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FC St. Pauli ended a run of four games without a win by beating Erzgebirge Aue 2-1 at the Millerntor on Sunday. Dimitrios Diamantakos and Henk Veerman gave the Boys in Brown a two-goal lead before Diamantakos missed a penalty on the stroke of half-time. Though Aue pulled one back through former St. Pauli man Sören Gonther on 74, they were unable to ward off what was only their second defeat at the Millerntor.

Head coach Jos Luhukay made four changes to the side that lost 2-0 at Bochum last time out. Daniel Buballa, Matt Penney, Finn Ole Becker and Henk Veerman replaced Marvin Senger, Johannes Flum, Ryo Miyaichi and Viktor Gyökeres. The visitors made three changes to the side that beat Karlsruher SC 1-0 last week, Dennis Kempe, John Patrick Strauß and Philipp Zulechner coming in for Calogero Rizzuto, Jan Hochscheidt and Pascal Testroet.

Unbeaten in their last seven at home (four wins, three draws), the Boys in Brown went into the game against the league's worst away side determined to bag three crucial points to ease their nerves in the run-in. Both teams began in attack mode in the light Hamburg drizzle, but neither was able to fashion any chances of note early on. That changed in the tenth minute when the unmarked Florian Krüger headed a John Patrick Strauss cross into the side netting. Aue also had the next opportunity a couple of minutes later, but Dimitrij Nazarov smashed his free-kick into the wall.

Aue continued to look the more dangerous of the two teams. With 18 minutes gone, Nazarov met a Clemens Fandrich cross first time and only narrowly missed the target, his effort flying inches over the crossbar. Five minutes later, Dimitrios Diamantakos made no such mistake at the other end. A fine run down the left by Sebastian Ohlsson took him past Malcolm Cacutalua in the box and his low cross was hammered in at the near post by Diamantakos to open the scoring.

The goal appeared to knock Aue out of their stride and the Boys in Brown fashioned the next opening soon afterwards. Waldemar Sobota stroked the ball out wide to Christian Viet, who struck a low cross back towards Diamantakos. The Greek striker pulled the trigger from the edge of the box but the ball flew a couple of metres over the bar. Aue were soon threatening again, however, and Leo Østigård had to slide in to prevent Nazarov converting a square ball from Krüger for the equaliser. And it could well have been 1-1 moments later, but Cacutalua missed the target from a corner when well placed to score.

The visitors were made to pay for their profligacy in front of goal two minutes later when the Boys in Brown extended their lead. Matt Penney picked out Henk Veerman with a pinpoint cross from the left and the striker took advantage of some poor positioning by Jacob Rasmussen to pick his spot. Veerman opted for the far corner and left Aue keeper Martin Männel no chance with his shot.

Things could have got even better for Jos Luhukay's side on the stroke of half-time when Rasmussen brought down the advancing Zander in the box and referee Thorben Siewer pointed to the spot. Diamantakos stepped up and elected to drive the penalty low down the middle. Männel dived to his right but was still able to block the shot with his foot, ensuring the Boys in Brown went in two goals to the good instead of three at the break.

Dimitrios Diamantakos (second from right) thanks Sebastian Ohlsson (right) for his perfect assist for the opening goal.

Dimitrios Diamantakos (second from right) thanks Sebastian Ohlsson (right) for his perfect assist for the opening goal.

Both coaches made changes for the second 45 minutes, Penney making away for Luis Coordes for the Boys in Brown. The half began with another penalty appeal when Strauss was struck on the arm by the ball falling back following a Diamantakos header, but Siewer declined to point to the spot for a second time. An acceptable decision.

The first opportunity after the interval fell to the visitors and what a chance it was. A free-kick from midfield found the head of the unmarked Cacutalua three metres out. The defender was unable to direct it on target, however, and the ball flew inches wide of the left-hand upright to the huge relief of everyone associated with the Boys in Brown. Aue remained in the ascendency and substitute Jan Hochscheidt invited Dennis Kempe to pull the trigger from just inside the area. Fortunately, Buballa was able to block his shot.

Viet then picked up a knock and was replaced by Rico Benatelli. Aue pushed forward in a bid to halve the deficit, but the Boys in Brown were giving little away at the back and threatened themselves on a number of occasions, as in the 64th minute when Diamantakos cut in from the left and drove into the side netting. Aue coach Dirk Schuster responded by introducing two fresh strikers in Christoph Daferner and Pascal Testroet.

The next chance for the visitors fell to Cacutalua, however. His long-range effort was punched away by Robin Himmelmann, and then Daferner missed out at the far post. Four minutes later, the Saxony outfit did pull one back, former St. Pauli defender Sören Gonther heading home Philipp Riese's corner to make for an exciting final quarter of an hour.

With ten minutes left, Luhukay introduced a fresh striker of his own in Viktor Gyökeres for Diamantakos with the aim of easing the burden on the defence. Aue stepped up the pressure again, though, but Kempe was well off target from distance and Rasmussen's header was no problem for Himmelmann. At the other end, substitute Marvin Knoll fired over from the inside-left channel in stoppage time before Himmelmann pulled out all the stops to deny Testroet from a Hochscheidt cross to put the seal on a vital home win, the first against the Saxony outfit in almost 12 years.

FC St. Pauli

Himmelmann - Zander, Østigård, Buballa, Penney (Coordes 46') - Viet (Benatelli 59'), Ohlsson, Becker (Knoll 84') - Sobota - Diamantakos (Gyökeres 80'), Veerman (Tashchy 84')

Head coach: Jos Luhukay


FC Erzgebirge Aue

Männel - Strauss (Samson 84'), Cacutalua, Gonther, Rasmussen - Kempe (Sessa 87'), Riese, Fandrich, Nazarov (Daferner 66') - Zulechner (Testroet 66'), Krüger (Hochscheidt 46')

Head coach: Dirk Schuster


Goals: 1-0 Diamantakos (22'), 2-0 Veerman (41'), 2-1 Gonther (74')

Incidents of note: Männel saves a Diamantakos penalty (45'+2)

Yellow cards: Østigård, Penney – Rasmussen, Strauss

Referee: Thorben Siewer


Photos: Witters



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