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SCHULTZ XI END YEAR WITH EIGHT-GOAL THRILLER AT KARLSRUHE

FC St. Pauli drew 4-4 in a thrilling encounter at Karlsruher SC on Saturday afternoon. Schleusener and Wanitzek gave the home side an early 2-0 lead before Eggestein pulled one back, only for Schleuser to restore Karlsuhe’s two-goal advantage. Yet goals from Eggestein and Smith drew the Boys in Brown level before the interval. Kaufman put KSC back in front after the restart, but Daschner restored parity once again and the final game of the year eventually ended all square.

Head coach Timo Schultz made two changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Holstein Kiel on Tuesday. Connor Metcalfe made way for Afeez Aremu, with Jackson Irvine moving up a position in midfield. In attack, Lukas Daschner was preferred to David Otto, who dropped to the bench. The game began with a 15-minute delay due to poor visibility following the use of large amounts of pyrotechnics by the home fans.

The Boys in Brown dominated the possession from the off, ensuring the early action unfolded almost entirely in the KSC half. Accordingly, the first clear-cut opportunity fell to the Schultz XI in the sixth minute when Lukas Daschner headed a Jackson Irvine cross back to Marcel Hartel, whose first-time volley rattled the crossbar.

Despite the forceful start by the visitors, it was the home side who took the lead on 12 minutes. When possession was lost in midfield, Karlsruhe’s Fabian Schleusener found himself clean through on goalkeeper Nikola Vasilj and he held his nerve to rifle a shot into the roof of the net. The opening stages were turned completely on their head four minutes later when KSC doubled their advantage, Marvin Wanitzek collecting the ball in the box on the break and netting to make it 2-0.

The Schultz XI needed a few minutes to regain their composure, but then hauled themselves back into the game in the 24th minute. Lukas Daschner showed great technique to collect a cross and immediately pulled the trigger. Though he didn’t catch it right, the ball found its way to Johannes Eggestein, who was perfectly placed to halve the deficit. With the referee’s assistant flagging for offside, however, it went to VAR. And after what felt like an eternity, referee Florian Lechner reviewed the scene on the touchline and eventually allowed the goal to stand.

Just minutes later, however, KSC restored their two-goal advantage. A throw-in from the right found its way to Wanitzek, who squared it for Schleusener to net first time. Another setback for the Boys in Brown, but there was no let-up in the action, as four minutes later Eggestein struck for a second time to reduce the deficit. Hartel and Saliakas combined to tee up the striker in the penalty box, and he dribbled his way into space before nutmegging the keeper.

And there was still more to come. Showing great morale, the Schultz XI pushed for the equaliser and got their reward two minutes before the break when Marcel Beifus flicked on a corner to the far post and Eric Smith stuck out a foot to level the scores, which was no more than the Boys in Brown deserved.

Florian Lechner rules that Johannes Eggestein’s goal should stand.

Florian Lechner rules that Johannes Eggestein’s goal should stand.

The two sides came back out unchanged for the second half. And the pattern of the scoring remained the same as well, as KSC went back in front in the 49th minute. Mikkel Kaufmann was played in on the right and quickly took aim with a low drive that flew beyond Vasilj into the far corner.

It was not over, though. FCSP refused to lie down and were rewarded again in the 61st minute. Daschner played a wonderful one-two with Eggestein to create space in the box and wasted no time drilling the ball past the keeper to restore parity.

The pattern remained the same in the ensuing period, with the Schultz XI enjoying more possession and controlling the proceedings. The next chance fell to Leart Paqarada with a 69th minute free-kick. Unfortunately, his attempt flew just the wrong side of the right-hand upright.

Both teams felt the effects of the high tempo and the heavy pitch in the final quarter of the game, resulting in a lull in the action. Not until the final ten minutes did the home side up the pace again, threatening Vasilj’s goal on several occasions. The biggest chance to win it in stoppage time came at the other end, however, through substitute Luca Zander. His rocket was tipped over the bar by Gersbeck, ensuring it ended honours even. What a game!

Karlsruher SC

Gersbeck – Thiede, Franke, Kobald, Heise (Jung 77’), - Breithaupt (Ballas 46’), Gondorf, Wanitzek, Choi (Nebel 78’), Kaufmann (Batmaz 66’), Schleusener

Head coach: Christian Eichner

 

FC St. Pauli

Vasilj – Saliakas (Saliakas 85’), Dźwigała, Smith, Beifus, Paqarada – Aremu (Metcalfe 81’), Hartel, Irvine – Daschner (Amenyido 81’), Eggestein (Otto 71’)

 

Head coach: Timo Schultz

 

Goals: 1-0 Schleusener (12’), 2-0 Wanitzek (16’), 2-1 Eggestein (24’), 3-1 Schleusener (31’), 3-2 Eggestein (35’), 3-3 Smith (43’), 4-3 Kaufmann (49’), 4-4 Daschner (61’)

Yellow cards: Franke – Dźwigała

Attendance: 21,000

Photos: Witters

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