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ZANDER AT THE DOUBLE TO END AUE DROUGHT

FC St. Pauli ended a run of five successive defeats at Erzgebirge Aue with a well-earned 3-1 victory on Saturday afternoon. Luca Zander opened the scoring with just 59 seconds gone and Rodrigo Zalazar doubled the lead just after the interval. Zander made it 3-0 with his second goal of the afternoon on 56 before Pascal Testroet notched a consolation goal for Aue 17 minutes from time.

Head coach Timo Schultz named an unchanged side for the trip to Aue, placing his faith in the same eleven players who started in the 2-0 home win over Eintracht Braunschweig on Monday night. The sole change to the squad saw birthday boy Tore Reginiussen, 35, return from illness to fill the vacant slot from the Braunschweig game. Aue coach Dirk Schuster made one adjustment to the team that drew 1-1 at Jahn Regensburg last time out, Philipp Riese coming in for the suspended Ognjen Gnjatić.

The Boys in Brown got off to a perfect start when Luca Zander met Rodrigo Zalazar's free-kick to head home at the back stick after just 59 seconds. Aue keeper Martin Männel, who was making his 300th second-division appearance for the Saxony outfit, was unable to prevent the ball from sneaking in by the post. Aue brushed themselves down and almost grabbed an equaliser minutes later, but Dejan Stojanović pulled off a smart save to keep out a shot from Dimitrij Nazarov.

In a lively opening, the Boys in Brown knocked the ball around nicely and looked to get forward at every opportunity. After a wonderful move involving several players, Guido Burgstaller popped up unmarked in the Aue box and instead of going for goal himself squared the ball unselfishly for Daniel-Kofi Kyereh, only for former St. Pauli man Sören Gonther to stick out a leg and defuse the situation.

Aue remained a threat early on and Stojanović had to race out of his goal to deny the advancing Florian Krüger. But it was the Boys in Brown who continued to dictate the proceedings, registering close to 70 per cent possession but without fashioning any clear-cut chances until Omar Marmoush unleashed a curling effort from the left-hand edge of the box that skimmed the top of the net on its way over. Leart Paqarada then tried his luck with a shot from range that took a deflection but was unable to trouble Männel.

As the half drew to a close, Aue rallied once more and carved out two opportunities in quick succession. First, John Patrick Strauss missed the target by a couple of metres from just inside the area, and then Stojanović gathered a Pascal Testroet header with relative ease. That was the end of the action and the Boys in Brown took a deserved lead in at the break.

Luca Zander gave his side an early lead with his first league goal for the club.

Luca Zander gave his side an early lead with his first league goal for the club.

Both teams emerged unchanged for the second half. Again, it was the Boys in Brown who created the first chance three minutes in when Kyereh cut the ball back to Finn Ole Becker, whose first-time effort missed the target. Rodrigo Zalazar proved more accurate 60 seconds later, hammering a shot into the left-hand corner after Burgstaller had held up the ball well. Männel was powerless, and the Boys in Brown led 2-0.

The Schultz XI showed no signs of wanting to sit on their two-goal lead despite giving an excellent defensive performance to that point. They remained the dominant side and continued to push forward, an approach that was rewarded eight minutes after Zalazar's strike when Paqarada dispatched a free-kick into the box from the left and Zander, in almost a carbon copy of his opening goal, converted at the far post, this time with his foot rather than his head. And had Männel not produced a brilliant stop to block a shot from Marmoush on 59, it could easily have been four.

Midway through the half, Timo Schultz made his first three substitutions, Afeez Aremu, Lukas Daschner and Maximilian Dittgen coming on for Finn Ole Becker, Rico Benatelli and Omar Marmoush. The Boys in Brown continued to press and had further opportunities to extend their lead. First, Männel dived to his right to keep out Burgstaller's shot on the turn and moments later produced an equally good stop to thwart Kyereh. They were stopped in their tracks in the 73rd minute, however, when Testroet latched onto a cross from substitute Tom Baumgart to guide the ball past Stojanović from close range to reduce the deficit.

Six minutes later, Daschner squandered a huge chance to restore his side's three-goal advantage, blazing a shot over when looking favourite to score. And then Zalazar came within a whisker of notching his second of the afternoon when his shot from the edge of the area fizzed narrowly past the upright. Aue's Jan Hochscheidt struck a 25-metre free-kick just over in the penultimate minute before substitute Igor Matanović met his match in Männel, the home side's man of the match, in time added on.

That was that and it ended in a deserved 3-1 win for the Boys in Brown after an outstanding performance that saw them end their winless run in the Ore Mountains and move past the 40-point mark.

FC Erzgebirge Aue

Männel - Breitkreuz, Gonther, Ballas, Bussmann (Härtel 83') - Riese (Fandrich 70'), Samson (Jonjić 54') - Strauss, Nazarov (Hochscheidt 54'), Krüger (Baumgart 70') - Testroet

Head coach: Dirk Schuster

 

FC St. Pauli

Stojanović - Zander, Ziereis, Dźwigała, Paqarada - Becker (Aremu 66'), Benatelli (Daschner 66'), Kyereh (Matanović 89'), Zalazar - Marmoush (Dittgen 66'), Burgstaller (Reginiussen 84')

Head coach: Timo Schultz

 

Goals: 0-1 Zander (1'), 0-2 Zalazar (49'), 0-3 Zander (56'), 1-3 Testroet (73')

Yellow cards: Riese, Breitkreuz

Referee: Florian Heft (Neuenkirchen)

 

Photos: Witters

 

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