1,211 spectators were at Stadion Rote Erde to watch the Borussia Dortmund U23s play their first home game in the third tier in over six years. In the end, they were held to a 1-1 (1-0) draw by an ambitious SV Waldhof Mannheim side. BVB went ahead through Marco Pasalic and dominated the game for a long time but could not double their lead.
The scenario: The former U23 captain Joseph Boyamba was back at his former stomping ground. The wide man scored 24 goals and notched seven assists in 59 appearances for BVB.
The opposition: SV Waldhof Mannheim lost their league opener in Magdeburg 2-0. Coach Patrick Glöckner’s charges ended last season in eighth place.
Personnel matters: Marco Pasalic, Albin Thaqi and Ansgar Knauff all returned from the senior squad’s training camp early and started the match. Pasalic had played in the friendly against Bologna the previous day. Franz Pfanne replaced Niklas Dams, who was suspended following his red card, at the heart of defence. Marco Hober was not in the squad.
The match & analysis: Both teams made a cautious start in the opening minutes, but the visitors began to make breakthroughs in the Dortmund half for the first time after around 10 minutes. Luca Unbehaun intervened to deny Joseph Boyamba, with Marc Schnatterer striking the woodwork moments later. Ansgar Knauff had BVB’s first shot around the quarter-hour mark.
His fellow midfielder Marco Pasalic went one better a few seconds later, however. The Croat cut in from the right flank and fired a powerful left-footed shot from 16 metres out into the top-left corner. The Black & Yellows were 1-0 up and there were scenes of jubilation on the pitch. BVB immediately tried to up the ante, with Albin Thaqi narrowly heading a corner over the bar (23) and Ansgar Knauff denied by Königsmann in the Mannheim goal (28).
BVB continued to threaten going forward and kept the Mannheim rearguard busy. However, Berkan Taz’s effort in the 38th minute flew centimetres wide of the left upright and the hosts took in a narrow one-goal advantage at the break.
Much as they had in the opening half, the visitors had slightly more of the game at the beginning of the second period. But the best opportunity after the interval fell to the Black & Yellows when Timo Bornemann failed to generate enough contact on Marco Pasalic’s cross from five metres out. A few moments later, the visitors restored parity at 1-1 through Joseph Boyamba, who got the better of Luca Unbehaun (61).
The match was disrupted by numerous minor fouls thereafter and there was little flow to the game. Yet BVB were still the team dominating proceedings, while Mannheim waited for opportunities to counter and did little with the ball. Borussia created several promising situations, only to be repeatedly denied at the last minute by the outstretched leg of a Mannheim defender or goalkeeper Königsmann, and so the game ended 1-1.
BVB U23s: Unbehaun – Pasalic (Pohlmann, 73), Taz (Tattermusch, 82), Tachie, Thaqi, Bornemann, Finnsson, Pfanne, Pherai, Knauff (Makreckis, 60), Raschl
Goals: 1-0 Pasalic (16), 1-1 Boyamba (61)