FC St. Pauli vs. Holstein Kiel
Millerntor-Stadion | 25.02.2018, 13:30
Another sell-out crowd witnessed one of those special Millerntor occasions on Sunday afternoon as St. Pauli came from behind to defeat Holstein Kiel 3-2. Richard Neudecker gave the Boys in Brown an early lead before Kingsley Schindler and Marvin Ducksch turned things round for the visitors. But two goals in the closing stages by Neudecker and Christopher Avevor eventually sent the home fans home happy.
Never change a winning team is a piece of footballing wisdom very much favoured by Markus Kauczinski and his coaching team at the moment. After the convincing performance in the 0-0 draw against Nürnberg and the 1-0 victory at Ingolstadt, the head coach named an unchanged side for the third game in succession.
After a brief phase to feel each other out the two sides put their arguments on the table relatively quickly. Aziz Bouhaddouz was able to live with his left-foot shot hitting the post in the 11th minute because Richard Neudecker was on hand to knock the rebound over the line for the opener. The celebrations of the majority of the 29,546 crowd didn't last long, however, as just three minutes later Kingsley Schindler stepped to convert from the spot after Lasse Sobiech had fouled David Kinsombi in the box. The next setback arrived five minutes after the equaliser when St. Pauli loanee Marvin Ducksch collected the ball from Aaron Seydel and shrugged off the challenge of Avevor to slip the ball through Robin Himmelmann's legs.
With things so tight in the league table, the Boys in Brown were riding an emotional roller coaster at this stage of the game. Clearly stung by the sudden change in fortunes, the Boys in Brown surrendered the initiative to the now jubilant visitors. With 33 minutes gone Dominic Peitz unleashed a relatively harmless effort on goal, but the ball deflected off Sobiech to Ducksch, who was denied a second by a superb reflex save from Himmelmann. That moment of brilliance by the keeper seemed to serve as a wake-up call for his teammates. A Sobiech header on 37 and a free-kick by Neudecker on the stroke of half-time provided encouragement for the second half.
In their quest to restore parity Kauczinski's side had to take more risks after the restart, of course. Yet for all their efforts, either the final ball was lacking or there was one touch too many. In the other direction, there was plenty of space in which to work for Kiel, who carved out several opportunities to extend their advantage. Himmelmann thwarted Patrick Herrmann, Seydel hesitated too long with the goal half-empty and eventually chipped the ball straight to the St. Pauli custodian, and Avevor deflected a Schindler effort over the top at the last moment.
Backed by the incredible support of the fans, the Boys in Brown rallied again in the closing stages. And with 16 minutes left, Aziz Bouhaddouz dinked a delighted ball over the top to Richard Neudecker, who levelled the scores with a crashing volley straight out of the top drawer. There was more to come. Kauczinski's charges wanted more and went out in search of a winner, which eventually came in the 89th minute when man of the match Neudecker swung in a corner for Avevor to head home.
FC St. Pauli
Himmelmann – Park, Sobiech, Avevor, Buballa – Nehrig (Flum 46'), Dudziak – Sobota, Neudecker (Ziereis 90'+1) – Bouhaddouz, Allagui (Schneider 62')
Head coach: Markus Kauczinski
Kronholm – Herrmann, Schmidt, Czichos, Van den Bergh – Kinsombi – Schindler, Peitz, Drexler, Seydel (Mühling 66'), Ducksch (Lenz 85')
Head coach: Markus Anfang
Goals: 1-0 Neudecker (11'), 1-1 Schindler (pen. 14'), 1-2 Ducksch (19'), 2-2 Neudecker (74'), 3-2 Avevor (89')
Yellow cards: Nehrig (5th of the season) – Czichos, Peitz, Van den Bergh
Referee: Dr Felix Brych
Attendance: 29,546 (sold out)
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