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FC St. Pauli battled their way to a 2-2 draw at Hannover 96 thanks to a stoppage time equaliser on Saturday evening. Johannes Eggestein and Jackson Irvine got the goals for the Boys in Brown, while Sebastian Kerk (pen.) and Derrick Köhn were on target for the home side.

Head coach Timo Schultz named an unchanged side for the trip to Hannover 96, who slipped to an opening-day defeat at Kaiserslautern last week and were determined to claim all three points in their first home game of the season.

With just four minutes gone, the away section erupted when the Boys in Brown took an early lead. A long ball into the box was helped on by Igor Matanović to Johannes Eggestein, who collected the header with his back to goal. One quick turn and angled drive across goal later, and the ball was nestling in the back of the net. What a magnificent sight!

It could have been 2-0 just two minutes later. Leart Paqarada picked out Marcel Hartel with a low ball into the box and the No10 drove to the byeline before whipping a cross into the middle. And though Lukas Daschner got his foot to the ball, his effort went wide. At the other end, Hannover created a couple of decent opportunities to level the scores through Havard Nielsen, from close range, and Sebastian Kerk, from an indirect free-kick.

At the end of a lively opening quarter of an hour, the game quietened down a little, and while Hannover enjoyed more of the ball, the St. Pauli rearguard stood firm. But then, the whistle suddenly blew and referee Felix Zwayer pointed to the spot for an alleged handball offence by Adam Dźwigała. A lengthy video review followed before Kerk was cleared to take the penalty and restore parity for the home side. Just five minutes later, Daschner almost found the perfect reply after receiving the ball from Matanović, but Ron-Robert Zieler defused his effort, ensuring the first half ended all square.

The Schultz XI emerged unchanged for the second half and laid down the first marker on 52 when Daschner whipped in a cross following a Hartel free-kick and Börner slid in to clear for a corner with Matanović waiting to pounce.

Around 20 minutes later, the home side took the lead when left-back Derrick Köhn tried his luck from the left channel and the ball took a deflection off Dźwigała’s shoulder to leave Smarsch no chance. It was a bitter pill to swallow, as the goal came completely out of the blue, the Boys in Brown having dictated the play to that point without, however, fashioning any meaningful goalscoring opportunities.

Schultz and his charges gave it all they had in the closing stages. The St. Pauli boss used up his full contingent of substitutes and was rewarded in the fifth minute of time added on! Paqarada floated another free-kick into the box and Jackson Irvine was on hand to knock the ball into the net in the resulting goalmouth scramble. Huge drama and a deserved equaliser just seconds before the end.

Hannover 96

Zieler – Dehm (Muroya 55’), Neumann, Börner, Köhn, Kunze, Schaub (Leopold 78’), Besuschkow, Kerk (Teuchert 78’), Nielsen, Beier

Head coach: Stefan Leitl


FC St. Pauli

Smarsch – Saliakas (Zander 81’), Dźwigała​, Medić (Fazliji 72’), Paqarada – Smith (Metcalfe 82’), Hartel (Boukhalfa 82’), Irvine, Daschner – Eggestein, Matanović (Otto 58’)

Head coach: Timo Schultz


Goals: 0-1 Johannes Eggestein (4’), 1-1 Sebastian Kerk (pen. 33’), 2-1 Köhn (71’), 2-2 Irvine (90’+5)

Yellow cards: Dehm – Medic, Smith

Referee: Felix Zwayer

Attendance: 33,600 

Photos: Witters