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FC St. Pauli won 2-0 at SV Elversberg on Friday evening thanks to first-half goals from Johannes Eggestein and Marcel Hartel. The Boys in Brown saw the game out in the second half to complete a deserved away victory, though Jackson Irvine picked up his fifth booking of the season and will miss the Hannover game through suspension.

Head coach Fabian Hürzeler made six changes to the side that knocked Schalke out of the cup in midweek. Eric Smith missed out after picking up a groin strain on Tuesday evening and was replaced by defensive utility player Adam Dźwigała, as had been the case at Paderborn. Nikola Vasilj kept goal in place of Sascha Burchert, who dropped out of the squad at short notice. Manolis Saliakas returned to his customary right-back position, while the three-man attack consisting of Danel Sinani, Simon Zoller and Elias Saad made way for Connor Metcalfe, Johannes Eggestein and Dapo Afolayan. Having lost 1-0 to Mainz 05 in the first round of the cup, hosts Elversberg did not play in midweek, so head coach Horst Steffen was able to start with the same 11 players who won 2-1 at Magdeburg last weekend. 

The Boys in Brown kicked off under the lights wearing their petrol-blue cup kit and dictated the proceedings in the opening stages, registering their first attempt on goal in the tenth minute when Saliakas picked out Eggestein with a cross, though his header cleared the crossbar by some distance. The St. Pauli striker proved more accurate just after the quarter-hour mark, however. And what a goal it was. In almost a carbon copy of his strike against Schalke in the cup, Eggestein found the far corner with a textbook header to score for the sixth consecutive match.

In the 20th minute the travelling fans let out a sharp intake of breath when the unmarked Luca Schnellbacher pounced on a loose ball in the danger area after Nikola Vasilj could only parry a shot from distance, but the keeper produced a magnificent reflex save to prevent the equaliser. A goal would not have counted in any case, however, as Schnellbacher was offside. Nevertheless, it was a sign of the quality the newly promoted side have at their disposal. Quality was in evidence again five minutes later when Eggestein directed another header towards goal, only for home keeper Nicolas Kristof to get down quickly and turn it onto the post. The frame of the goal was rattling again on the half hour, but this time the luck went the way of the Boys in Brown, as Marcel Hartel’s rocket from the edge of the box found the back of the net off the underside of the crossbar to make it 2-0 to the Hürzeler XI.

Johannes Eggestein nets (yet again) with a header to open the scoring at Elversberg.

Johannes Eggestein nets (yet again) with a header to open the scoring at Elversberg.

Both sides emerged unchanged for the second half. Hürzeler will have to make one change next week, however, as captain Jackson Irvine picked up his fifth booking of the season for a foul and will miss the home game against Hannover 96 through suspension. There was little football on offer at either end for a while. The Boys in Brown kept things tight at the back and were content to probe up front every so often. Whenever the ball entered the danger area, it was mostly from a set piece, however. The same went for the home side, who struggled to pass their way forward.  

The biggest opportunity of the second half arrived on 68 minutes when Manolis Saliakas surged unchallenged into the opposition half and slipped an excellent through ball to Dapo Afolayan, whose shot from the just inside the area clipped the top of the crossbar. Two minutes later, the Boys in Brown came close to putting the game to bed again. Once more the raid unfolded down the right through Saliakas, who missed the target only narrowly with a curling effort. Ten minutes from time Vasilj was at full stretch to tip a glancing header from Manuel Feil over the top following a corner.

In the closing stages the Hürzeler XI hit the woodwork yet again when substitute  Etienne Amenyido hammered a shot against the crossbar. At the back they continued to give nothing away and saw the game out to add another three points to their tally with a deserved 2-0 win.

SV Elversberg

Kristof - Vandermersch, Sickinger, Jäkel, Neubauer - Fellhauer, S. Sahin (Koffi 88’) - Wanner (Feil 61’), Stock (Dürholtz 61’), Rochelt (Boayamba 76’) - Schnellbacher (C) (Martinović 61’)

Head coach: Horst Steffen


FC St. Pauli

Vasilj - Dźwigała, Wahl, Mets - Saliakas (Ritzka 88’), Irvine (C), Hartel (Boukhalfa 88’), Treu - Metcalfe (Saad 68’), Eggestein (Zoller 79’), Afolayan (Amenyido 79’)

Head coach: Fabian Hürzeler


Goals: 0-1 Eggestein (16’), 0-2 Hartel (31’)

Yellow cards: Vandermersch, Wanner – Irvine

Referee: Alexander Sather (Grimma)

Attendance: 10,150 (sold out)


Photos: Witters