Dortmund Survive Koln

Dortmund traveled to Koln for their second league match. Coming off a 5-1 victory over Augsburg, expectations were high for the Black and Yellow. However, Koln has traditionally caused problems for the German Giants, and today’s match was no different.

Dominick Drexler opened the scoring for the home side in the 29′ on a well-executed corner kick. Dortmund left several attackers unmarked in the penalty area, and Birger Verstraete capitalized, placing his corner kick right in front of the near post. Ellyes Skhiri made solid contact with a header that would’ve gone wide if not for a well-placed header from Drexler.

For the remainder of the first half, Dortmund struggled to generate any meaningful chances in front of goal. However, they tightened up defensively and manage to head into the break down only a goal. Koln looked calm and comfortable sitting on their well-deserved one-goal lead at halftime.

Dortmund entered the second half less emphatically than they entered last week’s second half. The first quality glance at goal came in the 56′ for Paco Alcacer, but his magical first touch and powerful strike weren’t enough to beat Timo Horn.

In the 62′, Lucien Favre substituted Achraf Hakimi and Julian Brandt for Nico Schulz and Julian Weigl in an effort designed to add more pace to Dortmund’s attacks. Brandt’s impact was immediate, as he threaded a ball behind Koln’s back line for Marco Reus. Reus manged to put his shot on target, but again, Horn made the save.

Jadon Sancho was well contained for most of the match, but showed that even the slightest bit of space can be enough for him to score. In the 70′, Thorgan Hazard’s corner kick landed at the feet of Sancho, who sent his left-footed shot careening past a helpless Timo Horn to level the scoring.

Dortmund finally found their rhythm and seemed destined to take the lead in the closing minutes. In the 86′,  Lukasz Piszczek’s immaculate cross found the unexpected head of Achraf Hakimi before reaching the back of the net and giving Dortmund their first lead of the match.

Dortmund captured momentum and were almost certain to escape with victory as the clock approached 90 minutes. With a healthy bit of time added on, Dortmund just needed to absorb a final few attacks from Koln to earn their victory. As Koln threw men forward, Jadon Sancho took possession and sprinted down the right sideline in the 94′  with the most space he’d seen all night. With Alcacer trailing on his left, Sancho applied the brakes in front of goal and added another assist to his tally as Paco Alcacer graciously accepted the invitation to score.

The Black and Yellow gladly accepted their 3-1 victory after an uncharacteristically poor performance in the first half. Dortmund have now scored 8 goals this season, and six of them have occurred in the second half. While it may not have been the prettiest of wins, Dortmund found a way to ensure that they remain at the top of the table while matches continue Saturday and Sunday. Dortmund’s next match is on the road at Union Berlin on August 31.

Ultimate Borussia

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