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The opening home game of the new season ended in a bitterly disappointing 3-1 defeat against Greuther Fürth. Daniel Keita-Ruel struck twice for the visitors in front of a packed house at the Millerntor but after Dimitrios Diamantakos had halved the deficit on the stroke of half-time Julian Green dashed all hopes of a comeback.

After the 1-1 draw at Arminia Bielefeld on the opening day, Jos Luhukay's side went into the game determined to give something back to the fans for their magnificent support by delivering a good performance. Finn Ole Becker was ruled out of this quest by a calf problem and was replaced by Poland Under-20 international Jakub Bednarczyk. Niklas Hoffmann and Jan-Philipp Kalla also came into the team in place of Marc Hornschuh and Yiyoung Park.

The two teams took little time to feel each other out, with the Boys in Brown seizing the initiative and soon creating the first chance of the game in the 12th minute. Dimitrios Diamantakos collected a high upfield ball and shrugged off the challenge of Marco Caligiuri before forcing Sascha Burchert into the save with a left-foot drive from just outside the box. Five minutes later the ball was in the net, but at the other end. Tobias Mohr knocked the ball square for Daniel Keita-Ruel following a Stefaniak cross, and the striker registered with his first touch at the near post.

The fact that Christopher Avevor went over on his ankle in a challenge in the build-up and was stretchered off after a lengthy break for treatment only made matters worse. He was replaced by Marc Hornschuh. The Boys in Brown went out in search of an equaliser for their injured captain and Niklas Hoffmann came within a whisker of getting it. But when the goal did come on 29 minutes, it was again the visitors who got it. Fortunately, Sebastian Ernst's strike was correctly ruled out for offside by the video assistant referee. Nevertheless, just six minutes later Keita-Ruel headed his second goal of the evening from a Stefaniak cross. Hope returned to the Millerntor cauldron on the stroke of half-time, however, when Diamantakos headed home a Ryo Miyaichi cross from five metres out. 

Jos Luhukay's side hit the ground running after the restart and almost restored parity in the 47th minute when Diamantakos hit the bar from a Knoll free-kick. Six minutes later, Bednarczyk was denied by Burchert from a narrow angle. The Fürth keeper was soon in the way again when he turned a Miyaichi shot round the post for a corner after the Japan winger had combined magnificently with Diamantakos. At this stage of the game the visitors relieved the pressure only briefly, as in the 58th minute when Julian Green unleashed a low right-foot drive that was gathered by Robin Himmelmann.

Fürth eventually escaped the brown-and-white stranglehold, however, and hit back in clinical fashion. Green was given too much space 20 metres from goal and curled an unstoppable shot into the far corner to make it 3-1. The setback had its effect on Luhukay's charges, who were unable to create any clear-cut chances after that despite pushing forward at every opportunity.


FC St. Pauli

Himmelmann – Kalla, Avevor (Hornschuh 20'), Knoll, Buballa – Hoffmann – Bednarczyk (Gyökeres 68'), Miyaichi, Møller Dæhli, Conteh (Buchtmann 77') - Diamantakos

Head coach: Jos Luhukay


Greuther Fürth

Burchert – Sauer, Caligiuri, Mavraj, Wittek – Ernst (Jaeckel 80'), Seguin, Mohr (Nielsen 90'+1) – Stefaniak (Redondo 69'), Keita-Ruel, Green

Head coach: Stefan Leitl


Goals: 0-1 Keita-Ruel (17'), 0-2 Keita-Ruel (35'), 1-2 Diamantakos (45'), 1-3 Green (70')

Yellow cards: Wittek

Referee: Sven Jablonski

Attendance: 29,546 (sold out)


Photo: Witters


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