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When FC St. Pauli go to fourth-tier VfB Lübeck in the first round of the DFB Cup on Sunday (1530 CET), there can only be one objective. As in 2016, when they won 3-0 at the same stage of the competition, the Boys in Brown are looking to progress to the second round.

St. Pauli fans are likely to feel a slight chill down their spine at the mention of the words "DFB Cup". For in the recent past, they have mostly been accompanied by the word "cursed". The last 14 seasons in this competition have proved barren times, exemplified by defeats against lower-league opposition such as Wehen Wiesbaden (2018/19), SC Paderborn (2017/18) and Eintracht Trier (2011/12). It is what it is. No matter how you look at it, the cup hasn't been kind to us recently.

Since the legendary run to the semi-final in the 2005/06 season, the Boys in Brown have reached the second round just five times in 13 attempts. Last year, things weren't looking too bad when the Boys in Brown went into extra-time at Wehen Wiesbaden with the score at 1-1, only for the inevitable to happen. The home side scored twice in the first period, and though Christopher Avevor was able to pull one back, it ended 3-2 to the third-tier outfit. The brown-and-white cup curse had struck again.

With this in mind, Jos Luhukay's side go to VfB Lübeck hell-bent on the turning the tide. The mainsail is set, and the players are up for a fight. Nothing less than a win will do! Lübeck, who qualified for the competition by beating league rivals Weiche Flensburg 1-0 in the final of the Schleswig Holstein Cup in late May, have fallen at the first hurdle on each of their last four appearances, including a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the Boys in Brown in the 2016-17 season.

It will be far from easy, though, as Lübeck are full of confidence at the moment. Rolf Landerl's team sit second in the league table after taking a maximum nine points from their first three matches. On top of that, they are unbeaten in eight months and go into the game on the back of seven straight wins. Their last home defeat came 17 months ago. An impressive record that the Boys in Brown, with the backing of around 2,300 fans, will be going all out to blemish on Sunday.


Photos: Witters


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