Borussia Dortmund drew 1-1 against VfL Bochum away from home at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion. BVB dominated the first half of play, but poor finishing and passing in the final third kept them from scoring. To Make matters worse, a poor challenge in the box from Gregor Kobel led to a penalty for Bochum, which allowed them to take the lead against the run of play. As the second half began, Dortmund continued to have the majority of the chances, but a resolute Bochum defense kept them from getting on the score sheet. A goal in the 54th minute from Marius Wolf, which I did not get to see (More on that later), was disallowed for offside. After that chance, BVB wasn’t able to find the net again until the 85th minute when substitute Julian Brandt volleyed an Erling Haaland cross into the back of the net. Despite a few half-chances after Brandt’s goal, neither side was able to score again, and the match finished 1-1.
A First Half of Missed Opportunities and One Key Mistake
The first half against Bochum was one that followed a pattern that Dortmund fans have become all too familiar with. Outplay the opponent for 30 to 40 minutes, fail to convert key chances, and then make a silly mistake that leaves you chasing the game going into the second half. It’s a tried and true formula that has led to a few exciting come-back wins and many disappointing draws and defeats against lesser opposition. In this case, however, I think the Bochum defense deserves the credit for making life difficult for the Dortmund attack today. You can blame Haaland, Bellingham, and Reus for missing chances, but the Bochum defenders never allowed a chance that was particularly easy.
Kobel, on the other hand, does deserve a bit of blame for his decision to try and tackle Cristopher Antwi-Adjej at the edge of the box. I understand that he was in a difficult position there, but if Antwi-Adjej were to receive that pass, he still wouldn’t have been in a prime position to score. Hopefully, this will serve as a learning moment for the young keeper going forward.
An Ode to ESPN Plus
Normally, this would be the point where I talk about something that happened in the second half of the match, but thankfully, American Dortmund fans, such as myself, were spared from having to watch the second half by the good people over at ESPN. They knew that things weren’t going well for us today, so instead, they stimulated our senses with a cool blue screen that thanked us for our patience while a soccer ball was infinitely being pumped up in the background. I, for one, really appreciated the gesture, as it reminded me of the sport I wanted to watch without showing me the crushing reality of my team’s current predicament. Thank you, ESPN, for covering the Bundesliga and Dortmund with such love and care.