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HIGH DRAMA AT HEIDENHEIM - ZALAZAR HAS LAST WORD IN SEVEN-GOAL THRILLER

FC St. Pauli claimed their first ever points at FC Heidenheim with a dramatic 4-3 win on Sunday afternoon. Guido Burgstaller, Daniel-Kofi Kyereh and Finn Ole Becker thrice gave the Boys in Brown the lead, only for Tim Kleindienst (2) and Christian Kühlwetter to peg them back each time. Four minutes from the end, however, Rodrigo Zalazar fired them ahead again and this time the lead held to end a run of six straight defeats at Heidenheim and put the seal on three vital points in the relegation battle.

At the end of a busy week, head coach Timo Schultz made three changes to the side that lost 3-2 to Bochum on Thursday, including two in the back four. James Lawrence got the nod over Daniel Buballa in central defence, while Luca Zander began at right-back for Adam Dźwigała. In addition, Eric Smith made his debut in holding midfield, Rico Benatelli the man to make way. Schultz had long been a doubt himself after severe pain during the night led to him presenting at hospital with suspected renal colic. Fortunately, he recovered enough in time to carry out his coaching duties on the touchline.

The St. Pauli boss saw his team come flying out of the traps and after Daniel-Kofi Kyereh had gone close from 25 metres in the second minute they opened the scoring just 60 seconds later. Kyereh dispatched a cross to the back post, where Guido Burgstaller chested the ball past Kevin Sessa and pulled the trigger from six metres. Jonas Föhrenbach hacked clear but the ball had already crossed the line and the goal stood. Heidenheim had not conceded at home in more than 400 minutes, and it was only the third time a St. Pauli team had scored at the Voith Arena on this their seventh visit.

Oliver Hüsing registered the home side's first attempt on goal following a corner in the seventh minute. The defender's shot from 20 metres out was far too high, however. At the other end, Burgstaller went much closer, his left-foot piledriver from the edge of the box fizzing just over the crossbar as the Boys in Brown piled on the pressure early on.

Heidenheim gradually escaped the brown-and-white stranglehold, however, and levelled the scores from a corner on the quarter-hour. Sessa delivered the ball into the goal area from the left and Tim Kleindienst, who had only returned to his former club from a loan spell at KAA Gent the previous day, rose higher than anyone else to head home.

It remained an entertaining affair in which the home side fashioned further chances for Sessa, whose long-range drive was turned over the bar by Dejan Stojanović, and Kleindienst, who headed over from the resulting corner. Another corner culminated in Andreas Geipl screwing a shot horribly wide from distance.

Heidenheim continued to press and enjoyed more of the possession, with the Boys in Brown struggling to find the gaps in the home rearguard after their early onslaught. Then, with half an hour gone, Omar Marmoush won a free-kick on the edge of the box. After a brief discussion between Kyereh and Leart Paqarada, the former stepped up and slid a cheeky free-kick under the wall and past Kevin Müller's despairing dive into the bottom-right corner.

The home side looked to hit back early and the advancing right-back Marnon Busch flashed a shot past the far post from the right-hand corner of the penalty area. That proved the last attempt on goal, however, and a fiercely contested first half ended with the Boys in Brown 2-1 in front.

Daniel-Kofi Kyereh sneaks a free-kick under the Heidenheim wall to restore his side's advantage.

Daniel-Kofi Kyereh sneaks a free-kick under the Heidenheim wall to restore his side's advantage.

While an unchanged St. Pauli team emerged for the second half, FCH coach Frank Schmidt made two changes, Jan Schöppner and Florian Pick replacing Andreas Geipl and Denis Thomalla. And within three minutes of the restart, the home side were level. Sessa played a pass in behind the visiting defence and Kühlwetter escaped the attentions of Philipp Ziereis in the box before calmly dinking the ball over Stojanović and into the net.

At the other end, Burgstaller had an opportunity to restore his team's advantage from 12 metres not long after the equaliser, but Müller stuck out a foot to make the save. Three minutes after that, the Schultz XI won another free-kick some 25 metres out. Paqarada, Kyereh and Marmoush deliberated before Marmoush curled the ball over the wall and, unfortunately, a good two metres over the crossbar.

It remained a fascinating, high-intensity encounter with lots of attacking action at both ends. With an hour gone, Schultz elected to make his first change, throwing on Afeez Aremu for Eric Smith. Heidenheim, who had had two more days to recuperate than the Boys in Brown, upped the pressure and carved out the next opportunity for Kühlwetter, but Lawrence was able to get in the way of his powerfully struck shot.

Then, following a brief ten-minute lull, Paqarada delivered a left-wing cross into the penalty area, where Burgstaller knocked it on with his shoulder. The ball arrived at Finn Ole Becker, and he slotted a first-time drive past Müller into the bottom left–hand corner to give his side the lead for a third time.

Schultz then made a double substitution, Adam Dźwigała and Igor Matanović entering the fray in place of Luca Zander and Guido Burgstaller. Heidenheim refused to lie down, however, and four minutes later they restored parity yet again when Kühlwetter dispatched a low ball across the face of the goal for the perfectly placed Kleindienst to slot home. Three-three and still there was to be no end to the scoring at the Voith Arena. And once again it was the Boys in Brown who edged in front four minutes from the end of regulation time, Rodrigo Zalazar latching on to an exquisite pass from the recently introduced Maximilian Dittgen to net at the near post and prompt scenes of unbridled jubilation!

Heidenheim threw the kitchen sink at it in the closing stages, but the Boys in Brown resisted with never-say-die commitment, and after Dittgen had been denied by Müller in the fifth minute of time added on they were finally able to celebrate a famous victory!

FC Heidenheim

Müller - Busch (Schimmer 88'), Hüsing, Mainka, Föhrenbach - Sessa (Schnatterer 75'), Burnić (Theuerkauf 75'), Geipl (Schöppner 46'), Thomalla (Pick 46') - Kleindienst, Kühlwetter

Head coach: Frank Schmidt

 

FC St. Pauli

Stojanović - Zander (Dźwigała 75'), Ziereis, Lawrence, Paqarada (Buballa 82') - Becker, Smith (Aremu 58'), Zalazar, Kyereh - Marmoush (Dittgen 82'), Burgstaller (Matanović 75')

Head coach: Timo Schultz

 

Goal: 0-1 Burgstaller (3'), 1-1 Kleindienst (15'), 1-2 Kyereh (30'), 2-2 Kühlwetter (48'), 2-3 Becker (72'), 3-3 Kleindienst (77'), 3-4 Zalazar

Yellow cards: Thomalla, Burnić, Busch, Kühlwetter – Paqarada, Smith

Referee: Nicolas Winter (Hagenbach)

 

Photos: Witters

 

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