ALL SQUARE IN BOCHUM DRESS REHEARSAL
Wednesday, 17. January 2018, 22:07 Uhr
FC St. Pauli were held to a 1-1 draw by VfL Bochum on Wednesday evening. Sami Allagui gave Markus Kauczinski's side the lead with a smart 12th minute strike, only for Johannes Wurtz to head the equaliser eight minutes later in front of 2,823 spectators at the Millerntor.
The game was the final run-out for the Boys in Brown before the league campaign resumes with a difficult trip to Dynamo Dresden a week tomorrow. In VfL Bochum, Kauczinski's charges were up against the only team they have played twice this season, making team a suitable choice of opponent ahead of the restart.
In cold, drizzly weather, the two sides made a cautious start, focusing on keeping their shape so well that the play unfolded in midfield for the first ten minutes. That was to change in the 12th minute, however, when the sounds of Song 2 by Blur rang out from the loudspeakers for the first time this year. The goal tune was ushered in by some lovely link-up play by Aziz Bouhaddouz and Waldemar Sobota on the left-hand side. And when Sobota delivered his cross into the penalty box, Sami Allagui skipped past a Bochum defender before smashing a left-foot shot into the net, a fitting end to such a fine move.
Yet Bochum's reply was not long in coming – just eight minutes to be more precise. The ball found its way to Robbie Kruse on the left and when the Australian spotted Johannes Wurtz making his way into the box, his cross was so good that Wurtz just had to get his head on it to notch the equaliser. In the ensuing period the action switched to the half being defended by the Boys in Brown, but the solid home rearguard, ably marshalled by Lasse Sobiech, was giving nothing away. At the other end Bouhaddouz was presented with an opportunity in the 33rd minute. Sent clear by Bernd Nehrig, the Morocco striker collected the ball in fine style and wasted no time getting a shot off, only to see the ball fly wide of the goal.
FCSP showed two changes at the start of the second half, Daniel Buballa and Jan-Philipp Kalla making way for Clemens Schoppenhauer and Johannes Flum. As a result, Yiyoung Park slotted in at right-back, Jeremy Dudziak switched to left-back, and Schoppenhauer lined up alongside Sobiech in the centre. A few metres upfield, Flum took up a position in holding midfield.
As in the first 45, the two sides took a while to get going. With 61 minutes gone, Allagui made some space for himself with a neat turn and pulled the trigger. Unfortunately, the ball flew straight into the arms of Felix Dornebusch. The Boys in Brown came a little closer soon after when Sahin drove into the box from the right and knocked the ball towards Allagui, who narrowly failed to get on the end of it. In the 69th minute there was cause for cheer in the St. Pauli camp, not because a goal had been scored but because Philipp Ziereis ran out for his first appearance at the Millerntor after a lengthy absence. Great to see you back, Zier!
The game remained a scrappy affair, a situation not helped by a raft of substitutions on both sides. Nevetheless, the new-look Boys in Brown rallied again in the closing stages. Richard Neudecker and Ersin Zehir tried their luck with shots that were either saved by Dornebusch or ended up in the catch net in front of the South Stand. Bochum also threatened for a final time six minutes before the end when Lukas Hinterseer's whipped-in cross skidded across the face of the goal. Thankfully, Park was on hand at the back post to scoop the ball out for a corner.
Then, with three minutes left, substitute Mats Møller Dæhli had a great chance to win it from the edge of the box following an astute cross by Jan-Marc Schneider. The Norwegian got underneath the ball, however, and his effort cleared the crossbar. It therefore ended 1-1, a fair result given the performance of both sides.
FC St. Pauli
Himmelmann - Kalla (Schoppenhauer 46'), Sobiech (Ziereis 69'), Park, Buballa (Flum 46') - Nehrig (Zehir 76'), Dudziak (Choi 81') - Sahin (Litka 76'), Allagui (Neudecker 69'), Sobota (Møller Dæhli 81') - Bouhaddouz (Schneider 76')
Head coach: Markus Kauczinski
Dornebusch (Riemann 46') - Gyamerah (Baack 67'), Hoogland (Losilla 67'), Leitsch (Fabian 67'), Hemmerich (Sam 76') - Eisfeld (Janelt 46'), Ochs (Gündüz 67'), Stöger (Diamantakos 76') - Celozzi (Tesche 67'), Wurtz (Hinterseer 76'), Kruse (Saglam 76')
Head coach: Jens Rasiejewski
Goals: 1-0 Allagui (12'), 1-1 Wurtz (20')
Referee: Patrick Ittrich (Hamburg)