Borussia Dortmund U19 – Match Report vs. Sevilla FC U19 (11/10/2022)

In match day four of the UEFA Youth League, Sevilla met Borussia Dortmund away from home as both battled to stay alive in the group. Dortmund came away with a 2-0 home victory in a high-paced pressing match-up that saw Julian Rijkhoff bag a brace in the 88th minute. His first goal that would end up being the winner came from a beautifully placed low cross by Samuel Bamba, who was the most creative force on the pitch before being subbed off. Mike Tullberg’s Dortmund ran a 4-3-3 flat that transformed into a 4-4-2 briefly with the winger switching sides to invert. This second tactic was quickly scrapped in the second half after it slowed the momentum that was built up by the Rijkhoff tap-in. In the second half, as it became more and more clear that Sevilla would not break them down, Dortmund began to sit back more defensively and make timed pressing attempts rather than continuing their high press. This was a good strategy to maintain energy and stamina that led to them out running a tired Sevilla defense for a few chances in the second half. 


  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level 
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Julian Rijkhoff

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Netherlands
  • Age: 17
  • Date of birth: 25/01/2005
  • Club: Borussia Dortmund U19
  • Career: FC Purmerend (Y), Ajax (Y)
  • Position: Center Forward
  • Preferred foot: Right

Julian Rijkhoff was the start of this match, bagging a brace from his center forward position before being subbed off in the final minute of regular time. He is a lanky but strong 183 cm and has long strides that translate to excellent pace. Rijkhoff is a very mobile striker with movement skills and a high work rate due to his combined aggression with physicality and high activity with pace. 

Rijkhoff provided the finishing touch needed in this match and exemplified what a forward must provide in the box. Many dangerous opportunities fell to him against Sevilla. On his first goal he got into the box on the back post and tapped in low cross to the top left corner with his right. On his second goal he got into the box on the counter to finish another low cross this time from the right. Rijkhoff finished with placement, slotting the ball past the goalkeeper to the bottom right. He had another opportunity saved on a low left footed power shot taken after he received a through ball. Rijkhoff had another left footed opportunity trying to sneak a shot in near post with power but hit the side netting. His closest miss of the game was a right footed chipped shot in the box that landed on top of the goal, grazing the cross bar, after a solo counter run down the left. One last dangerous opportunity came from a give and go that Rijkhoff created, but his sliding attempt toward goal was saved by the goalkeeper before he could reach the pass back. Overall, Rijkhoff was a confident finisher in this match, firing in shot after shot in the box, putting the Sevilla defense under pressure. 

Rijkhoff’s control off the ball was solid when dribbling in and toward the box and when ball carrying. His dribbling was nothing special, but he mixed in both feet well. As a distributor, Rijkhoff sneakily made some nice short passes from his position in the middle. Although he was called offside, he was able to find a space in the box open and received, quickly making a back pass that set up a shot. 

Off the ball, Rijkhoff mainly got open in space on the counter and when advancing toward the box in set play by making runs through in the middle channel. He used his pace to outrun defenders and create danger by stretching out Sevilla’s back line. His ability to get in behind the defense contributed well to his finishing exploits in this match. 

When pressing, the German center forward was threatening with is pace and work rate. His high activity made him bothersome for Sevilla’s buildup. Rijkhoff tracked back on defense a bit, too, although not getting too involved. His involvement mainly included trying to cut out passing lanes and apply some pressure from behind. In the air, Rijkhoff could have given more effort in some duels, but he did come away with a key duel where he controlled the ball with his chest and back passed to settle from danger. 

Rating – A1

Julian Rijkhoff had an excellent match in his center forward position and displayed plenty of potential as a pure finisher. His right foot is excellent when finishing already, but his left foot is not too far behind. As Rijkhoff develops that left foot, he has the chance to become one of the more dangerous in the box finishers in Germany. Combine that with his athletic profile and age and there is lots of time and opportunity for him to continue to grow. 

Paris Brunner

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Germany
  • Age: 16
  • Date of birth: 15/02/2006
  • Club: Borussia Dortmund U19
  • Career: Rot-Weiss Essen (Y), VfL Bochum (Y)
  • Position: Right Winger
  • Preferred foot: Right
  • Other position(s): Left Winger, Center Forward

Paris Brunner played 62 minutes in this match on the wing, mainly down the right flank. Brunner mainly plays center forward with the U17s, but to make room for Rijkhoff he moved to the wing against Sevilla. Despite playing out of position, the young starlet flashed his potential on many occasions throughout the match. Brunner stands at 185 cm and had a broad mature build, very impressive for his young age. He coupled this with blazing pace and high effort. 

On offense, Brunner was most comfortable in wide areas performing a wide winger role. When moved to an inverted role he struggled, so luckily the tactics were switched back at half. He had a couple of opportunities to finish in this match and was unlucky in both. The first was mishit finish on a back post cross. The second happened on a counter where he worked a right inside run to the middle at the edge of the box, but his dribble got dispossessed by one of the two defenders in front of him as he set up to shoot. Prior to this, Brunner displayed his confidence dribbling with both feet and performing ball carries. Although he had nice moments in the box, that is not where most of his work came in this match. Out wide, Brunner used his pace to make forward runs and no full back could match up with his pace on ball carries. From the wide areas he looked for through balls and crosses with his right into the box consistently. He was surely more comfortable with his right foot. Brunner also displayed some skill when dribbling, but there is room for improvement.  

The wingers in Tullberg’s system were expected to press high and often and Brunner was suited for just that. He was a relentless and pesty presser, utilizing his size and pace. In settled defense, Brunner was mainly there to have a body in the way and to cut out passing lanes. At times, he would press up on attackers from behind, too, but encountered when occasion where he was turned around with skill at the edge of the box. Brunner did what he needed to defensively as a winger, but he probably should not be asked to do as much as he was here. 

Rating – A1

Despite playing out of position, Paris Brunner put in a good shift as a quick and creative winger. He displayed his center forward skills when able to work inside and in the box, but did impress with his ability out wide. Brunner’s natural skill seems to translate in most places in the attack, putting in a good performance as a winger against older players in this match and scoring 16 goals in only 5 U17-Bundesliga matches as a center forward. The future is clearly bright for the German forward. 

Vasco Walz

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Germany
  • Age: 17
  • Date of birth: 15/10/2004
  • Club: Borussia Dortmund U19
  • Career: SV 08 Kuppenheim (Y), Offenburger FV (Y), Karlsruher SC (Y)
  • Position: Central Midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Right

Vasco Walz is an average size and build central midfielder that played the full 90 minutes for Dortmund against Sevilla. Walz has great pace and agility and is not afraid of physicality despite not being the strongest. Walz played a high activity role in midfield and was all over the pitch in this one. 

On the attack, Walz mainly played in advanced position between the center forward and right winger positions, roaming the edge of the box. Walz would show in space for the ball and come toward it to secure possession when passed to. He received passes with soft touch in this match and looked to advance as a playmaker. Walz’s technical ability on ball as a dribbler helped him slip past opponents in a crowded midfield and helped him draw a foul, as well. His right foot was clearly stronger, but he did attempt passes with his left, too. Walz had a creative line-breaking pass intercepted and was mostly deterred from utilizing his left afterward. Later in the game, he hit an accurate right footed cross into the box from the left. Overall, Walz was comfortable and under control as a playmaker. 

On defense, he was an active wing-to-wing defender and played a true box-to-box role. Walz patrolled each wing on defense to provide cover and a trapping press against the boundary through a double team when the opportunity presented itself. Walz role of sweeping through the wings and providing cover led to an interception to clear the attack from the box, too. He liked to put in strong stand tackles and to get physical when pressing. He flew in for one challenge on the press and fouled hard. Another foul happened when he stepped over an attacker after getting too physical on a press. There was a missed foul from the referee on a challenge Walz missed from behind, as well. Despite the physicality being a negative at times, it was fruitful, too. Walz managed a couple of physical tackles to halt play, one at the edge of the box and succeeding on the attempt from behind this time. He was able to cause bad passes with his pressing and the good angles he took to cut off passing lanes. Walz activity and aggression on defensive are a great mix to have as he covered the midfield well and was able to affect the offense with his play, just at the cost of a couple fouls. 

Rating – A2

Vasco Walz had a decent performance in this match playing a box-to-box role in midfield. He played a major role in controlling the middle third for Dortmund and his effort and activity were perfect for the role. His pace and above average offensive skill set combined with his defensive ability for a midfielder that could step into Dortmund’s 3. Liga squad right now. Walz certainly has the potential to be performing as a key role player in senior football soon. 

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