Things we noticed: FC Bayern Under-17s – FSV Mainz 05 Under-17s 2:2 (2:1)

This weekend we want to take a closer look at our Under-17s, which were league leaders going into the game against second placed Mainz 05. The weakened team had to settle for a 2-2 draw despite an excellent team performance. Author: Martin • Translator: Dennis

Grundformationen FCB U17 - MainzStarting formations: FC Bayern Under-17s – Mainz 05 Under-17s

In the top match against Mainz, Holger Seitz had to do without numerous starters. Central defender Julian Höllen suffered a ligament rupture in the ankle last week, captain Angelo Stiller was sidelined by muscle problems. Justin Butler and Flavius Daniliuc were not ready for the squad after their injury breaks. New arrivals Louis Poznanski and Malik Tillman fought through a flu. Seitz remained with his usual 4-2-3-1 system. In front of Jakob Mayer in goal, Jonas Kehl, Yannick Brugger, Fabian Cavadias and Louis Poznanski defended. Ryan Johannson and Malik Tillman formed the double-6, ahead of them Marvin Cuni, Jahn Herrmann and Benedict Hollerbach. Joshua Zirkzee was supposed to provide the goals at the top.

In case you missed it

The young Bavarian team sought control of the game from the very beginning. Against very aggressively pressing guests, this was not always easy, but the defensive players, in particular, always found good passing options. In the offensive game, the team repeatedly played with longer balls on Zirkzee, who was to lay off the ball to the attacking midfielders.

The first offensive action brought the lead. Benedict Hollerbach fell at the baseline in the boy, Jahn Herrmann confidently converted for the lead. Shortly afterwards, the team could have followed suit, but after a nice action by Poznanski, Cuni was unable to make use of superior numbers at the opposing penalty area. Mainz did not hide themselves in the consequence, after a mistake in the build-up Jonas Kehl caused a dangerous free-kick. However, Eyibil put the ball over the crossbar from a central position 18 metres away from goal.

Mainzer repeatedly played with a back three in the build-up of the game, because mostly the right full-back pushed far forward. Seitz reacted with Jahn Herrmann as the second attacking player. The B-youth of the record champion usually managed to paralyze the Mainz build-up game and quickly recapture the balls. Nevertheless, the strength of the Mainz offensive was noticeable at all times and so the guests immediately took advantage of the first serious opportunity. After a pass in the back of the defence Bonianga netted in to the somewhat surprising balance.

The young Bayern needed a few minutes to recover from the shock and were lucky not to fall behind. Tillman’s wonderful solo was one of the few rays of hope in this phase, but the Mainz keeper was on the ball just ahead of Zirkzee. Just as surprising as the equaliser was the new lead for the team of Holger Seitz. Hollerbach broke through on the left wing and set Jahn Herrmann in scene. His pass received Zirkzee with a wonderful turn of his body and the young Dutchman put the ball into the back of the net.

The goal seemed to give the team back their self-confidence, but Mainz found more and more ways to fight the buildup of the hosts. Holger Seitz complained above all about the behaviour of the midfielders, who in some cases were far too high. As a result, the distances for the defenders in the build-up were too large. The safety in the build-up game was missing from now on and Louis Poznanski had to prevent the equalizer shortly before the break twice in highest emergency.

Without change we went into the second half. The result was a well-balanced game in which both teams were able to play aggressively. The small Bayerns gained the upper hand more and more and were closer to the 3:1, but were able to convert their good offensive actions too seldomly into compelling chances. The best chance was missed by Marvin Cuni, who missed from 15 meters. On the opposite side, the Mainz team did not have any shots at goal for a long time.

Marvin Cuni
Marvin Cuni in a duel with his Mainz opponent.

In both teams, the dwindling forces in this intense game were increasingly noticeable, the concentration and the quality of the match deteriorated. After the small Bayerns wasted several promising situations, Mainz managed to make up for it with Papela in extra time. Due to the superior second half, a win would have been the more deserved result for FC Bayern.

Due to the draw, VfB Stuttgart can come close to our Under-17s with victories in their two postponed games except for two points. The team, however, showed again on this day that it can beat every team in the league, even though it wasn’t enough in the end.

Things we noticed

Angelo Stiller cannot be replaced

It was bad news up front. With captain Angelo Stiller, the most irreplaceable player in Holger Seitz’s team was sidelined for the top game. The junior national player is the team’s thinker and leader and as a left footer he is a very exciting player in the defensive midfield position. Especially after the 1:1, when the team lost control, Stiller’s absence was noticeable. While Johannson and Tillman are more Box-to-Box players, it is above all the pass qualities that make him so valuable for his team.

Mentality and the will to win

It was one of the great weaknesses of last season’s team. The team won a lot of games dominantly, but it often failed to win the close matches. In our season preview we had just identified this weakness as a key factor for the season.

The performance in this top game proves once again that Holger Seitz has managed wonderfully to imbue the team with the will to win and the mentality necessary to pull such balanced matches against strong teams on their side. It wasn’t quite enough to win that day, but despite a setback and weaker phases, the team biting back into the match against a strong opponent. This is an excellent omen for the top games that are still to come, including against the other direct rivals from Stuttgart. And then there is the final round of the German championship, in which Bayern want to play for the title again at the end of the season.

FC Bayern Under-17s – FSV Mainz 05 Under-17s 2:2 (2:1)
BayernMayer – Kehl, Cavadias, Brugger, Poznanski – Johansson, Tillman – Hollerbach (75. Hawkins), Herrmann, Cuni (78. Lebedev) – Zirkzee
BenchSchneller, Waidner, Ezekwem, Lombaya, Topic
MainzRieß – Jung, Ljuca (74. Fuchs), Luisi Robles, Gans – Papela, Tauer – Schneider Sanchez (48. Mansfeld), Eyibil, Schoenfelder – Bonianga (61. Yildiz)
BenchEdinger, Jakobi, Jonathans, Sedi
Goals1:0 Herrmann (9., Elfmeter), 1:1 Bonianga (24.), 2:1 Zirkzee (34.), 2:2 Papela (80.)
CardsYellow: Kehl / Papela
RefereeNico Gallus (Nordrach)
Attendance210

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