Semi-final against Fortuna Düsseldorf- Rot-Weiss Essen

25. May 2022

B-Juniors meet Fortuna Düsseldorf in the semifinals.

U17 is one game away from the Niederrheinpokal final.
Ahmed Etri wants to aim high with his team in the cup. (Photo: Breilmannswiese / Patrick Heidelberg)

Rot-Weiss Essen’s U17 is in the Lower Rhine Cup among the top four teams. On Thursday, May 26th (Ascension Day/Father’s Day), coach Simon Hohenberg’s team will welcome Fortuna Düsseldorf to Seumannstrasse. From 11.00 a.m. the B-Juniors will fight in the semifinals for a place in the final. “The boys know what it’s all about,” Hohenberg confirms his team’s intentions ahead of the Lower Rhine derby.

The 2021/2022 season in the West season of the B-Junior Bundesliga has been history for a few weeks. The Rot-Weiss Essen U17s ended the season in tenth place with a strong eleven-point gap to the relegation zone. Just two goals were missing for a single-digit place in the table. Now there is another highlight on the program with the semi-final against Fortuna Düsseldorf.

“The team is hot for the cup game,” says U17 coach Simon Hohenberg. The 35-year-old was diligent during the preparations and defeated the NRW state capitals, who had finished second in the West season, in the semi-final first leg of the German championship at West champions FC Schalke 04 (0: 3) in Gelsenkirchen Parkstadion personally under the magnifying glass. A few days later, Fortuna also lost the second leg in front of their home crowd against the “Knappen” (1:3), who are now German champions (3:2 on penalties against the South/Southwest champions VfB Stuttgart).

“Brutally effective”

“Fortuna plays out of a clear 4-4-2 order and is brutally effective in converting chances,” Simon Hohenberg warns his team. “Even in set pieces, Fortuna is very dangerous.” Nevertheless, the RWE coach doesn’t see his team without a chance. “If we go beyond our limits and give it our all, we can leave the field as winners even as clear outsiders.”

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In terms of personnel, the situation at RWE has deteriorated a bit before the semifinals: central defender Lennart Bollenberg, who was still there in the friendly against a US team (1:4), is definitely out with adductor problems. Midfielder Mats Brune, who is out for a long time due to a ruptured syndesmosis ligament, also has to take a break. Midfielder Ahmet Etri injured his Achilles tendon during his appearance in the U19 friendly against 1. FSV Mainz 05 (1:3). The use of attacker Baran Seker (cut wound in training) is questionable.

Incidentally, the second semi-final in the Lower Rhine Cup will be held at the same time. There, Lower Rhine League club Rot-Weiß Oberhausen and Wuppertaler SV, relegated from the B-Junior Bundesliga, face each other on the artificial turf at Oberhausen’s Niederrhein Stadium and also determine a finalist. Whoever wins the association competition and the final automatically qualifies for the national DFB Cup for juniors.

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