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FC St. Pauli defeated SpVgg Greuther Fürth 2-1 on Saturday to record their seventh win in succession. In front of 29,346 spectators, Ragnar Ache gave the visitors an early lead that was cancelled out by Manolis Saliakas soon afterwards. Fürth's Gideon Jung was shown the red card on the stroke of half-time and in the 55th minute Oladapo Afolayan volleyed the Hürzeler XI in front. It was to prove the winning goal, leaving the Boys in Brown to celebrate their seventh win on the bounce.

After the 2-1 victory at SC Paderborn 07, the Boys in Brown went into the home game against SpVgg Greuther Fürth looking to extend their superb run and register their seventh win in a row. Head coach Fabian Hürzeler opted for the same eleven players who started at Paderborn last week. Fürth coach Alexander Zorniger, on the other hand, made three changes to the team that drew 1-1 with Hannover 96, Marco John, Simon Asta and Lukas Petkov replacing Gian-Luca Itter, Marco Meyerhöfer and Armindo Sieb.

Before the game kicked off a minute's silence was held by the teams and both sets of fans in memory of the victims of the mass shooting on Thursday evening. The visitors made the better start and with five minutes gone a shot from Ragnar Ache took a decisive deflection off Jakov Medić that sent it flying just past the right-hand upright. From the resulting corner, Gideon Jung headed a Max Christiansen cross back across goal and Ache netted from close range with Nikola Vasilj unable to do anything about it. Four minutes later Ache was on target again, but referee Felix Zwayer ruled the goal out for offside after an intervention by the VAR.

The home fans celebrated that decision and then had a goal of their own to celebrate! A fine passing move involving Leart Paqarada, Lukas Daschner and Oladapo Afolayan eventually ended with Jackson Irvine knocking the ball into the path of Manolis Saliakas on the right-hand side of the penalty area, and the Greek full-back left Fürth keeper Andreas Linde no chance with a pinpoint low drive into the bottom left corner to level the scores.

As Hürzeler had predicted before the game, Fürth caused the Boys in Brown a number of problems with their aggressive, high pressing game. His side struggled to get into the game, the superb move that led up to the equaliser being one of the few exceptions.

With 31 minutes on the clock, Fürth passed their way into the box from the left and Tobias Raschl had a great opportunity to restore the advantage, only to skew his effort well over from eleven metres. At the other end, Saliakas let fly from range when a corner was only half-cleared, but Medić was unable to get out of the way of his goalbound effort in time with Linde unsighted. Just before the break the home crowd were on their feet again when Lukas Daschner put Gideon Jung under intense pressure and nicked the ball. In falling to the ground, Jung dragged Daschner down with him, and being the last man at the time was shown the red card, a decision that was confirmed by the VAR. Saliakas then curled the resulting free-kick wide from 25 metres.

Manolis Saliakas showed great technique in scoring the equaliser on 13 minutes.

Manolis Saliakas showed great technique in scoring the equaliser on 13 minutes.

The Boys in Brown emerged unchanged for the second period, while Zorniger responded to Jung's sending-off by introducing a defender in Damian Michalski for forward Lukas Petkov. Less than 60 seconds had elapsed when Lukas Daschner bore down on Linde after being sent clear by a through ball from Saliakas. The midfielder aimed for the far corner from the right channel, but the keeper was down quickly to make the save. At the other end, SpVgg almost took the lead again when Ache capitalised on a loss of possession on the right-hand edge of the penalty area and unloaded from close range, but Paqarada was able to get a block in.

Down to ten men, the visitors jettisoned their pressing tactic, opting instead to hold a deeper line and close down the space, but after a lofted ball from Paqarada to Metcalfe they were undone when Oladapo Afolayan punished an undercooked headed clearance by Oussama Haddadi, who along with two other Fürth defenders could only look on as Afolayan volleyed the ball into the bottom left corner from 14 metres to make it 2-1. Paqarada could have added a third four minutes following a pass from Marcel Hartel, but his first-time effort was defused by Linde. The Boys in Brown kept the pressure on and Hartel fired over from distance when given too much space 30 metres out.

Fürth responded to going behind by throwing on an attacking player in Julian Green for defender Oussama Haddadi. The visitors gained in courage and began to probe more often, but some solid defending ensured that Nikola Vasilj had nothing to do. Hürzeler then made his first change, goalscorer Dapo Afolayan making way for Maurides. Almost immediately, the striker had a decent opportunity but was unable to beat Linde from a tight angle.

The Boys in Brown continued to press for a third goal in the closing stages as the visitors began to take more risks in a bid to find an equaliser. Neither team was successful in their respective quests, however, and it ended 2-1 to the Hürzeler XI, who thus extended their winning run to seven.

FC St. Pauli

Vasilj - Medić, Smith, Mets - Saliakas (Dźwigała 88'), Hartel, Irvine, Paqarada - Metcalfe (Fazliji 86'), Daschner, Afolayan (Maurides 71')

Head coach: Fabian Hürzeler


Greuther Fürth

Linde - Griesbeck, Jung, Haddadi (Green 63') - Asta, Christiansen, Raschl, John - Petkov (Michalski 46') - Hrgota (Sieve 81'), Ache

Head coach: Alexander Zorniger


Goals: 0-1 Ache (6'), 1-1 Saliakas (13'), 2-1 Afolayan (55')

Yellow cards: Afolayan, Medić, Maurides, Irvine - Griesbeck

Red card: Jung (last-man foul 45')

Referee: Felix Zwayer (Berlin)

Attendance: 29,346 (sold out)


Photos: FC St. Pauli