Dortmund followed the script, then they didn’t in match that went from comfortable to chaotic. The Schwarzgelben controlled the first 45 minutes and led 2-0 thanks to goals from Julian Brandt and an Emre Can penalty, It was an excellent response to the criticism they have faced in the opening two matches this season.
The second 45 minutes however belonged to Heidenheim with Dortmund made to rue their earlier missed opportunities. The visitors worked their socks off to get back into the game with goals from Eren Dinkci and Tim Kleindienst (penalty) and in the end Frank Schmidt could be forgiven for looking like he’d been denied a first win.
Here are five takeaways from the Friday night action…
1- The boos said it all
The boos that rang out at the final whistle around the Signal Iduna Park spoke volumes. Borussia Dortmund had stressed pre-game the need for a reaction after two disappointing performances and in the opening period that is just what was witnessed as the home side dominated their newly promoted visitors and took a 2-0 lead.
Julian Brandt’s clever, opportunistic strike was followed by a penalty stroked home confidently by Emre Can. It could and should have been more, but BVB were wasteful with their chances (Malen and Adeyemi) and it came back to bite them on the bum.
The second period belonged to Heidenheim and even at 2-2 they continued to press forward. Edin Terzic’s side will rightly come in for stick this weekend after a second half where they allowed (even invited) Heidenheim a route back into the game. The home fans were not happy and rightly so.
Heidenheim were seemingly dead and buried at 2-0 with Dortmund looking like the second half could be a chance to rack up the goals and send out a message that they were back. Instead Heidenheim stuck to their gun and continued to work, press, work some more and look to pressurise Dortmund. One goal was all that was needed and when Eren Dinkci flashed home his effort on the hour mark, the tide turned. The penalty award was debatable, but Tim Kleindienst kept his nerve to level the scores. In the end, with twelve minutes of added time, Heidenheim didn’t just sit back and kill the clock. They pushed for the win which is credit to the attitude instilled by coach Frank Schmidt.
3- VAR will take the headlines
The VAR decision to award Dortmund a penalty in the first half was harsh on Heidenheim, but in light of the new laws perfectly justifiable, The decision to hand the visitors a spot kick in the second half however was much more controversial.
Referee Tobias Reichel initially awarded a penalty for Sebastien Haller’s pull back on Jan-Niklas Beste, but was then advised by VAR that the Heidenheim man had been offside so cancelled his decision. Play continued with Haller being substituted for Niklas Füllkrug only for VAR to re-intervene and suggest that a ‘new passage of play’ meant that a penalty could actually be awarded. Not a good look for the Video Assistant technology, but in the end Heidenheim didn’t care as Tim Kleindienst equalised from the eventually awarded spot kick
4- Beste the best
If you are looking for a Man of the Match, you needn’t look much further than Jan-Niklas Beste, who was the stand-out performer. He had made one solitary appearance for Dortmund in the Pokal earlier in his career, and he enjoyed his return to the Signal Iduna Park.
He was literally everywhere in the second half with it becoming difficult to identify his actual set position such was his all action style. He chased, he harried, he pressed and he drove the visitors on when it seemed all was lost. The grass stains covering every inch of his shirt as he was substituted late on told the tale of an epic effort.
5- Happy Fridays at the Signal Iduna Park
BVB at least can take some satisfaction from the that that they increased their unbeaten run at home in the Friday night match to a very impressive 34 matches. They were on course for a win until they decided to stop playing, but it remains an impressive stat nonetheless. BVB have also now gone 131 games now without a goalless draw.