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St. Pauli ended the season on a high with a 3-1 win on the final day at VfL Bochum. In front of a sell-out crowd of 27,600 Selim Gündüz gave the home side the lead on seven minutes, but goals from Lennart Thy (2) and Lasse Sobiech saw the Boys in Brown come from behind to claim victory.

Under no pressure from the nether regions of the table, Ewald Lienen's side kicked off in bright sunshine looking to sign off on a positive note. The St. Pauli boss was forced to make four changes to the team that drew 1-1 with Fürth last time out. Christopher Buchtmann and Cenk Sahin were serving one-match bans and were replaced by Lennart Thy and Johannes Flum. Injuries to Mats Møller Dæhli and Waldemar Sobota also meant there were starts for Philipp Ziereis and Ryo Miyaichi.

The game began in the worst possible way, with Philipp Heerwagen having to pick the ball out of the net after just seven minutes. Bochum captain Patrick Fabian flicked on a long throw at the near post and the ball fell to Selim Gündüz, who struck a first-time effort into the bottom right-hand corner. The Bochum midfielder did not make the best of contacts, but it was enough to give his side the lead.

Lienen's men seized the initiative after going behind but were unable to create any chances of note in the opening 20 minutes. That soon changed, however, when Sören Gonther won possession and sent Aziz Bouhaddouz on his way down the left. Showing excellent composure and vision, the Morocco striker knocked the ball back to the onrushing Lennart Thy, who had no trouble steering a shot past Riemann in the Bochum goal. The joy was dampened soon after, however, when defender Philipp Ziereis picked up an injury in a challenge with Bochum hitman Penil Mlapa and had to go off. He was replaced by Jan-Philipp Kalla.

The loss of Ziereis did nothing to knock the Boys in Brown off their stride and they created further chances for Bernd Nehrig on 36 and Thy three minutes later. Manuel Riemann defused the first effort, and the second was blocked by a defender, which meant the two sides went in level at 1-1 at half-time.

Both sides re-emerged unchanged after the interval. The Boys in Brown carried on where they had left off the final 20 minutes of the first period and continued to push forward. But with Bochum sitting back waiting for a chance to break, they had to be very alert. This they were, and no one more so than Lasse Sobiech, who climbed highest from a Miyaichi corner to power a header past Riemann and send the travelling fans wild with delight!

The game fell into a pattern of midfield attrition in the next 20 minutes but burst back into life in the 81st minute, when Lienen's charges threw themselves into every ball to prevent Bochum from levelling the scores. Great stuff!

What happened in the 86th minute was even better. Running onto a superb pass from Bouhaddouz, Thy shrugged off the challenge of a defender and pulled the trigger from the edge of the box. And when things are going your way, things are going your way. Thy made the perfect contact to beat Riemann all ends up and make it 3-1. Soon after the 2016/17 season came to an end – and the party began in earnest.



VfL Bochum

Riemann – Hoogland, Fabian (Quaschner 79'), Bastians – Gündüz, Losilla, Stiepermann (Leitsch 68') – Eisfeld, Saglam – Wurtz (Weilandt 62'), Mlapa

Head coach: Gertjan Verbeek


FC St. Pauli

Heerwagen – Hornschuh, Ziereis (Kalla 31'), Sobiech, Gonther, Buballa -  Nehrig, Flum -  Thy, Bouhaddouz, Miyaichi (Neudecker 69')

Head coach: Ewald Lienen


Goals: 1-0 Gündüz (7'), 1-1 Thy (23'), 1-2 Sobiech (51'), 1-3 Thy (86')

Yellow cards: Stiepermann, Eisfeld - Kalla, Gonther

Referee: Christof Günsch

Attendance: 27,600