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BOYS IN BROWN DRAW 2-2 WITH HERTHA BSC IN DRESS REHEARSAL

The Boys in Brown secured a 2-2 draw against Bundesliga outfit Hertha BSC in the final pre-season warm-up game on Saturday afternoon. Daniel-Kofi Kyereh gave the Schultz XI the lead on 44 minutes, only for Niklas Stark to equalise moments later, before Simon Makienok restored his side's advantage on the stroke of half-time. Four minutes after the restart, Suat Serdar levelled for the visitors for it to finish all square.

Head coach Timo Schultz opted for his favoured midfield diamond in a 4-4-2 formation for the dress rehearsal against Bundesliga outfit Hertha BSC. Guido Burgstaller and Simon Makienok began up top for the Boys in Brown, who ran out in front of supporters for the first time since October. And though there were just 2,500 fans in the ground, there was no lack of atmosphere.

The game got off to a quiet start despite the best attacking efforts of both sides. Hertha new boy Suat Serdar unleashed the first shot on goal from distance in the 14th minute, but it was no trouble for Dennis Smarsch in the St. Pauli goal. In an evenly balanced contest, the next chance fell to Guido Burgstaller, who latched onto a through ball from Simon Makienok and went for goal. His shot was deflected for a corner, which was brought in by Leart Paqarada and met by Jakov Medić near the penalty spot, his header finding Kyereh, who in turn headed home from close range. The referee's assistant raised his flag immediately and the goal was chalked off, but it was a close call. After a quick drinks break, the Boys in Brown picked up the pace and created three chances in as many minutes. Luca Zander and Leart Paqarada both had shots blocked, and then Paqarada picked out Makienok from a corner. His header flew straight into the arms of Hertha keeper Alexander Schwolow, however.

Paqarada was involved again a few minutes later. This time his left-wing cross found Finn Ole Becker at the near post, but Schwolow made a comfortable save. With the game approaching half-time, there were chances at both ends. First, Burgstaller missed an opportunity with just Schwolow to beat following a long ball forward from Kyereh and then both Javairo Dilrosun and Davie Selke hit efforts too high for the visitors. Smarsch punted the resulting goal-kick upfield for Makienok to head the ball into the path of Burgstaller, who sent Kyereh on his way with a perfectly weighted pass, and the former Wiesbaden man wasted no time firing a crisp drive beyond Schwolow into the far corner to open the scoring on 44.

The joy proved short-lived, however, as the visitors were level within 60 seconds, the unmarked Niklas Stark heading home Deyovaisio Zeefuik's cross from six metres. Yet there was still time for another goal before half-time. Paqarada dispatched a cross into the Hertha box, where Makienok was waiting to prod home first time to send the Boys in Brown in 2-1 up at the break.

Daniel-Kofi Kyereh gives his side a deserved lead with a powerful 44th minute drive.

Daniel-Kofi Kyereh gives his side a deserved lead with a powerful 44th minute drive.

Hertha coach Pál Dárdai made just one goalkeeping substitution at half-time, while Timo Schultz opted for two adjustments, Christopher Buchtmann and Maximilian Dittgen coming on for Finn Ole Becker and Simon Makienok. The visitors soon fashioned the first chance, but Serdar's shot took a deflection on its way over. Hertha's new acquisition proved more successful two minutes later, however, rifling a shot into the net off the underside of the bar from a tight angle to leave Smarsch helpless.

With the visitors more solid after the interval, the Boys in Brown struggled to find a way through. And as they kept things tight at the back themselves, most of the action unfolded in midfield. In the 64th minute, Schultz elected to make four more changes, introducing Lars Ritzka, Afeez Aremu, Lukas Daschner and Christian Viet. Five minutes later, Hertha replaced all their outfield players. The host of changes did nothing to alter the pattern of play, however, with neither keeper required to intervene.

The Berliners came within a whisker of snatching it five minutes from time, though, when Ruwen Werthmüller capitalised on a mistake by Jakov Medić to bear down on Smarsch, but the keeper pulled off a fine reaction save to divert the shot for a corner. That was the last of the action and it ended in a 2-2 draw, a fair result on the balance of play.

"The first half was positive, we played some really good football and apart from one shot after a misunderstanding at the back we gave virtually nothing away," said Timo Schultz after the final whistle. "We deserved to be in front at the break. In the second half, the game lost more and more structure with every substitution. Towards the end we lacked a bit of energy and lacked clarity in our work off the ball. As a result, we didn't create many chances."

FC St. Pauli

Smarsch - Zander (Viet 64'), Ziereis (Lawrence 75'), Medić, Paqarada (Ritzka 64') - Smith (Aremu 64'), Becker (Buchtmann 46'), Benatelli (Knoll 75'), Kyereh (Brandt 75') - Makienok (Dittgen 46'), Burgstaller (Daschner 64')

Head coach: Timo Schultz

 

Hertha BSC

Schwolow (Körber 46') - Klünter (Dirkner 69'), Stark (Jastrzembski 69'), Dárdai (Netz 69') - Zeefuik (Redan 69'), Ascacíbar (Werthmüller 69'), Mittelstädt (Gayret 69'), Plattenhardt (Gechter 69') - Dilrosun (Michelbrink 69'), Serdar (Morgenstern 69') - Selke (Lukebakio 69')

Head coach: Pál Dárdai

 

Goals: 1-0 Kyereh (44'), 1-1 Stark (45'), 2-1 Makienok (45'+2), 2-2 Serdar (49')

Yellow cards: Zander – Ascacíbar

Referee: Adrian Höhns (Hamburg)

Attendance: 2,500

 

Photos: FC St. Pauli

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