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FC St. Pauli won their first home game of the 2020/21 season 4-2 against FC Heidenheim. Daniel-Kofi Kyereh fired the Boys in Brown ahead in front of 2,226 fans before an own goal by FCH striker Patrick Schmidt made it 2-0 at the break. Jannes Wieckhoff added a third immediately after the restart and Maximilian Dittgen extended his side's advantage before Christian Kühlwetter and Tobias Mohr halved the deficit for the visitors in the closing stages.

Head coach Timo Schultz made just one change to the team that drew 2-2 at VfL Bochum for the first league home game in over three months, Philipp Ziereis slotting into the back four for the ailing Daniel Buballa. Schultz, who made 74 competitive appearances at the Millerntor as a player and today made his competitive bow as a coach, opted for the same formation as on Monday night (4-2-3-1). FCH coach Frank Schmidt made two changes to his side after the 2-0 home win over Eintracht Braunschweig, Marc Schnatterer and Denis Thomalla coming in for Robert Leipertz and Stefan Schimmer.

In front of 2,226 raucous fans, the Boys in Brown made a gutsy start to their opening home game. Despite being pressed early by the visitors, they repeatedly sought to play their way out from the back rather than opting for the long ball. FCH had the first half-chance in the third minute when Andreas Geipl hoofed the ball into the South Stand from 20 metres following a corner. Schnatterer then capitalised on a mistake by Leart Paqarada in his own half to bear down on Himmelmann. The Heidenheim captain placed his effort from the edge of the box too centrally, however, allowing Himmelmann to make the save. Within 60 seconds, Patrick Schmidt angled a drive just past the left-hand upright from the inside-right channel.

The visitors were enjoying more of the possession and Himmelmann had to defuse another good chance on 15 minutes after Christopher Avevor had given the ball away. Heidenheim maintained the pressure and soon fashioned another opportunity when Florian Pick burst into the penalty area from the left and squared the ball to Schmidt, but Paqarada got in a block with a last-ditch challenge. The visitors were doing all the pressing but it was the Boys in Brown who took the lead with their first shot on goal on 26 minutes. Daniel-Kofi Kyereh pulled the trigger from outside the box and made a perfect contact, ensuring Heidenheim keeper Kevin Müller, who had had virtually nothing to do to that point, could only look on as the ball flashed past him into the bottom left corner.

The visitors remained unruffled and continued to push forward. Geipl rifled another shot over the top on the half-hour, again from a corner, and then Himmelmann gathered a shot from Pick. There was no such profligacy from the Boys in Brown, however, who today were simply better when it came to taking their chances and soon found themselves two to the good. Marvin Knoll whipped a free-kick from the right into the middle, where Philipp Ziereis and Patrick Schmidt both went for the ball, the latter deflecting it into his own goal with his left leg.

Heidenheim shrugged off setback number two and kept pushing. Konstantin Kerschbaumer aimed just too high from a central position on 37 and then Ziereis slid in to deny Denis Thomalla to ensure it remained 2-0 at the break.

Daniel-Kofi Kyereh wheels away after opening the scoring.

Daniel-Kofi Kyereh wheels away after opening the scoring.

Schultz made no changes at half-time, but his opposite number Schmidt introduced three new players in Christian Kühlwetter, Stefan Schimmer and Tobias Mohr. The Heidenheim trio had been on the pitch for just 18 seconds when the Boys in Brown made it 3-0. A 25-metre shot from Kyereh was deflected by Patrick Mainka into the path of Jannes Wieckhoff on the right-hand side of the penalty area and the youngster took one touch before rifling an unstoppable shot past Müller into the far corner. Another clinical finish in front of the Heidenheim goal this Sunday afternoon!

Schmidt responded by making his last two changes just ten minutes into the second half. The visitors dominated the possession, with the Boys in Brown content to sit back in their own half and keep things tight. Nevertheless, Heidenheim continued to find a gap every so often. With 57 minutes gone, Marnon Busch delivered a low ball into the middle from the right, but Avevor was able to get in the way of Kerschbaumer's shot. Substitute David Otto directed a diving header past the left-hand upright three minutes later before Tobias Mohr was denied by a fine reaction save from Himmelmann from a tight angle. Marvin Rittmüller then became the next blue-shirted player to fail to find a way past the St. Pauli stopper.

Timo Schultz made his first substitutions after 69 minutes, throwing on Afeez Aremu and Lukas Daschner for Rodrigo Zalazar and Rico Benatelli. And they had only just entered the fray when the Boys in Brown made it four. Chasing a long ball from Marvin Knoll, Maximilan Dittgen escaped the attentions of Busch but was unable to direct his initial effort past Müller. Fortunately, the ball rebounded back off Dittgen after striking the keeper and crossed the line despite a valiant attempt by Busch to keep it out.

Heidenheim refused to give up and Christian Kühlwetter made it 4-1 from the inside-left channel 12 minutes from time. Just two minutes later, Mohr dispatched a shot past Himmelmann into the far corner from an almost identical position and suddenly it was only 4-2. That was the end of the scoring, however, as the Boys in Brown saw out the game without any more scares.

FC St. Pauli

Himmelmann - Ohlsson, Avevor, Ziereis, Paqarada - Benatelli (Aremu 69'), Knoll (Becker 84') - Wieckhoff (Flach 84'), Zalazar (Daschner 69'), Dittgen - Kyereh (Makienok 87')

Head coach: Timo Schultz


FC Heidenheim

Müller - Busch, Mainka, Steurer (Rittmüller 57'), Föhrenbach - Schnatterer (Mohr 46'), Geipl, Kerschbaumer, Pick (Otto 57') - Thomalla (Kühlwetter 46'), Schmidt (Schimmer 46')

Head coach: Frank Schmidt


Goals: 1-0 Kyereh (26'), 2-0 Schmidt (own goal 34'), 3-0 Wieckhoff (46'), 4-0 Dittgen (70'), 4-1 Kühlwetter (78'), 4-2 Mohr (80')

Yellow cards: Aremu - Otto

Referee: Sven Jablonski (Bremen)

Attendance: 2,226


Photos: Witters