EXCITING FINALE BUT IT ENDS SCORELESS AGAINST HEIDENHEIM
Wednesday, 27. May 2020, 21:30 Uhr
FC St. Pauli drew 0-0 against Heidenheim on Wednesday evening to extend their unbeaten run at home to seven matches. The Boys in Brown would have liked to have taken all three points, of course, but it could have gone the other way had Robert Leipertz not missed a 27th minute penalty for the visitors.
Heidenheim travelled to Hamburg with the added motivation of knowing a win would see them climb into second place in the table. Jos Luhukay's charges, on the other hand, were out to topple another high-flying side after taking 11 of a possible 18 points against the top three this season. The St. Pauli boss made four changes to his starting lineup, replacing Leo Østigård (suspended), Rico Benatelli, Viktor Gyökeres and Boris Tashchy with Luca Zander, Johannes Flum, Henk Veerman and Luis Coordes, who was making his first start.
The game was just seconds old when the visitors fashioned their first opportunity. When Marnon Busch went for goal from distance, striker Tim Kleindienst stepped in and diverted the shot just over the crossbar with a header. Heidenheim's bold attacking pressing posed several challenges for the Boys in Brown early on. Nevertheless, an attractive second-division encounter ensued with chances at both ends. Ryo Miyaichi, operating as a second striker alongside Veerman, showed repeated glimpses of his quality whenever he drifted into the space out wide. His spadework set up Waldemar Sobota, who missed the target by a whisker from range, and then his Dutch strike partner appeared to slip when shaping to shoot from the penalty spot.
That was followed by the most disputed moment of the half on 27 minutes when referee Lasse Koslowski awarded a penalty to the consternation of Johannes Flum. The experienced midfielder was adjudged to have brought down Niklas Dorsch but the contact was minimal and he appeared to have played the ball first. Any further discussion soon became superfluous, however, as Robert Leipertz rolled the spot-kick the wrong side of the right-hand post. Two minutes later Tobias Mohr bowled his way dangerously into the box, only to bend his shot well off target. It remained goalless at the half, a fair reflection of the proceedings to that point.
It was cat and mouse after the interval, with both sides working hard to close down the space and stifling any opposition attempts to mount an attack. Kleindienst did test Robin Himmelmann in the 57th minute, with Veerman firing well over from the edge of the box at the other end on 71. The best chance of the half fell to Heidenheim substitute David Otto a couple of minutes later when he headed a Theuerkauf cross just wide of the far post. With that, the game entered the closing stages.
There was to be no lack of excitement in the final minutes, as both teams carved out opportunities to win it. First, Himmelmann pulled off a sensational reflex save to deny Jonas Föhrenbach from point-blank range two minutes from time. And at the other end, Miyaichi showed good vision to pick out James Lawrence, who struck the outside of the post with a header. It thus ended in a goalless draw and a hard-earned point for both sides. The Boys in Brown now have two days of training to prepare for Saturday's crunch away clash at Karlsruher SC (13:00 CET).
FC St. Pauli
Himmelmann – Ohlsson, Lawrence, Buballa – Flum – Zander (Diamantakos 82'), Sobota, Knoll, Coordes (Gyökeres 62') – Miyaichi, Veerman (Tashchy 73')
Head coach: Jos Luhukay
Müller – Busch, Mainka, Beermann, Theuerkauf – Griesbeck – Mohr (Föhrenbach 81'), Dorsch – Multhaup (Schnatterer 59'), Leipertz (Otto 67') – Kleindienst (Schimmer 81')
Head coach: Frank Schmidt
Incident of note: Leipertz misses penalty (27')
Yellow cards: Miyaichi, Coordes, Flum - Griesbeck, Schnatterer, Kleindienst
Referee: Lasse Koslowski