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Match Recap: Dortmund Nab a Win Against Urawa Red Diamonds

Urawa Red Diamonds v Borussia Dortmund - Preseason Friendly Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

Borussia Dortmund played the club’s second preseason match of the summer against Urawa Red Diamonds, one of the most famous clubs in Asia. It was a tense match, with plenty to be encouraged about, and plenty to be worried about. It ended as a 3-2 victory for Dortmund, Peter Bosz’s first victory with the club.


Bosz started the match with a lineup that pretty closely resembles a Dortmund starting XI. In front of a back four of Schmelzer, Toprak, Bartra, and Piszczek was a midfield of Gonzalo Castro, Sebastian Rode, and Nuri Sahin, with Pulisic, Aubameyang, and Schürrle forming the attacking band.

To start the match, Urawa played very well, and Dortmund paid the price. Even though the bees controlled most of the possession, Urawa defended strongly, leaving Dortmund unable to create much penetration into the opposing half. The Japanese side used a back three that became a back five out of possession, with their front three running at our back four, creating havoc on multiple occasions.

Dortmund surrendered the first goal on... you guessed it... a set piece. It was a simple corner, in which the Urawa player got on the inside of Lukasz Piszczek and tapped the ball in.

To me, the most stand-out player of the first half was Marc Bartra. He made several stellar defensive plays, and also had several attempts on goal, including one shot off a corner that probably should have been a goal. Nevertheless, Dortmund failed to score in the first half, which ended 1-0 for the home side.

To start the second half, Bosz made some changes, bringing Alexander Isak on for Aubameyang, Sokratis for Toprak, Mor for Sebastian Rode, and Neven Subotic for Marc Bartra.

If Bartra was the star of the first half, then Emre Mor was the star of the second half. He was an instant game changer, and in the 76th minute brought Dortmund level with an outstanding play. He skipped around Urawa’s center back and outmuscled him to the goal, where he poked home a goal to make it 1-1.

Edit: Goal is at timestamp 2:01:08

He wasn’t done, though. Only three minutes later, Marcel Schmelzer found himself wide open along the left wing off a deflection from a pass from Emre Mor. He laid a simple cutback to Mor, who struck it into the net off a defender. Within a couple minutes, the club’s fortunes had completely changed.

Then, Urawa got a corner. And they scored. Again.

Edit: This goal is at timestamp 2:10:25

This one was even worse, as the goalscorer was completely unmarked. There really isn’t much to say on this one, especially when three dortmund midfielders stood right next to him.

Urawa had fought hard, and looked like they might escape with a draw, but they gave one away when a defender completely trounced a cross from Emre Mor. The ball glanced off his head and went straight to André Schürrle, who roofed a shot that put Dortmund up for good.

Edit: This goal is at timestamp 2:13:40

The match ended 3-2, and Dortmund escaped with a win. Did they deserve it? Maybe. They carried most of the possession, and did create a good number of chances. On the other hand, they surrendered another two set piece goals, something that they have to improve moving forward.

Dortmund’s next friendly will be against AC Milan at 7:20 EST.