FOUR IN A ROW – BOYS IN BROWN EDGE TOWARDS SAFETY
Friday, 28. April 2017, 22:32 Uhr
St. Pauli took another giant step on Friday evening with their fourth victory in succession against FC Heidenheim. In front of another sell-out crowd the Boys in Brown played themselves into a veritable frenzy to win 3-0. After a first half low on highlights Ewald Lienen's gained the advantage with two quick goals. Ex-St Pauli man John Verhoek put through his own net and Mats Møller Dæhli punished a Heidenheim mistake before Aziz Bouhaddouz's killer goal finally raised the Millerntor roof.
Three crucial wins in a row had put St. Pauli in a great position going into the last four games but there was no time to take a breather in the battle against relegation. Motivation enough, then, for Ewald Lienen's charges ahead of the visit of FC Heidenheim to the Millerntor. The St. Pauli boss had to manage without the services of Philipp Ziereis (tight thigh muscle), who was replaced by Marc Hornschuh at right-back. The good news was that Jeremy Dudziak and the Heidenheim-born Bernd Nehrig reported fit again after their injuries in the 3-1 win at Düsseldorf last time out.
With the rain teeming down from the Hamburg skies, both teams came out looking to push forward in search of three points. The visitors shaded the possession in the opening quarter of the hour and the Boys in Brown were content to wait for a sleek-passing Heidenheim side to make a mistake. At this stage of the game the two sides largely cancelled each other out, and goalkeepers Philipp Heerwagen and Kevin Müller were only required to intervene in their teams' build-up play. Not until the 18th minute did the fans witness the first attempt on goal, Christopher Buchtmann drilling a shot into the side netting.
Lienen's side began to push forward more after that but still tended to over-complicate things in the final third. The first shot on target did not arrive until nine minutes before the interval, though Bernd Nehrig's bouncing effort posed no problem for Müller. The best chance of the half fell to Aziz Bouhaddouz soon after when Dudziak delivered the ball in and the striker headed just wide of the goal.
The Boys in Brown came out for the second half showing more bite and momentum than the visitors. In the 52nd minute Waldemar Sobota earned himself a free-kick on the corner of the penalty box. He elected to take it himself, whipping it into the danger area, where former St. Pauli man John Verhoek, of all people, turned the ball into his own net. But that wasn't all. Under pressure from the high pressing game practised by Lienen's side, Müller hit an attempted clearance straight to Mats Møller Dæhli, who rounded the FCH keeper and slotted the ball into the empty net for the second four minutes later. Cue scenes of unbridled jubilation at the Millerntor.
In this phase of the game the Boys in Brown were well in command and not content to leave it at two against a Heidenheim side still reeling from the double blow. The first chance to extend their advantage came after 62 minutes when Bouhaddouz had a volley from seven metres out blocked. The striker didn't have to wait long for the next opportunity, however. Though Heidenheim were able to clear the resulting corner, the ball found its way back to the taker, Christopher Buchtmann, via Sobota. The midfield utility player dispatched a cross into the middle, where Bouhaddouz netted for his 14th goal of the season. Perfect use of the momentum.
Despite being three goals to the good St. Pauli could not afford to be complacent, of course, and they continued to attack with passion. Bouhaddouz could have added a fourth on 77 when clean through on Müller, only to be denied by the keeper's outstretched foot. Two minutes later Marcel Titsch-Rivero was shown a second yellow card for persistent foul play, which made things even easier for the Boys in Brown. Lienen's side saw the game comfortably from there on in to send the fans into raptures on the final whistle.
FC St. Pauli
Heerwagen – Hornschuh, Sobiech, Gonther, Dudziak (Buballa 46') – Nehrig (Flum 79'), Buchtmann – Sahin (Thy 75'), Møller Dæhli, Sobota – Bouhaddouz
Head coach: Ewald Lienen
Müller – Becker, Wahl, Theuerkauf, Feick – Titsch-Rivero, Rasner (Gnaase 74') – Schnatterer, Halloran (Lankford 70') – Verhoek, Kleindienst (Strauss 81')
Head coach: Frank Schmidt
Goals: 1-:0 Verhoek (own goal 52'), 2-0 Møller Dæhli (56'), 3-0 Bouhaddouz (63')
Yellow cards: Nehrig, Sahin, Thy
Red card (second yellow): Titsch-Rivero (persistent foul play 79')
Referee: Robert Schröder
Attendance: 29,546 (sold out)