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ALL SQUARE AT WERDER BREMEN

FC St. Pauli secured a 1-1 draw at Werder Bremen after 90 pulsating minutes on Saturday afternoon. Marvin Ducksch gave the home side a 62nd minute lead in front of 42,100 spectators but Finn Ole Becker restored parity soon after. Simon Makienok had a goal disallowed for handball in time added on.

The Boys in Brown went into the game intent on mustering all their remaining strength at the end of a busy week to carry on the momentum from the midweek success in the DFB Cup. As announced at the pre-match news conference, Timo Schultz made two changes to his team. James Lawrence began in central defence instead of Philipp Ziereis, while Jackson Irvine was given a well-earned rest in midfield. Finn Ole Becker slotted in for the Australian international.  

In a bright start to the proceedings, both teams sought to lay down an early marker. Becker was presented with the first chance of the game six minutes in when Werder were unable to clear their lines. The ball fell to our No20 on the edge of the area, and after taking a quick touch he unleashed a shot, only to see it fly well wide of Jiri Pavlenka's goal. The home side hit back and fashioned two opportunities of their own in the opening quarter-hour. Niclas Füllkrug lobbed the ball wide of the goal in the ninth minute and then Nicolai Rapp was unable to get enough power on his header.

After a brief lull in the action, the home crowd erupted on 23 minutes when Werder had the ball in the net following a corner from the right. Referee Felix Zwayer soon dampened the goal celebrations, however, as Marco Friedl had clearly used his hand to knock the ball over the line. Seven minutes later, the Boys in Brown carved out their second opportunity of the game following a foul on Maximilian Dittgen. The resulting free-kick found the head of Lawrence, who directed the ball inches over the crossbar from close range.

The home side created further chances for Füllkrug (2) and Marvin Ducksch in the final 15 minutes of the half, but none was taken, leaving the two sides to go in level at the break after an exciting first 45.

The second half began much like the first, with both teams striving to get forward and threaten, though initially lacking punch. Guido Burgstaller almost latched onto a whipped-in cross from the right on 53, but that was all in the opening stages. Gradually, however, the Boys in Brown began to take control, as evidenced by efforts from substitute Simon Makienok and Burgstaller again. And then, as so often happens in football, Werder took the lead on the break. A quick pass over the top found Ducksch, who poked the ball past the onrushing Vasilj and then had no trouble slotting it in the empty net.

Undaunted, the Boys in Brown responded almost immediately, and minutes after Burgstaller had placed a shot wide on the turn, they were level. Becker received the ball on the edge of the box and wasted no time rifling a crisp drive through a thicket of players into the bottom corner. A magnificent reaction from the Schultz XI.

In the closing stages, the Boys in Brown showed they were not about to settle for a point. Kyereh popped up in the box following a wonderful pass from Paqarada and whipped the ball in towards Makienok, only for Priedl to put the ball behind with a last-ditch lunge. Paqarada was in the thick of things again minutes later, delivering an exquisite cross into the box for Kyereh, who unfortunately got underneath his effort from close range, however, and saw the ball fly off target.

Finally, the excitement reached fever pitch in time added on when suddenly the ball was in the Werder net following a goalmouth scramble. But the celebrations were cut short once again by the video assistant referee, who spotted that the ball had gone in off the hand of Makienok. Two minutes later, it ended with the score still 1-1.

SV Werder Bremen

Pavlenka – Jung, Veljkovic, Friedl – Mbom, Agu (Weiser 76'), Rapp (Gross 84'), Gruev, Schmid (Schönfelder 84') – Füllkrug (Dinkci 90'+3), Ducksch

Head coach: Markus Anfang

 

FC St. Pauli

Vasilj – Paqarada, Lawrence (Ziereis 76'), Medić, Zander – Aremu (Benatelli 76'), Hartel (Irvine 66'), Becker, Kyereh – Burgstaller (Matanović 89'), Dittgen (Makienok 46')

Head coach: Timo Schultz

 

Goals: 1-0 Ducksch (62'), 1-1 Becker (68')

Yellow cards: Friedel, Ducksch, Rapp, Schönfelder – Medić, Burgstaller

Referee: Felix Zwayer

Attendance: 42,100

 

Photos: Witters

 

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