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HANNOVER CONDEMN BOYS IN BROWN TO OPENING HOME DEFEAT

FC St. Pauli slipped to their first home defeat of the season, going down 3-0 against Hannover in front of 8,470 fans on Sunday afternoon. Dominik Kaiser gave the visitors the lead just before half-time before Sebastian Kerk and Sebastian Stolze extended their advantage in the second period. On a day when everything seemed to go wrong for the Boys in Brown, both Guido Burgstaller and Daniel-Kofi Kyereh missed from the penalty post. It was the first home league defeat since a 2-1 reverse in May 2021, when Hannover were again the visitors.

Head coach Timo Schultz was forced to make several changes to the side that beat Jahn Regensburg 3-2 last time out. Captain Philipp Ziereis, Etienne Amenyido and Maximilian Dittgen were all ruled out by muscle injuries. And with James Lawrence still ruled out by a similar problem, Adam Dźwigała slotted into central defence alongside Jakov Medić. In midfield, Finn Ole Becker replaced Jackson Irvine and Daniel-Kofi Kyereh came in for Etienne Amenyido. Igor Matanović started alongside Guido Burgstaller up front.

Skippered by Leart Paqarada for the first time this season, the Boys in Brown came flying out of the traps in typical Hamburg weather. With just two minutes gone, Daniel-Kofi Kyereh threaded a lovely ball though to Marcel Hartel, whose attempted cutback to Guido Burgstaller was somehow smothered by Hannover keeper Ron-Robert Zieler. Not much later, Hartel did find Kyereh with a cutback, but his shot from the edge of the box was punched away by Zieler. The pressure continued and when Paqarada drilled a low cross into the danger area from the left, Julian Börner produced a last-minute block to keep out a shot on the turn from Igor Matanović.

For all their efforts to push forward, the visitors were unable to find a way though the compact home defence. The Schultz XI had more of a cutting edge in this phase, even though the wet turf made passing difficult. That was not the case in the 19th minute, however, when Paqarada's pinpoint ball found Kyereh, whose clever dummy presented Hartel with an opportunity, but his curling effort flew high and wide of the far corner. Hannover had their first attempt on goal on the half hour, Sebastian Kerk's free-kick from a good 30 metres fizzing past the far post. Back at the other end, a square ball from Kyereh took a slight deflection and flew agonisingly across the face of the goal.

After Kyereh had screwed a long-range shot wide on 27, the visitors stepped up a gear. Cedric Teuchert suddenly found himself clean through on goal but was denied from a tight angle by Nikola Vasilj. A few minutes later, Mark Diemers curled an effort past the angle of post and crossbar, and then Kerk really should have opened the scoring from a Niklas Hult cross when left unmarked at the back stick. But instead of finding the empty net, the ball flew straight to Vasilj at the far post. There was nothing the keeper could do in the 40th minute, however, when Teuchert cut the ball back into the middle from the byeline and Dominik Kaiser gave his side the lead from close range.

The Boys in Brown looked to hit back and Kyereh rifled a low shot just wide of the post two minutes before the break. Almost immediately, Teuchert took advantage of a Medić error of judgement to latch onto a long ball forward. He only had Vasilj to beat, but the St. Pauli custodian produced a smart save with his foot to prevent the visitors from doubling their advantage.

Dominik Kaiser (No13) was perfectly placed to give his side the lead from close range in the 40th minute.

Dominik Kaiser (No13) was perfectly placed to give his side the lead from close range in the 40th minute.

Both teams emerged unchanged for the second half. The visitors fashioned the first opportunity just two minutes in when Kerk unleashed a drive from all of 25 metres and Vasilj did well to turn it over the crossbar. The resulting corner was then knocked wide by Börner with his knee. Hannover kept pushing and the advancing Börner volleyed a diagonal ball from Teuchert wide of the left-hand angle. It was a better start by the visitors, but the Boys in Brown responded with two corners in as many minutes from Paqarada. Burgstaller had a header saved by an alert Zieler from the first one and then Medić headed wide from an almost identical position.

It remained a high-tempo affair that continued to ebb back and forth. The visitors pushed forward again and when Maximilian Beier was denied by Vasilj with a shot from just inside the box, Kerk was on hand to dink the rebound over the keeper to double Hannover's lead. Schultz responded with the introduction of Afeez Aremu, Jackson Irvine and Simon Makienok for Eric Smith, Finn Ole Becker and Igor Matanović on 61. Seven minutes later there were noisy appeals for a penalty when Burgstaller was thought to have been brought down by Börner in the box, but there was no contact and referee Bastian Dankert correctly waved play on.

Now with Sebastian Ohlsson on for Luca Zander, the Boys in Brown continued to press without any joy and almost inevitably the visitors added a third in the 72nd minute. After a cross by Kaiser, the ball fell kindly for Sebastian Stolze, who smashed the ball into the net from seven metres. There was hope for the Boys in Brown on 79 when Dankert pointed to the spot after a dubious foul by Börner on Kyereh. Burgstaller stepped up and went for the bottom-right corner, but Zieler was down quickly to make the save. Yet because the keeper was adjudged to have moved off his line when the kick was taken, the Boys in Brown earned a reprieve. This time Kyereh assumed the responsibility, but his effort hit the underside of the crossbar and came down in front of the line.

Zieler had no problem saving a Makienok header from a corner eight minutes from time. And at the other end, Vasilj had to stretch to turn a Diemers shot round the post for a corner. When the ball came in, Kaiser knocked it just wide of the goal at the far post. Medić then produced a late sliding tackle to deny Linton Maina and then it was all over.

FC St. Pauli

Vasilj - Zander (Ohlsson 71'), Dźwigała, Medić, Paqarada - Smith (Aremu 61'), Becker (Irvine 61'), Hartel, Kyereh (Daschner 85') - Matanović (Makienok 61'), Burgstaller

Head coach: Timo Schultz

 

Hannover 96

Zieler - Dehm (Krajnc 80') , Franke, Börner, Hult - Kaiser, Diemers, Stolze (Muroya 80'), Kerk, Teuchert (Maina 74') - Beier (Hinterseer 87')

Head coach: Christoph Dabrowski

 

Goals: 0-1 Kaiser (40'), 0-2 Kerk (57'), 0-3 Stolze (72')

Yellow cards: Becker – Börner, Dehm, Dabrowski (head coach)

Referee: Bastian Dankert (Rostock)

Attendance: 8,470

 

Photos: Witters

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