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BOYS IN BROWN FRUSTRATED BY STOPPAGE-TIME EQUALISER

St. Pauli came within touching distance of a third win in succession but eventually had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Arminia Bielefeld on Sunday. Christopher Buchtmann gave the Boys in Brown a 50th minute lead before Fabian Klos grabbed a last-gasp equaliser for the home side.

Ewald Lienen's men travelled to fellow relegation contenders Bielefeld buoyed by a run that had seen them take ten points from their last five outings, including three games in a row against top-five sides. The St. Pauli boss made one change to the team that beat Dynamo Dresden 2-0 last time out, Christopher Buchtmann coming in for Kyoungrok Choi, who is labouring with a thigh strain. Lienen himself had missed training on Thursday and Friday due to illness but returned to patrol the touchline at the Alm.

With both teams adopting a safety-first approach during the opening exchanges, the first incident of note arrived on six minutes when Aziz Bouhaddouz slotted a pass through for Christopher Buchtmann, who put the ball in the net only to be pulled back for offside. It was an otherwise uneventful start but eventually the game began to gain momentum.

The home side registered their first attacking opportunity from a free-kick on 12 minutes after Bernd Nehrig had felled Julian Börner. Tom Schütz narrowly failed to find the head of Arminia's leading scorer, Fabian Klos, and when Schütz followed up on the loose ball, Lasse Sobiech got in the way of the shot, giving goalkeeper Philipp Heerwagen nothing left to do. The biggest chance of the game to this point fell to Bouhaddouz on 16. Clean though after a fine pass by Buchtmann, the striker saw his attempted dink blocked by Wolfgang Hesl. Two minutes later Marc Hornschuh directed a header just wide of the Bielefeld goal from a Cenk Sahin corner.

It then became scrappier again. Seemingly bereft of ideas, neither side posed a threat up front as the focus remained on keeping things tight at the back. As well as they defended, as ineffective they were up front. The 0-0 scoreline at the break was thus a fair reflection of the proceedings, though the Boys in Brown had had the better openings.

Ewald Lienen's side hit the ground running on their return from the dressing room, edging the challenges at both ends of the field. And with 50 minutes gone Buchtmann, collecting the ball in space from Waldemar Sobota, sidestepped his marker to fire his side ahead with the first chance of the half. A goal to the good, the Boys in Brown continued to press, and when Sobota again won possession in his own half the Poland international raced almost the full length of the field before spotting Jeremy Dudziak on his right, who drilled a shot into the side netting.

The tempo of the game remained high, not least because the home side began to give notice of their attacking intent, too. Yet for all their efforts Arminia were unable to mount a meaningful challenge on Phillip Heerwagen's goal. At the other end Buchtmann and Bouhaddouz again created ripples in the opposition half. The former thumped two efforts into the Bielefeld wall from a free-kick in a promising position. Then the latter found a gap in the home rearguard but was unable to poke the ball past Hesl from close range.

As the game wore on, the Boys in Brown failed to make the most of numerous opportunities to break, and on 74 minutes Heerwagen was called into action again to collect a long-range effort from Schütz. At the other end Sahin had the chance to double the advantage, only to be foiled in a one-on-one with Hesl.

In the closing stages of a high-intensity encounter the home side fashioned a clear-cut opportunity to restore parity, but Heerwagen pulled off a smart stop to deny Bielefeld substitute Keanu Staude. Arminia threw everyone forward in the last few minutes and pinned the Boys in Brown back deep inside their own half. And though Lienen's side defended with every means at their disposal, they were stunned by a last-gasp equaliser when Klos prodded the ball over the line in a goalmouth scramble.

 

Arminia Bielefeld

Hesl – Behrendt, Schütz, Görlitz, Klos, Börner, Brandy (Staude 59'), Volgsammer, Yabo (Hemlein 82'), Schuppan, Hartherz (Nöthe 56')

Head coach: Jürgen Kramny

 

FC St. Pauli

Heerwagen – Dudziak, Sobiech, Hornschuh, Buballa – Nehrig, Flum – Sahin (Miyaichi 80'), Buchtmann, Sobota (Litka 80') – Bouhaddouz (Gonther 84')

Head coach: Ewald Lienen

 

Goals: 0-1 Buchtmann (50'), 1-1 Klos (90+4)

Yellow cards: Hartherz - Buchtmann

Referee: Robert Hartmann

Attendance: 20,426

 

Photo: Witters

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