Dortmund II come from behind to move within two wins of promotion
It was a crucial and decisive weekend at both ends of the Regionalliga West table. Borussia Dortmund II went back on top of the table and took a giant leap towards promotion after they came from behind to beat SV Straelen 3-1 and rivals RW Essen fell to defeat against FC Koln II.
It was Dortmund’s match for just under a month after a Covid-enforced break and they went into the game two points behind RW Essen with two games in hand.
Das war doch mal ein gelungener Re-Start für die #BVBU23 nach der Zwangspause: Letztlich verdient mit 3:1 schlug der #BVBII den #SVStraelen und setzte sich damit an die Tabellenspitze. Hier sind unsere 📸zu #SVSBVBU23. #BVB #SVSBVBII #Spitzenreiter 👻 pic.twitter.com/8oOzETeUVm
— schwatzgelb.de (@schwatzgelbde) May 23, 2021
The Black and Yellows struggled to gain any rhythm at the beginning of the game, and fell behind when Kaito Mizuta opened the scoring after 13 minutes.
Enrico Maaßenside’s were under pressure but they started to gain a foothold into the game as the first-half wore on.
On the stroke of half time, Stefen Tigges managed to break through the opposition defence and was brought down inside the penalty area. Tobias Raschl stepped up and slotted home to level the scores.
What does it mean?
Dortmund II went from strength to strength and were excellent in the second half. Ansgar Knauff, who has featured for the first-team this season, played a clever one-two and then chipped the ball over Robin Udegbe to put BVB ahead with 20 minutes remaining.
Alaa Bakir then sealed the win with five minutes to go to put Dortmund on the brink of promotion.
They climbed above RW Essen in the table and are now a point clear with two games in hand. Just two wins from their final four games will be enough to secure promotion.
Dortmund II are now unbeaten in 23 league games. SV Straelen have lost their last five league games, but their focus is on the cup after they progressed to the Niederrhein Cup final, following a penalty shootout win against RW Essen.
Essen’s promotion hopes in tatters
RW Essen’s week went from bad to worse after their slim automatic promotion hopes were extinguished following a 2-1 defeat by FC Köln II.
— Rot-Weiss Essen (@rot_weiss_essen) May 23, 2021
Essen started sluggishly and were fortunate not to concede early when Justin Petermann struck the bar after just four minutes.
However, their ponderous play on the ball was punished after 10 minutes when they lost the ball in midfield and Tim Lemperle was played through. His precise shot across goal found the bottom corner and put the hosts ahead.
Köln’s high press was working wonders and they once again won the ball back in midfield. Lemperle was played through again after an excellent through ball, and he rounded the goalkeeper to score.
Simon Engelmann was anonymous for the first 25 minutes, as his team were penned back and on the back foot. But RW Essen’s top-scorer was soon involved when he ran towards goal and was hauled down by Vincent Geimer. Geimer was sent off as he was last man, and a penalty was awarded. The striker’s penalty was saved by Julian Roloff, and the score stayed at 2-0.
The onus was then on the visitors to take the game to FC Köln with the man advantage. The second half was dominated by Essen but chances went begging.
On the hour mark, Dennis Grote headed in from Kevin Grund’s in-swinging free-kick to halve the deficit.
They threw everything at Köln in the final 30 minutes, but they were unable to find the equaliser.
What does it mean?
It is now six wins from their last seven games for FC Köln at home, while RW Essen’s six-game winning run was ended.
Ahlen move off the bottom
At the bottom of the table, RW Ahlen have climbed off the foot of the table after they beat Bergisch Gladbach 2-0.
View this post on Instagram
Bennet Eickhoff and Gianluca Marzullo scored in the second half to give Ahlen their second win in a row in the league.
Bergisch Gladbach have dropped to bottom in the league and there are just three points between the bottom four.
Bergisch Gladbach have a game in hand on both Ahlen and Bonner, and can go above both with a win.