With the aim of giving his players as much time on the pitch as possible in the double matchday against Sittard and the Belgian first division team KAS Eupen, Peter Bosz split his Werkself squad into two teams with U19 players making up the numbers. Team 1, who faced the Dutch side, was skippered by Kai Havertz – and the two new signings Kerem Demirbay and Moussa Diaby alsohad the chance to show what they could do in the opening game in front of 1,000 fans at the Kurtekotten Academy.
While the Werkself, for the first time in their new red home kit, tried to follow the specific instructions of the coaching staff against the Fortuna Sittard team coached by Sjors Ultee, the Dutch side applied pressure from the start, frustrated the Black and Red attacks and were wide-awake when the Werkself passing game broke down.
It took 20 minutes before the Werkself looked dangerous in front of the opposition goal: The visitors' keeper Alexei Koselev pulled off an excellent reflex save to deny Lucas Alario and the ensuing corner from Kerem Demirbay saw youth player Kevin Bukusu hit the post with his effort (22') – and the follow-up shot from Wendell failed to find the target. A few minutes later, Demirbay was in a good position but his shot went over the bar (24'). Six minutes later, the visitors scored the only goal of the game – with a suspicion of offside, Sittard's Rasmus Karjalainen converted the rebound.
After the restart, the Werkself pressed in search of an equaliser but the best opportunity was ruled out by referee Nico Fuchs due to a disputed offside: Moussa Diaby made the most of his pace and ended by putting the ball into the back of the Dutch net – but the strike did not count (58'). Peter Bosz brought on the youngsters in the closing stages – with the exception of goalkeeper Niklas Lomb there were no first-team players on the pitch. The U19 players did well and created some good chances – but they were unable to beat the Sittard keeper Koselev. The match ended in a 1-0 defeat for the Werkself.
Bayer 04: Lomb – Retsos (Gaedicke 75'), Dragovic (Fünger 60'), Bukusu (Rüth 60'), Wendell (Kemper 75’) – Stanilewicz (Anapak 75’), Demirbay (Türkmen 75’) – Bellarabi (Sarpei 75’), Havertz (Wolf 60'), Diaby (Schlößer 75’) – Alario (Fesenmeyer 75’)
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