FIVE-STAR BOYS IN BROWN SEND KIEL PACKING
Sunday, 17. September 2023, 16:25 Uhr
FC St. Pauli cruised to a 5-1 win over Holstein Kiel on Sunday to record their first home win after four consecutive draws. In front of another sell-out crowd at the Millterntor, the Boys in Brown took an early two-goal lead thanks to wonderful strikes from Connor Metcalfe and Eric Smith before Oladapo Afolayan added a third just before the interval. Susbtitute Lewis Holtby pulled one back for the visitors five minutes into the second half, only for Lars Ritzka and Marcel Hartel to produce two more quality strikes to take it to 5-1.
Head coach Fabian Hürzeler made two enforced changes to the side that drew 1-1 at Eintracht Braunschweig last time out. In addition to the injured Jackson Irvine, Manolis Saliakas was ruled out due to illness. Irvine was replaced by Connor Metcalfe, who slotted into holding midfield alongside captain for the day Marcel Hartel, while Philipp Treu came in for Saliakas. Hürzeler made one further adjustment, preferring Johannes Eggestein in attack to Andreas Albers, who dropped to the bench. Etienne Amenyido returned to the squad after ten months out with injury along with new recruit Simon Zoller. And with David Nemeth also missing out due to illness, Under-23 centre-back Tjark Scheller made his debut appearance in the squad. Kiel also made two enforced changes from the 2-1 defeat of Paderborn, Marco Komenda and Timo Becker coming in for the absent Patrick Erras and Colin Kleine-Bekel.
A victory for the visitors would have seen them jump to the top of the table, whereas the Boys in Brown went into the game looking to end their run of four draws in the league and four at the Millerntor and climb to fifth place with a win. And when the two teams took to the field to the sound of Hells Bells, the home fans set the tone with a sea of brown, white and red flags in all four stands.
After a minute's silence for the victims of the natural disasters in Libya and Morrocco, the Hürzeler XI came flying out of the traps and took the lead with less than 300 seconds on the clock when Connor Metcalfe hammered the ball into the top-left corner from 25 metres after a corner had been half-cleared – what a hit! Anything Connor can do, I can do just as well, must have gone through Eric Smith's mind four minutes later just before he curled the ball into the same top corner of the net from an almost identical position. Kiel keeper Timon Weiner was left clutching thin air as the ball flew in off the underside of the crossbar. The Boys in Brown had needed 78 attempts on goal for their three goals in the opening five matches, whereas today the first two shots both found the net.
Hürzeler's charges continued to dictate the proceedings, with Kiel lacking punch up front whenever they did get forward. The visitors thought they had reduced the deficit on 28, though, when Benedikt Pichler rifled a shot into the far corner, but the strike was ruled out for offside. It remained 2-0, then, but that changed 10 minutes later when a deflected ball in from Elias Saad found its way to Oladapo Afolayan at the back post and he smacked it into the bottom right corner first time to make it three. Kiel very nearly pulled one back almost immediately, but Nikola Vasilj was able to save the shot from Steven Skrzybski. Then, two minutes into time added on, Hartel had a goal ruled out for offside.
While Hürzeler understandably saw no reason to make a change, Kiel coach Marcel Rapp introduced two fresh players in Lewis Holtby and Joshua Mees for Finn Porath and Shuto Machino. Holtby caught the eye first with an early yellow card and then with a goal five minutes in when he latched onto a through ball from Skrzybski and left Vasilj powerless with a low angled drive into the far corner.
The visitors sought to close down the Boys in Brown at the first opportunity but were unable to hem them in. Ritzka saw a shot blocked by Timo Becker on 53, and Saad fired wide after cutting inside from the left two minutes later. The two sets of fans had suspended their support from the 30th minute owing to a medical emergency in the away section, but a foul on Metcalfe by Holtby in the 61st minute prompted a chorus of whistles when referee Bastian Dankert elected not to send the Kiel midfielder off. With the home crowd now in full voice, Rapp withdrew Holtby as a precaution six minutes later to a big round of applause.
Back to the play, the Boys in Brown continued to dominate and killed the game off with another peach of a goal on 70 when the ball found its way to Ritzka in the middle via Eggestein and Metcalfe and he blasted it into the bottom right-hand corner from 25 metres to make it 4-1. Eggestein was then replaced by Andreas Albers, and six minutes later Etienne Amenyido celebrated his return to action in place of Elias Saad.
The two subs then teamed up to add a fifth, only for the goal to be chalked off. Albers had put it away, but Amenyido had strayed into an offside position in the build-up. Kiel pushed forward again in the closing stages and Vasilj had to pull out all the stops to keep out a Joshua Mees header four minutes before the end of regulation time. Two minutes after that, Hartel was denied at the other end by Weiner before substitute Carlo Boukhalfa pinged a shot just over the top from the edge of the box. Then, with the final act of the game in the third minute of time added on, Hartel made it 5-1 with a lovely strike into the top corner from just outside the box.
FC St. Pauli
Vasilj - Wahl, Smith (Boukhalfa 87'), Mets - Treu, Hartel, Metcalfe, Ritzka - Afolayan (Dźwigała 87'), Eggestein (Albers 71'), Saad (Amenyido 77')
Head coach: Fabian Hürzeler
Weiner - Schulz, Komenda, Becker - Porath (Holtby 46'; Remberg 67'), Sander, Ivezić, Rothe, Skrzybski (Simakala 83')- Machino (Mees 46'), Pichler (Fridjónsson 83')
Head coach: Marcel Rapp
Goals: 1-0 Metcalfe (4'), 2-0 Smith (7'), 3-0 Afolayan (38'), 3-1 Holtby (50'), 4-1 Ritzka (70'), 5-1 Hartel (90'+3)
Yellow cards: Smith, Saad, Hürzeler, Burchert/Porath, Holtby, Rothe
Referee: Bastian Dankert (Rostock)
Attendance: 29,546 (sold out)