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NO LAST 16 FOR THE BOYS IN BROWN

FC St. Pauli narrowly failed in their bid to reach the last 16 of the DFB Cup on Wednesday evening, losing 2-1 to Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt in an exciting encounter in front of 29,373 fans at the Millerntor. A Bas Dost brace gave the visitors an early advantage before Waldemar Sobota halved the deficit from the spot three minutes before the break.

Cup football returned to the Millerntor after a three-year absence on Wednesday evening. In his quest to progress to the Round of 16, head coach Jos Luhukay made five changes to the side that lost by the only goal at Heidenheim on Sunday. Somewhat surprisingly, Korbinian Müller got the nod over Robin Himmelmann in goal, and Johannes Flum celebrated a return to the first team against his former club after recovering from knee surgery. Tactically, Luhukay opted for a back three that transformed into a five when not in possession, wide men Sebastian Ohlsson and Matt Penney slotting into the backline.

The game began with a massive blow for the Boys in Brown. Martin Hinteregger dropped a beautifully weighted cross onto the head of Bas Dost, who used his height advantage over Leo Østigård to direct the ball into the far corner. Undeterred by going behind, Luhukay's charges hit back, making good use of the spaces. Matt Penney whipped the ball in to Viktor Gyökeres, who got a bit underneath it and his header looped over the crossbar.

At the other end, Eintracht produced a clinical finish to double their lead. Dost escaped his markers to latch onto Dominik Kohr's through pass before dinking the ball over Müller for his second of the evening. Still undaunted, the Boys in Brown pushed forward and created several opportunities to reduce the deficit. Marvin Knoll hit the post with a blistering drive from just outside the box following a pass from Flum. Then, Gyökeres got a shot off from a narrow angle despite the attentions of Makoto Hasebe, only to be denied by Frederik Rönnow in the Frankfurt goal. Luhukay's side eventually got their reward for a fine team effort in the 42nd minute when Waldemar Sobota converted a penalty awarded for a handball by Hinteregger.

Victor Gyökeres, here under challenge in the box from Makoto Hasebe and Frederik Rönnow, covered lots of ground on Wednesday evening.

Victor Gyökeres, here under challenge in the box from Makoto Hasebe and Frederik Rönnow, covered lots of ground on Wednesday evening.

The equaliser on the stroke of half-time set up an enticing second period. Frankfurt were content to try to control the game initially and moved the ball around with composure. Yet the Boys in Brown repeatedly threatened on the break. Møller Dæhli drove down the right and got to the byeline before cutting the ball back for Gyökeres, who only narrowly failed to get on the end of it with the goal gaping.

Luhukay switched to a more attacking back four for the final quarter of an hour with the introduction of Christian Conteh. His team pinned last season's Europa League semi-finalists back in their own half, yet for all their promising surges, they lacked the cutting edge needed to produce an equaliser. Conteh then picked up a non-contact injury in a race with Danny da Costa just before the end, reducing his side to ten for the four minutes of time added on. Despite a valiant effort, they fell just short. Our best wishes for a speedy recovery go to Christian Conteh!

FC St. Pauli

Müller – Kalla (Conteh 79'), Østigård, Buballa – Ohlsson, Flum (Becker 84'), Knoll, Penney – Møller Dæhli (Tashchy 87'), Sobota – Gyökeres

Head coach: Jos Luhukay

 

Eintracht Frankfurt

Rönnow – Hasebe, Hinteregger (Abraham 46'), Ndicka – Durm, Kohr, Fernandes, Chandler (Da Costa 46') – Rode – Kamada, Dost (Paciencia 88')

Head coach: Adi Hütter

 

Goals: 0-1 Dost (4'), 0-2 Dost (16'), 1-2 Sobota (pen. 42')

Yellow cards: Flum, Knoll – Hinteregger, Kohr, Rode

Referee: Dr Matthias Jöllenbeck

Attendance: 29,373

 

Foto: Witters

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