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Postmatch Reaction: Dortmund Drop Two Points in Disastrous Second Half Against Heidenheim

Charitable as always, Dortmund give Heidenheim their first ever Bundesliga point

Borussia Dortmund v 1. FC Heidenheim 1846 - Bundesliga Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images

Well, the misery continues for Dortmund fans. The club dropped two points against lowly Heidenheim following a very depressing second half performance. Heidenheim are in their first ever Bundesliga season and today’s result was their first ever point. I was nervous about the game today and thought Dortmund could concede an early goal and spend the next 80 managing to scrap a point. But instead, what happened was much worse.

Borussia Dortmund v 1. FC Heidenheim 1846 - Bundesliga Photo by Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Dortmund started the game well, and within eight minutes were up a goal from a Julian Brandt wonder strike off the bottom of the crossbar. While the goal was lucky, it felt deserved after Dortmund’s blistering start. Terzic’s men then kept up the pressure and continued to threaten Heidenheim’s goal as they dominated possession. Brandt earned a handball in the 12th minute and Emre Can put away the subsequent penalty to give Dortmund a 2-0 lead in the first 15 minutes.

Despite Dortmund’s propensity to give up after taking the lead, they continued to threaten the goal and across the next 15 minutes they put on easily their best football of the season. Malen, Haller, and Adeyemi took turns bottling their chances on goal while Brandt continued to create opportunity after opportunity for the black and yellow. The entire team was playing well and you could tell everyone in the stadium, except Heidenheim’s coach, was having the time of their lives.

Then, Heidenheim started to grow into the game around the 30th minute. They had several chances off setpieces by the end of the first half and the warning signs were there for Borussia Dortmund. Jan-Niklas Beste and Eren Dinkci looked particularly threatening for the visitors but were unable to put the ball in the back of the net. By half time, the score was 2-0 and it was evident Dortmund needed to remain focused to see the game out.

Terzic’s men came out for the second half and immediately squandered an opportunity to put the game to bed off an Adeyemi header or several several corner kicks. Heidenheim, realizing they could punt the ball over Dortmunds back line, created several chances on goal. Dortmund were saved by the offside flag in the 53rd minute but Heidenheim had their taste of goal and Eren Dinkci got a got a goal for the visitors after terrible defending from the entirety of Dortmund’s defensive structure.

Borussia Dortmund v 1. FC Heidenheim 1846 - Bundesliga Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

It was evident that Dortmund became nervous from this point, on as the game completely opened up. Both sides had opportunities on either end of the pitch, but couldn’t put the ball away. A hopeless ball over the top for Heidenheim culminated in a penalty after Haller completely forgot how to play football, failed to control the ball, and yanked the shoulder of his man Beste, leading to a penalty. The referee denied the penalty after video review and then looked at the monitor again and awarded it. Kleindienst put the penalty away and the game was level with 8 minutes to spare. While I’d love to cry injustice, it’s impossible for me to pretend Dortmund have anyone but themselves to blame.

After twenty more minutes of disappointment, inclusive of injury time for 12 minutes, the whistle sounded and Dortmund was met with jeers as they walked of the field. Dortmund now have five points from three games against opposition who will be battling relegation this season. The international break will give Dortmund time to answers questions of what went wrong but at the moment, there is a whole lot wrong.

The Attack Misfires

After a full preseason and six months of being healthy, Haller put in his worst Dortmund performance to date. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was his worst game in his career. It was clear he had no clue what to do when Heidenheim had possession and continually struggled to interact with his teammates in attack. Several times he intercepted his teammates’ passes at the top of the box and completed only 58% of his own passes. To top it off, he conceded the penalty for Heidenheim’s equalizer.

Adeyemi didn’t fare much better and it felt like the forward spent the majority of this game wandering around the pitch holding his shin guard. Commentator Patrick Omoweyla, who spends time as Dortmund’s own English media pundit, continually brought up that Adeyemi was displaying poor professionalism outside of games. He should’ve put a shot away in the 57th minute but skewed it wide.

While Malen played better than his peers, he still struggled in front of goal and should’ve scored once or twice. Chances were created this game and I trust the front three to sort out finishing but something has to be done to get them back on the same page again,

Eyes on Terzic

Borussia Dortmund v 1. FC Heidenheim 1846 - Bundesliga Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images

I thought Terzic actually did a great job setting Dortmund up for this game. They were dominant early and got a two goal lead. The problem was his management of the game with things started to go round. Heidenheim began to find their feet in the end of the first half and we’re playing great well into the second half by the time Terzic made his first sub. Bringing Nmecha in for Adeyemi proved to be the opposite of effective, however, and gave away several key passes. Haller was abysmal throughout the match, but Terzic only subbed him off in the 82nd minute, after he had given up a penalty. Across the board it was too little too late for Terzic, especially considering the massive talent advantage Dortmund had on the bench. By the end of the game, his tactics were failing, his players were tired, and the crowd had turned on him. His seat is getting a little bit hotter by the hour.

Your thoughts?

What did you think of the game?