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A solid team performance earned FC St. Pauli a 2-1 victory at FC Nürnberg on Sunday afternoon. Guido Burgstaller and Omar Marmoush gave the Schultz XI a two-goal lead but a Dennis Borkowski strike 13 minutes from time brought the home side back into it. The Boys in Brown hung on, however, to secure their third win in succession.

Head coach Timo Schultz fielded an unchanged side for the trip to FC Nürnberg on the back of the wins over Heidenheim and Sandhausen. And with the home side fresh from their first victory of the year at Darmstadt last time out, the game had all the makings of an entertaining affair.

It was indeed a lively contest in the opening stages. With the tackles flying in, however, a series of fouls disrupted the flow, and it took until the ninth minute for either side to register an attempt on goal. After a free-kick from Johannes Geis, the ball eventually found its way to Nikola Dovedan, who wasted no time in getting a shot off from a tight angle. Dejan Stojanović was wise to the danger, however, and produced a smart stop at the near post.

Schultz's charges had to wait until the 23rd minute for their first sight of goal, creating not one but two opportunities within seconds. First, Rodrigo Zalazar narrowly failed to connect with a Guido Burgstaller cross immediately in front of goal. Daniel-Kofi Kyereh kept the ball in play and teed up the onrushing Leart Paqarada with a lovely weighted pass inside. The left-back had the time and space to pick his spot but dragged his effort wide of the far post.

Slowly but surely, the Boys in Brown took command of the proceedings and pinned the home side back in their own half. And in the 29th minute they almost took the lead when Nürnberg centre-back Lukas Mühl could only half clear from a set piece and Burgstaller pulled the trigger first time. He hit his shot into the ground, however, and the bouncing ball came back off the crossbar.

The former Nürnberg striker went close again a few minutes later after some fine interplay with Zalazar, Kyereh and Omar Marmoush. Burgstaller flicked the ball on from just a few metres out, only for FCN goalkeeper Christian Mathenia to prevent what would have been a deserved lead by that point.

A goal was in the air and it finally arrived on the stroke of half-time. Marmoush knocked the ball into the penalty area, where Burgstaller pinged it into the top corner in fine fashion with the outside of his foot. A beautiful goal.

Omar Marmoush added a crucial second goal from the penalty spot.

Omar Marmoush added a crucial second goal from the penalty spot.

The second half began with a shock for the Boys in Brown when holding midfielder Eric Smith required lengthy treatment after a collision with Manuel Schäffler and was unable to continue. The Swede was replaced by Afeez Aremu in a like-for-like change.

Six minutes later the Boys in Brown thought they had doubled their advantage when Kyereh fed Burgstaller in the box and he cleverly squared the ball for Zalazar to slot home. The striker was narrowly offside when Kyereh played the pass, however, and the goal was ruled out for offside.

Schultz's side were not to be denied, though, and extended their lead from the spot when Kyereh was brought down by Mühl in the box following a quickly taken throw-in by Sebastian Ohlsson. Up stepped Marmoush to smash the penalty into the net to make it 2-0.

With the home side forced to push forward in a bid to salvage something from the game, chances opened up on the break. But the Boys in Brown were not clinical enough and, as happens so often in football, they were made to pay for their profligacy when Borkowski pulled one back for Nürnberg 13 minutes from time with a header to set up a nervy finale.

Former St. Pauli man Mats Møller Dæhli had the first decent opportunity towards the end when he dribbled his way into the box, only to place his shot too centrally, allowing Stojanović to turn the ball round the post for a corner. Schultz responded to the increasing pressure from the home side with a triple switch, throwing on fresh legs in the shape of Igor Matanovic, Tore Reginiussen and Luca Zander for Burgstaller, Becker and Kyereh.

As the game drew to a close, both Matanovic and fellow substitute Dittgen had glorious opportunities to settle it, but neither was able to capitalise and the contest remained on a knife-edge to the end. It eventually proved enough, however, and the Schultz XI return to Hamburg with another three points in the bag.

FC Nürnberg

Mathenia - Mühl, Knothe (Latteier 21'), Sørensen (Margreitter 46'), Handwerker - Geis, Krauß (Schäffler 46'), Dovedan, Nürnberger, Møller Dæhli - Schleusener (Borkowski 66')

Head coach: Robert Klauß


FC St. Pauli

Stojanović - Ohlsson, Ziereis, Lawrence, Paqarada - Smith (Aremu 50'), Becker (Reginiussen 65'), Zalazar, Kyereh (Zander 85') - Marmoush (Dittgen 65') Burgstaller (Matanovic 85')

Head coach: Timo Schultz


Goals: 0-1 Burgstaller (45'+1), 0-2 Marmoush (pen. 65'), 1-2 Borkowski (77')

Yellow cards: Krauß – Ziereis, Lawrence

Referee: Alexander Sather


Photos: Witters