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STRONG SHOWING REWARDED WITH JUST ONE POINT

Despite a whole-hearted performance St. Pauli had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Bochum in front of a sell-out crowd at the Millerntor. Though Peniel Mlapa gave the visitors a 19th minute lead, Ewald Lienen's side dominated the proceedings after Timo Perthel was sent off on 28. Aziz Bouhaddouz equalised 16 minutes from time but the home side were unable to find a winner in the closing stages.

St. Pauli looked to build on the momentum from the 2-0 win at Fürth to secure another three points at home against VfL Bochum. With Cenk Sahin missing through suspension after an impressive display last time out and Bernd Nehrig sidelined by a muscle problem, head coach Ewald Lienen was forced to rejig his starting formation. Daniel Buballa and Marc Hornschuh returned to the side, while Richard Neudecker, who was unable to train fully during the week, was replaced by Ryo Miyaichi.

The game had barely got going when the 29,546 crowd rose in anticipation of the opening goal. Less than three minutes in, Timo Perthel undercooked a header back to his keeper and Aziz Bouhaddouz, alert to the opportunity, attempted a spectacular backheel volley that bounced once and came back off the crossbar. What a start, what bad luck! At the other end Peniel Mlapa announced his side's intentions in the 12th minute with an effort that drew a smart save from Philipp Heerwagen.

Then, a chilling collision in the 14th minute involving Manuel Riemann and Daniel Buballa stopped play for several minutes. Buballa sustained a traumatic brain injury in the incident and was stretchered off to the applause of both sets of fans before being taken to hospital. Best wishes for a speedy recovery! He was replaced by Richard Neudecker. 

The visitors appeared to recover more quickly from the shock and struck in clinical fashion a few minutes later. Mlapa played a one-two with Nils Quaschner before rifling a crisp drive into the bottom corner to break the deadlock on 19. There was to be more drama nine minutes later when Perthel caught Miyaichi on the head with his foot up, and after taking some time to consult his assistant referee Felix Zwayer produced a red card to dismiss the Bochum defender. The Boys in Brown cranked up the pressure and had two decent opportunities through Bouhaddouz, the first of which flew over the bar on 31 before Tim Hoogland got a last-second block on the second a minute later.

Lienen's side continued to create half-chances against a Bochum side who defended deeply and rarely ventured forward out of their own half. But either their finishing lacked precision or the final ball into the danger area went astray. Despite dominating the possession, the Boys in Brown went in a goal down at half-time.

A man to the good, Ewald Lienen's side stepped up the pressure in the first half but Bochum held on to their 19th minute lead through Mlapa.

A man to the good, Ewald Lienen's side stepped up the pressure in the first half but Bochum held on to their 19th minute lead through Mlapa.

Both coaches responded to the situation during the break. Lienen elected to operate with two strikers and introduced Nico Empen for Hornschuh. His counterpart, Gertjan Verbeek, replaced goalscorer Mlapa with a defender in the shape of Russell Canouse. The visitors now looked to the speedy Quaschner to probe up front, while the Boys in Brown pinned their hopes on more strike power in a bid to force the equaliser.

The visitors profited more from the changes and began to push forward again, making it difficult for St. Pauli to replicate their first-half dominance. Empen and Kyoungrok Choi combined to produce a decent opportunity on 62 minutes that was defused by a last-ditch defensive tackle. Three minutes later Miyaichi tested Riemann, who was looking assured in goal, but for all their efforts, Lienen's men were unable to break down a solid Bochum side.

St. Pauli captain Sören Gonther came closest to restoring parity on 74 when he met a magnificent ball in from Waldemar Sobota, only to see his header fly straight at Riemann. To everyone's relief, the equaliser did come two minutes later! Riemann was unable to hang onto a Keller cross to the back post, allowing a grateful Bouhaddouz to smack home the loose ball. Now Lienen's side went out in search of a winner.

With the capacity crowd driving the home side forward, they had to be careful not to get caught on the break. And although Boys in Brown continued to enjoy far more possession, they ultimately had to settle for a 1-1 draw.

A hard-fought contest eventually ended in a 1-1 draw.

A hard-fought contest eventually ended in a 1-1 draw.

FC St. Pauli

Heerwagen – Hedenstad, Gonther, Sobiech, Keller – Hornschuh (Empen 46') – Miyaichi, Choi, Sobota, Buballa (Neudecker 17' [Rosin 89']) – Bouhaddouz

Head coach: Ewald Lienen

 

VfL Bochum

Riemann – Gyamerah, Hoogland, Rieble, Perthel – Losilla, Stiepermann – Merkel, Wurtz, Quaschner (Novikovas 86') – Mlapa (Canouse 46')

Head coach: Gertjan Verbeek

 

Goals: 0-1 Mlapa (19'), 1-1 Bouhaddouz (74')

Yellow cards: Sobota - Stiepermann, Gyamerah, Wurtz, Hoogland, Quaschner

Red card: Timo Perthel (28')

Referee: Felix Zwayer

Attendance: 29,546

 

Photos: Witters

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