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A five-game unbeaten run came to an end against Holstein Kiel in the northern derby on Sunday afternoon. Janni Serra go the all-important goal in the 60th minute.

The week began with Sami Allagui coming on from the bench to seal a late 1-0 victory at MSV Duisburg on Monday evening. Six days later, in front of a sell-out 29,546 crowd at the Millerntor, the striker was rewarded with a place in the starting lineup against Holstein Kiel. Head coach Markus Kauczinski also named Richard Neudecker in the side in place of the injured Christopher Buchtmann (thigh strain). Mats Møller Dæhli moved into the middle and Cenk Sahin came in for Ryo Miyaichi, who dropped to the bench.

The game began brightly with both teams looking to get forward. And Allagui could have celebrated his return to the starting XI with a goal after just minutes when he rose unmarked to meet a Marvin Knoll free-kick. This time, however, the ball flew well wide of the target. The Boys in Brown dominated the possession in the opening stages and found the means to deal with Kiel's early pressing. With 19 minutes gone, Allagui burst down the left and got to the byline before cutting the ball back for Daniel Buballa to force a save from Kiel goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm from a narrow angle.

That appeared to serve as a wake-up call for the visitors, who began to see more of the ball as the Boys in Brown adopted a slightly more passive approach. A series of injury stoppages interrupted the flow of the game in this phase, resulting in a reduction in tempo. The visitors threatened for the first time after 29 minutes when Janni Serra unleashed a shot that was punched clear by Robin Himmelmann. The pace didn't pick up again until just before the interval when the Boys in Brown roused the home crowd with three chances in quick succession. Neudecker forced a save from Kronholm with a header, Knoll had a shot blocked and then, almost immediately, Allagui went close with another header.

Sami Allagui, here under challenge from Kiel's Jannik Dehm, returned to the starting lineup after a two-month absence.

Sami Allagui, here under challenge from Kiel's Jannik Dehm, returned to the starting lineup after a two-month absence.

After the interval the game ebbed and flowed with both sides going close to opening the scoring. Knoll was denied by the advancing Kronholm on 47 and nine minutes later Neudecker curled a shot just wide of the post. In between those efforts Kiel captain David Kinsombi rattled the crossbar from just outside the area before Kingsley Schindler missed a sitter from Serra's whipped-in cross with 57 minutes on the clock. A goal was coming, and it was the Storks who got it on the hour when Dehn's cross took a deflection and flew between two defenders, leaving Serra with the simple task of nodding home at the back stick

The tempo remained high and the visitors continued to press the Boys in Brown in their own half. That opened up more space in the danger area for Markus Kauczinski's side to exploit, however, and only a slight lack of quality in front of goal prevented an early response. St. Pauli probed relentlessly in search of an equaliser and it almost came in the 88th minute when Allagui lofted a through ball from Veerman over the keeper's head, only to see it come down on top of the crossbar. The Boys in Brown have landed several lucky punches late in recent weeks, but this time it just wasn't to be.

FC St. Pauli

Himmelmann – Dudziak, Ziereis, Avevor, Buballa – Knoll, Flum (Zehir 75') – Sahin (Miyaichi 57'), Møller Dæhli, Neudecker (Veerman 66') – Allagui

Head coach: Markus Kauczinski


Holstein Kiel

Kronholm – Dehm, Schmidt, Wahl, Van den Bergh – Meffert – Schindler (Mörschel 69'), Okugawa (Thesker 89'), Kinsombi, Mühling – Serra (Karazor 76')

Head coach: Tim Walter


Goal: 0-1 Serra (60')

Yellow cards: Allagui – Dehn, Schmidt

Referee: Bastian Dankert

Attendance: 29,546 (sold out)


Photos: Witters