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Timo Schultz's side secured a 2-1 home win over Greuther Fürth on Sunday afternoon. In a high-intensity affair at the Millerntor, Luca Zander and Guido Burgstaller got the goals for St. Pauli. Paul Seguin pulled one back for the visitors in second-half stoppage time, but it was not enough to stop the Boys in Brown taking the points.

Head coach Timo Schultz made two changes to his starting eleven for the visit of Fürth. Tore Reginiussen made way for Philipp Ziereis in central defence, while Rico Benatelli got the nod over Afeez Aremu in midfield, where there was also the welcome return of Eric Smith to the squad. Regardless of the lineup, however, a tough test awaited the Boys in Brown against a Fürth side determined to consolidate their position in the race for promotion.

The game began with the tackles flying in and the first free-kick for the Schultz XI with just seconds on the clock. Daniel-Kofi Kyereh stepped up but dragged his effort a couple of metres off target. Leart Paqarada went much closer with another free-kick in the ninth minute, forcing Fürth keeper Sascha Burchert to dive to his left and palm the ball round the post. It proved a crucial moment, as the opening goal came from the resulting corner. Fürth were unable to clear their lines, allowing Rodrigo Zalazar to angle a low ball back into the danger area, where the club's new goal machine, Luca Zander, was perfectly placed to prod the ball over the line for his third of the season.

It remained a hard-fought contest, but with the action mostly unfolding between the two penalty boxes it took until the 21st minute for the visitors to threaten for the first time. David Raum dispatched a cross into the middle, where Sebastian Ernst raised a foot to divert it towards goal. And with Dejan Stojanović beaten, the ball clipped the crossbar on its way over.

The St. Pauli keeper had an opportunity to demonstrate his ability eight minutes later, however, and again it was Ernst who was the dangerman, dribbling his way past Ziereis to unleash a shot. Fortunately, Stojanović spread himself well to get the block in. The Boys in Brown remained on the back foot but continued to absorb the pressure without much difficulty until the visitors fashioned a huge chance for Branimir Hrgota. Once again, though, Stojanović kept them at bay with an excellent save, aided by Paqarada, who got to the rebound first just as Hrgota was shaping to shoot.

The first half was a hard-fought affair.

The first half was a hard-fought affair.

The second half was only five minutes old when Fürth found themselves picking the ball out of the net a second time. Zalazar embarked on a magnificent run through the midfield before producing a defence-splitting pass to send Guido Burgstaller on his way, and he showed terrific composure to dink the ball over the onrushing Burchert and into the net. And it could have been all over bar the shouting soon after that, but Omar Marmoush came off second best against Burchert following a lovely pass from Kyereh.

Fürth looked to hit back straightaway but were unable to carve out any clear-cut opportunities. That could not be said of the Boys in Brown, who soon created two in as many minutes. First, Zalazar was denied by Burchert from close range. And then the in-form keeper was on hand again to keep out a header from Adam Dźwigała, not long on for Philipp Ziereis.

Timo Schultz ushered in the final 15 minutes with a double substitution, Omar Marmoush and Finn Ole Becker making way for Maximilian Dittgen and Eric Smith, who thus celebrated his return to first-team action following a lengthy layoff. There were further chances for Hrgota from a free-kick and Paqarada with a distance effort, both of which missed the target, however.

With the game drifting to a close, Paul Seguin made for some late excitement when he pulled one back for the visitors in stoppage time. But the goal came too late to make an impact, and the Boys in Brown held on to take all three points.

FC St. Pauli

Stojanović - Zander, Ziereis (Dźwigała 65'), Lawrence, Paqarada - Benatelli, Zalazar (Aremu), Becker (Smith 75'), Kyereh - Burgstaller (Daschner 87'), Marmoush (Dittgen 75')

Head coach: Timo Schultz


Greuther Fürth

Burchert - Meyerhöfer, Jaeckel, Bauer, Raum (Itter 72') - Stach (Aibama 72'), Seguin, Green (Sarpei 80'), Ernst (Tillman 60') - Hrgota, Nielsen (Leweling 80')

Head coach: Stefan Leitl


Goals: 1-0 Zander (9'), 2-0 Burgstaller (55'), 2-1 Seguin (90'+2)

Yellow cards:  Stach, Seguin

Referee: Timo Gerach


Photos: Witters