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FC St. Pauli slipped to a 3-0 defeat against Fortuna Düsseldorf in the final game of the year on Sunday afternoon. After the visitors had taken an early lead through Matthias Zimmermann, the Boys in Brown stepped up a gear and squandered a number of chances in the first half. The pattern remained much the same after the interval, with Rouwen Hennings and Edgar Prib proving more effective than their home counterparts in front of goal.

Head coach Timo Schultz made three changes to the side that drew 2-2 with Erzgebirge Aue last time out. Daniel Buballa and Marvin Knoll replaced Philipp Ziereis (groin) and James Lawrence (calf) in central defence, while Maximilian Dittgen came in for Borys Tashchy. For his part, Fortuna coach Uwe Rösler made two changes to the team that beat Osnabrück 3-0 at home in midweek, preferring Kenan Karaman and Marcel Sobottka over Dawid Kownacki and Edgar Prib.

St. Pauli had the first decent opportunity of the game with just 45 seconds on the clock when Daniel-Kofi Kyereh hit a bouncing miscued clearance first time, only to see his shot clip the outside of the left-hand upright. Düsseldorf, who had not enjoyed much luck on their travels (just four points from six games, plus five sendings-off and six penalties conceded), shrugged off the early scare and edged the possession, but it was Boys in Brown who fashioned the next chance. Kyereh cut inside past Kevin Danso and unleashed a shot from 20 metres out, but the ball flew past the left angle.

Just 60 seconds later the ball did find the net – but at the other end. Kristoffer Peterson was allowed to deliver a cross to the back post, where Matthias Zimmermann finished first time into the far corner. Svend Brodersen could do nothing about that but was on hand three minutes later, safely defusing a long-range effort from Kenan Karaman. Marcel Sobottka tried his luck from distance on 20 minutes but hit his shot two metres too high. Next, Alfredo Morales met a Peterson free-kick from the left-hand side. Fortunately, his header was too centrally placed and Brodersen grabbed it. Kyereh then threatened again for the Boys in Brown, but his bouncing effort from more than 25 metres out proved no problem for Fortuna keeper Florian Kastenmeier.

Kyereh was in the action again moments later, crossing the ball into the middle for Maximilian Dittgen, who was unable to make a proper contact. Another ball in from the livewire Kyereh presented Dittgen with a golden opportunity to equalise, but he scooped his shot over the bar. The former Wiesbaden man went much closer just 60 seconds later, however, getting to the byeline before going for goal from a tight angle. Kastenmeier got a hand to it and the ball came back off the post before being hoicked behind for a corner by Zimmermann. The Boys in Brown had wrested back control of the game by now, keeping the visitors well away from their own penalty area. As all too often this season, however, their chance-conversion rate was not up to scratch, and it remained 1-0 to the visitors at the break.

Daniel-Kofi Kyereh was the busiest player in the first half with four attempts on goal.

Daniel-Kofi Kyereh was the busiest player in the first half with four attempts on goal.

Timo Schultz made one substitution during the interval, introducing Lukas Daschner for Finn Ole Becker, while the visitors remained unchanged. And it was they who created the opening chance of the half in the 48th minute when Karaman cut the ball back for Sobottka to shoot from 15 metres, but Sebastian Ohlsson got in the way to make the block. Düsseldorf were looking more likely in attack and ten minutes later a André Hoffmann header from a corner looked goalbound until Rico Benatelli stepped in to clear the ball of the line.

Schultz responded with a double switch on the hour, Kevin Lankford and Simon Makienok replacing Leart Paqarada and Rodrigo Zalazar. Lankford made his presence felt immediately, cutting in from the right and laying the ball back towards Makienok, who was unable to make contact. Moments later, Kyereh was denied by Kastenmeier. His shot was too centrally placed, unfortunately, and thus easy meat for the Fortuna custodian.

Just two minutes later, the visitors poured cold water on any hopes of a rapid comeback. Düsseldorf were allowed too much space to combine outside the FCSP area and Zimmermann had time to pick out Hennings, who left Brodersen no chance with a bullet header. Fortuna were simply more effective in front of goal and thus well worth their two-goal lead. After Thomas Pledl had directed a shot just wide on the break, Lankford had a great chance to pull one back, but his attempt from the inside-right channel was turned round the post by Kastenmeier.

With 76 minutes gone, Brodersen defused an effort from Dawid Kownacki, who had come on for Hennings, and was then shown a red card by referee Robert Schröder for a foul on the Düsseldorf substitute well outside the penalty area. It went to VAR and after reviewing the footage Schröder took back the red card and replaced it with a yellow.

The visitors kept things tight at the back in the closing stages, preventing the Boys in Brown from working any meaningful openings. And in time added-on they made it 3-0 through substitute Edgar Prib, who left Brodersen no chance with a powerful shot from ten metres. It was by no means a bad performance by Timo Schultz’s side, but once again their profligacy in front of goal condemned them to defeat against a far more effective Düsseldorf side.

FC St. Pauli

Brodersen - Ohlsson, Knoll, Buballa, Paqarada (Lankford 60’) - Benatelli, Becker (Daschner 46’) - Kyereh (Tashchy 88’), Zalazar (Makienok 60’), Dittgen (Flach 88’) - Matanovic

Head coach: Timo Schultz


Fortuna Düsseldorf

Kastenmeier - Zimmermann (Klarer 88’), Danso, Hoffmann, Krajnc - Appelkamp (Prib 71’), Krajnc, Morales (Bodzek 88’), Peterson (Pledl 38’) - Karaman, Hennings (Kownacki 71’)

Head coach: Uwe Rösler


Goals: 0:1 Zimmermann (10.), 0:2 Hennings (64.), 0:3 Prib (90.+3)

Yellow cards Karten: Brodersen – Morales, Kownacki

Referee: Robert Schröder (Hannover)


Photos: Witters