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A packed Millerntor was given a real treat in the final game of the year on Saturday afternoon. Goals from Bernd Nehrig, Marvin Knoll and Dimitrios Diamantakos (2) eased the Boys in Brown to a 4-1 win over FC Magdeburg in a veritable festival of football.

Head coach Markus Kauczinski made two changes to the side that overcame Greuther Fürth 2-0 last time out. Captain Bernd Nehrig began for the injured Jeremy Dudziak, while Philipp Ziereis partnered Christopher Avevor in place of Florian Carstens, who dropped to the bench.

The visitors from Saxony-Anhalt were desperate to enter the winter break with a win and it was immediately clear they meant business. Defending high up the pitch and pressing early, they sought to push the Boys in Brown back into their own half. The tactic proved effective in the opening stages and it was Michael Oenning's team who created the first chance of the game after eight minutes. Felix Lohkemper popped up in front of goal and after taking a touch pulled the trigger from a tight angle, forcing Robin Himmelmann to turn the ball round the post for a corner, which came to nothing.

In contrast, a set piece at the other end produced a very different result. Marvin Knoll curled a pinpoint free-kick into the danger area from the right and found the head of Bernd Nehrig, who stooped low to wrongfoot goalkeeper Alexander Brunst with a powerful header – 1-0 to the Boys in Brown after 16 minutes! It was the first moment of danger in front of the Magdeburg goal if we're honest, but no one will be concerned about that afterwards.

The home fans breathed a collective sigh of relief soon after when Tobias Müller met a corner at the back post and headed the ball into the bottom corner. But after consulting assistant Katrin Rafalski, referee Daniel Schlager ruled the goal out for a foul on Luca Zander, who was left nursing a head wound after the aerial duel with the Magdeburg defender.

More treatment was needed for Henk Veerman in the 30th minute after a challenge on Christian Beck. To add to his pain, the striker was shown a yellow card. The play continued without him and while he was receiving medical attention the Boys in Brown conceded the equaliser on 35. Christian Beck flicked a cross on in the box to Michael Niemeyer, who drove home at the far post. Veerman was unable to continue and was immediately replaced by Dimitrios Diamantakos. There was no further scoring before the break and so at the end of an entertaining first half the two sides went in level pegging.

Sami Allagui hugs goalscorer Bernd Nehrig in the 16th minute.

Sami Allagui hugs goalscorer Bernd Nehrig in the 16th minute.

Though Luca Zander had been able to continue after picking up his injury in the 21st minute, he had to admit defeat at half-time and was replaced by Florian Carstens. The substitution meant a change in formation for the Boys in Brown, who switched to a back three at the start of the second half.

It took around ten minutes for the game to get going again. Lohkemper dragged a shot off target after being teed up by Beck on 56 but then, just a few minutes later, Marvin Knoll had more joy at the other end. After a clear foul on Nehrig in the box, the defensive midfielder stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way from the spot. And things were to get even better for the Boys in Brown four minutes later. Nehrig won the ball superbly in midfield and launched a counterattack with an inch-perfect pass into the path of Diamantakos, who outpaced his marker and stuck the ball past Brunst to make it 3-1.

The two-goal cushion allowed the Boys in Brown to ease back a little and let the visitors come at them. Magdeburg enjoyed the lion's share of the possession as a result, but they were unable to capitalise thanks to a focused defensive performance by Kauczinski's side, who for their part were content to sit back and wait for a chance to put the game to bed with a fourth goal.

That goal would eventually come, but not until the third minute of stoppage time. Diamantakos was set up by Sami Allagui and made no mistake from close range. The referee then blew the final whistle to complete a fantastic finish to the year for the Boys in Brown. 

FC St. Pauli

Himmelmann – Zander (Carstens 46'), Avevor, Ziereis, Kalla - Knoll, Nehrig (Zehir 76') - Miyaichi, Allagui, Møller Dæhli – Veerman (Diamantakos 36')

Head coach: Markus Kauczinski


FC Magdeburg

Brunst - Brégerie, Erdmann, Müller – Laprevotte (Rother 70'), Preissinger, Bülter, Niemeyer (Hammann 80'), Türpitz (Costly 70') - Beck, Lohkemper

Head coach: Michael Oenning


Goals: 1-0 Nehrig (16'), 1-1 Niemeyer (35'), 2-1 Knoll (pen. 59'), 3-1 Diamantakos (63') 4-1 Diamantakos (90'+3)  

Yellow card: Veerman, Nehrig – Erdmann, Costly

Referee: Daniel Schlager

Attendance: 29,546 (sold out)


Photos: Witters


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