SOBOTA STRIKE SEALS SECOND AWAY WIN OF THE SEASON
Monday, 11. September 2017, 23:45 Uhr
A 63rd minute Waldemar Sobota goal gave St. Pauli their second away win of the season at FC Nürnberg. With a fine battling performance and a little luck, the Boys in Brown protected their lead all the way to the final whistle after 95 hard-fought minutes.
Going into the game at the Max Morlock Stadium head coach Olaf Janßen had hinted that his lineup may include a few surprises. The first change involved a switch to a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Sami Allagui the lone striker following the loss of Aziz Bouhaddouz to an ankle injury. Behind him Mats Møller Dæhli returned to the side in the playmaker role. Maurice Litka made his first league start on the flank, meaning that Cenk Sahin began on the bench. For the injured Christopher Buchtmann, the second casualty with a sprained ankle, Johannes Flum slotted in alongside Bernd Nehrig in defensive midfield. The back four remained unchanged after Marc Hornschuh passed a fitness test on a back problem sustained during the week.
With Nürnberg also hit by the loss of several players to injury, the question before kick-off was who would cope better with all the enforced changes. The home side made the brighter start with their aggressive pressing game, but it was the Boys in Brown who registered the first chances of note when Litka hit the side netting from a narrow angle after nine minutes and Waldemar Sobota tested Thorsten Kirschbaum with a curling effort on 12. Other than that, however, it was very much an even contest in which both sides lacked punch up front.
Nürnberg threated for the first time in the 29th minute following a long ball forward to Tobias Werner, but Robin Himmelmann raced out of his goal to defuse the danger. The home side stepped up the pressure and Himmelmann had to be alert again four minutes later to deny Enrico Valentini with an excellent reflex save with his legs. Seconds later the St. Pauli keeper was called into action once more to deal with an awkward ball in from Tim Leibold. The Boys in Brown eventually regained their defensive shape, however, and successfully kept a more resolute Nürnberg side at bay until the half-time whistle.
Both sides emerged for the second half unchanged and the Boys in Brown immediately came under fire. Following a free-kick from the right in the 49th minute Georg Margreitter rifled a shot against the crossbar, a feat duly repeated by Werner on the rebound. Janßen's side fashioned their first attempt of the half ten minutes later, Litka cutting in from the right-hand side to unleash a shot from distance that came down on top of the net, but when the opening goal arrived in the 63rd minute it was something out of the blue. A long punt upfield by Himmelmann was unwittingly flicked on by a Nürnberg defender, and Waldemar Sobota nipped in to prod the ball past the onrushing Kirschbaum to open the scoring.
The hosts took a few minutes to recover from the shock of going behind but were soon back on the attack. Ondrej Petrak fired just wide on 68 and two minutes later Himmelmann risked life and limb when diving at the feet of Lucas Hufnagel to clear. It was all hands to the pump in the closing stages, and Janßen introduced fresh legs in the shape of Jan-Marc Schneider, Richard Neudecker and Jan-Philipp Kalla.
Although the home side threw everything at them, the Boys in Brown stood firm and were able to run the clock down on the break. The referee justifiably added five minutes of time added on to account for all the injury stoppages but Janßen's side held out to record their second win on the road this season.
Kirschbaum – Margreitter, Löwen, Ewerton – Petrak, Behrens - Leibold, Valentini – Werner (Ishak 84'), Möhwald (Hufnagel 30'), Salli (Teuchert 73')
Head coach: Michael Köllner
FC St. Pauli
Himmelmann - Dudziak, Avevor, Hornschuh, Buballa - Nehrig, Flum (Neudecker 79') – Sobota, Møller Dæhli (Schneider 74'), Litka (Kalla 83') - Allagui
Head coach: Olaf Janßen
Goals: 0-1 Sobota (63')
Yellow cards: Valentini, Ewerton - Nehrig
Referee: Daniel Schlager