo-Yombo was fouled in the 90th minute and needlessly allowed himself to be provoked, leading to his dismissal for a second bookable offence. But 10-man BVB continued to defend on the front foot and did not allow their visitors a chance.

Christian Preusser’s charges are now unbeaten in six games and have kept four consecutive clean sheets.

Outlook: The U23s will next be in third-tier action when they visit SV Elversberg on Saturday. Kick-off is at 14:00 CET.

U23s: Lotka – Finnsson (Pudel, 57), Pfanne, Suver – Ercan (Michel, 57), Özkan, Bueno, Pasalic (Elongo-Yombo, 81), Pohlmann (Gürpüz, 81) – Bornemann (Njinmah, 57), Broschinski

Noteworthy incidents: Red card for Elongo-Yombo (90)