DIAMANTAKOS PENALTY SEALS 1-1 DRAW AT HEERENVEEN
Saturday, 20. July 2019, 18:19 Uhr
The Boys in Brown secured a 1-1 draw at SC Heerenveen on Saturday afternoon in the final warm-up game before the start of the new season. Hicham Faik gave the home side a second-minute lead before Dimitrios Diamantakos restored parity on 63.
In the dress rehearsal for the season opener at Arminia Bielefeld on 29 July, head coach Jos Luhukay named an unchanged side from the one that started in the friendly at Weiche Flensburg during the week. As on Tuesday, newly loaned Leo Østigård began in central defence. The starting lineup also included Christopher Avevor, Daniel Buballa and Jan-Philipp Kalla, who were named captain and vice-captains respectively on Friday.
Heerenveen got off to a flying start, Hicham Faik netting from range with the first shot of the game in the second minute. A lull in the action followed, and despite enjoying some decent spells of possession it took until the 21st minute for the Boys in Brown to threaten. Mats Møller Dæhli sent Christian Conteh on his way and his attempted cross was turned out for a corner. Marvin Knoll's delivery eventually found its way to Jan-Philip Kalla, whose first-time effort missed the target.
The Boys in Brown gradually took control of the proceedings and created several openings with their fast, vertical play. Heerenveen keeper Warner Hahn denied Conteh following a peach of a ball from Finn Ole Becker and then Conteh converted a Diamantakos pass, only for the referee's assistant to flag for offside. At the other end, the home side almost doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time when Østigård deflected an Odgaard shot onto the crossbar.
Jos Luhukay made three changes at the break, Kalla, Møller Dæhli and Østigård making way for Christopher Buchtmann, Yiyoung Park and Marc Hornschuh. The rejigged team enjoyed two good chances through a Marvin Knoll free-kick on 52 and an angled drive from Park seven minutes later. They finally drew level in the 62nd minute. Conteh could only be stopped by a foul in the box and Diamantakos stepped up to stroke the ball into the net with aplomb to make it 1-1. Unfortunately for Conteh, he picked up a knock during the challenge and had to go off three minutes later. He was replaced by Aurel Loubongo.
In the 76th minute Luhukay's side enjoyed a stroke of luck when the home side added a second on the rebound. But as in the first half, the referee's assistant raised his flag for offside and the goal didn't stand. That was to be the last action of note and it ended in a 1-1 draw.
Christopher Avevor: "We struggled to get going and Heerenveen had more quality than the teams we have faced in recent weeks. The lads can play football. We had no grip on the game in the first half, though we did have chances to equalise. In the second half we were better in every respect and the goal was a logical consequence of that."
Jos Luhukay: "Our coordination and organisation was lacking in the early stages. We didn't defend aggressively. We had some chances towards the end of the first half, though, and we dictated the play in the second as Heerenveen struggled to find their game. We pressed the ball and our opponents hard and made good use of our pace whenever we had an opportunity to switch the play. We worked some nice openings in that phase of the game. All in all, it was an instructive test that showed how we want to play and how we don't want to play."
SC Heerenveen (starting XI)
Hahn – Floranus, Hoegh, Woudenberg, Faik, Odgaard, Rienstra, van Bergen, Bruijn, Dresevic, Kongolo
Head coach: Johnny Jansen
FC St. Pauli
Himmelmann – Kalla (Park 46'), Avevor, Østigård (Hornschuh 46'), Buballa – Knoll – Miyaichi (Sahin 75'), Møller Dæhli (Buchtmann 46'), Becker (Sobota 75'), Conteh (Aurel Loubongo 66') – Diamantakos (Lankford 68')
Head coach: Jos Luhukay
Goals: 1-0 Faik (2'), 1-1 Diamantakos (pen. 62')