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FC St. Pauli defeated FC Magdeburg 3-0 in front of a sell-out crowd at the Millerntor on Sunday. Johannes Eggestein gave his side an early two-goal lead but other promising opportunities went begging in the run-up to half-time. The visitors almost made a game of it with two attempts against the woodwork immediately after the restart before Marcel Hartel finally put the game to bed in the 77th minute.

Seven days after the 2-1 defeat at newly promoted Kaiserslautern, head coach Timo Schultz made three changes for the visit of another promoted team in FC Magdeburg. David Nemeth began in central defence instead of Betim Fazliji, Eric Smith replaced Afeez Aremu in defensive midfield, and Igor Matanović came in for Carlo Boukhalfa up front. Matanović formed the strike pairing with Johannes Eggestein, with Lukas Daschner dropping back into the No10 position. Christian Titz had to manage without playmaker Baris Atik and Jamie Lawrence (one-match ban).

With the temperature approaching 30 degrees, the two teams kicked off in a cracking atmosphere at a packed Millerntor. And the Schultz XI created the first chance after just 17 seconds when Igor Matanović won the ball outside the opposition penalty area. Johannes Eggestein pulled the trigger from 20 metres, only for Dominik Reimann to make the save. Eggestein was not to be denied, however. Lukas Daschner launched the next attack and after some link-up play involving Leart Paqarada and Marcel Hartel the ball came to Eggestein in the left channel. He took one touch before angling a drive across Reimann and into the net to open the scoring. Matanović was next up on six minutes, but his shot from just outside the box was too centrally placed and Reimann had no problems gathering. Then, some 60 seconds later, Eric Smith fired over from 22 metres.

Magdeburg were allowed short breather but were soon picking the ball out of the net a second time when Manolis Saliakas delivered a perfect ball in from the right and Eggestein outjumped his marker Malcolm Cacutalua 14 metres from goal to direct a header into the bottom-right corner. Reimann got a hand to it but couldn't keep it out - 2-0!

The visitors then had a golden opportunity to pull one back with 17 minutes gone, but Jackson Irvine intervened at the last second to deny Connor Krempicki a controlled finish from close range, allowing Dennis Smarsch to gather the ball. The visitors probed again four minutes later when Jason Ceka was given too much space just ouside the penalty area and pulled the trigger from the right channel - his low shot flew past the right-hand upright.

After a short drinks break, Paqarada had the confidence to meet an undercooked headed clearance first time. The ball flew two metres wide of the right-hand post. Shortly afterwards, Paqarada crossed the ball into the middle and found Eggestein, who was denied a hat-trick when his header came back off the crossbar. Shortly afterwards it was Irvine who teed up Eggestein with a superbly timed cross. This time the striker didn't catch it right some ten metres out, thus missing out on a third goal again. The Boys in Brown maintained the pressure and Hartel picked out the recently prolific Jakov Medić from a corner, but his header from ten metres lacked the necessary precision. That was the last of the action and the Boys in Brown went in two goals to the good at the break.

Johannes Eggestein beats FCM keeper Dominik Reimann to give his side an early lead.

Johannes Eggestein beats FCM keeper Dominik Reimann to give his side an early lead.

Schultz made no changes at the interval – little wonder after the impressive first-half performance – while Christian Titz, his opposite number, made three. The visitors got off to the better start and came within a whisker of scoring 55 seconds in when a shot by FCM captain Amara Condé came back off the crossbar and Ceka hooked the rebound well over the top from close range. Three minutes later, substitute Moritz-Broni Kwarteng hit a powerful shot against the right-hand upright post from 18 metres - another stroke of luck. With Magdeburg now exerting far more pressure, the Boys in Brown initially struggled to get going again in the second period.

With 55 minutes gone, Schultz made his first substitution, introducing David Otto for Igor Matanović. Just 60 seconds later, the young striker came within an ace of making it 3-0 with a powerfully struck effort that flew inches over. The Boys in Brown were enjoying an increasing presence in the opposition box by now but were unable to create any further chances. At the other end, Kwarteng tried his luck from distance again, but Smarsch was on hand to complete the save. Titz then went for broke by switching from a back four to a back three, but Paqarada (from range), Irvine (from a Hartel corner) and Paqarada again (from distance) all had chances to extend the home advantage before the next drinks break.

With the game entering the closing stages, Schultz made another change, Betim Fazliji replacing David Nemeth, who had performed well on his debut. In the ensuing period, the visitors kept trying to find a way through the compact home rearguard, but the St. Pauli defence stood firm and gave nothing away. It was a different story at the other end on 77 when Daschner delivered an inch-perfect pass into the path of Hartel, who gave Reimann no chance in a one-on-one to make it 3-0.

Schultz then sent on Luca Zander, Afeez Aremu and Connor Metcalfe for Manolis Saliakas, Eric Smith and Johannes Eggestein for the last ten minutes. Ceka had one final opportunity on 86, but missed the target by some distance from 14 metres. At the other end, Metcalfe was denied from ten metres by Reimann, and it ended in a deserved 3-0 win for the Boys in Brown.

FC St. Pauli

Smarsch - Saliakas (Zander 81'), Nemeth (Fazliji 70'), Medić, Paqarada - Smith (Aremu 81'), Irvine, Hartel, Daschner - Eggestein (Metcalfe 81'), Matanović (Otto 55')

Head coach: Timo Schultz


FC Magdeburg

Reimann - El Hankouri (Beyaz 64'), Cacutalua (Kwarteng 46'), Bitroff (Sechelmann 79'), Bell Bell - Müller, Condé, Krempicki - Ceka, Brünker (Gnaka 46'), Scienza (Ito 46')

Head Coach: Christian Titz


Goals: 1-0 Eggestein (3'), 2-0 Eggestein (14'), 3-0 Hartel (77')

Yellow cards: Paqarada, Irvine, Matanović

Referee: Florian Badstübner (Nürnberg)

Attendance: 29,164 (sold out with a slightly lower capacity)


Photos: FC St. Pauli/Witters