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FC St. Pauli kicked off the second half of the season with a 1-0 win at FC Nürnberg on Sunday. In front of 30,871 spectators, Jakov Medić headed home following a corner to give his side a 33rd minute lead. The Boys in Brown defended with passion after the interval to hang on for a 1-0 win, thus ending a run of six winless games and claiming their first three-point haul on the road since February last year.

The Boys in Brown kicked off the second half of the season at FC Nürnberg after an eleven-week break in Bundesliga 2. On his competitive debut in the dugout, head coach Fabian Hürzeler made just one adjustment to the side that started the warm-up games against Borussia Mönchengladbach (1-0) and FC Midtjylland (0-0), bringing in Jakov Medić in place of Eric Smith, who missed out due to illness. The starting line-up also included one new signing in Karol Mets, with another two on the bench in Maurides Roque Junior and Oladapo Afolayan.

After an unsatisfactory first half of the season, both teams were looking to start the second half with three points. The Boys in Brown went into the game in confident mood after some good performances and results in the warm-up games. In an even opening phase, in which both teams sought to control the proceedings, FCN fashioned the first chance with nine minutes gone. The ball was cut back to Florian Flick on a foray down the right, but he fired off target from outside the box. Soon after, Nikola Vasilj had no trouble collecting a 20-metre shot from Christoph Daferner. At the other end, Lukas Daschner pulled the trigger from just outside the box after a low ball in from Leart Paqarada and it was headed for the bottom-right corner until Christopher Schindler got in the way. Both teams pushed forward repeatedly, but neither was able to create a chance worthy of the name against two solid rearguards.

Then, Fabian Nürnberger whipped a fierce ball into the middle from the left. Daferner got his head to the cross-cum shot and the ball flashed past the far post. Soon after, former St. Pauli favourite Mats Møller Dæhli was given too much time and space 20 metres out, but Vasilj had no trouble gathering his shot. Three minutes later, the Boys in Brown showed how it was done at the other end. A short corner was taken to Paqarada and his cross into the middle from the right found Jakov Medić, who beat Nürnberger to the ball to head past FCN keeper Peter Vindahl Jensen from five metres out to open the scoring!

The home side almost hit back a few minutes later, however. A free-kick into the box was flicked on by Daferner into the path of Jan Gyamerah, who had the goal at his mercy from close range, but Vasilj reacted superbly to prevent the equaliser. Three minutes before the break, Jackson Irvine floated a cross to Paqarada on the left, who wasted no time in unleashing a first-time volley just over the bar. And on the stroke of half-time Lino Tempelmann had another great chance for the hosts, but his shot from just inside the box fizzed a whisker past the left-hand upright, ensuring the Boys in Brown went in a goal to the good.

Jakov Medić (No18) escapes his marker, Fabian Nürnberger (No15), to head the opener in the 33rd minute.

Jakov Medić (No18) escapes his marker, Fabian Nürnberger (No15), to head the opener in the 33rd minute.

Fabian Hürzeler was forced to make a change for the second 45. The ailing Adam Dźwigała stayed in the dressing room and was replaced by Marcel Beifus. In contrast, the home side emerged unchanged. The Boys in Brown created the first opportunity on 47 when Marcel Hartel teed up Daschner and he was denied by Vindahl Jensen from a very tight angle. Moments later, it was almost two following a wayward pass by Johannes Geis. Hartel set up Daschner again, but unfortunately his cross to Connor Metcalfe, who was completely unmarked in the middle, did not find its intended target. With an hour gone, Metcalfe became the next player to pick up a knock and he was replaced by new recruit Oladapo Afolayan.

Nürnberg stepped up the pressure but were unable to find a way through the compact St. Pauli rearguard. At the other end, the Boys in Brown showed more penetration. Hartel lofted the ball into the penalty area to Paqarada, who wasted no time unloading and his shot fizzed just past the right-hand upright. FCN coach Markus Weinzierl responded by introducing two fresh forwards in Benjamin Goller and Erik Shuranov on 64. Yet the next opportunity also fell to the Hürzeler XI when Afolayan set up Daschner, but he fired over from twelve metres. Hürzeler then threw on another new acquisition in Maurides for the closing stages, David Otto the man to make way.

Nürnberg stepped up a gear in search of the equaliser. Kwadwo Duah unleashed a shot from the right corner of the penalty area but it missed the far post by a good metre. With 16 goals in the season, the home side are the weakest attacking team in the league and they lacked the ideas to break down the well-marshalled FCSP defence. As in the warm-up matches against Mönchengladbach and Midtjylland, the Hürzeler XI defended with passion, as when substitute Jermain Nischalke had an opportunity in the 89th minute. Tempelmann had another chance in the eighth minute of time added on, but his effort was too high. That left the Boys in Brown celebrating not only a successful start to the second half of the season, but also the end of a six-match barren streak and their first win on the road since late February 2022.

FC Nürnberg

Vindahl Jensen - Gyamerah, Schindler (Hübner 90'), Geis, Nürnberger - Flick - Castrop (Shuranov 64'), Møller Dæhli (Nischalke 81'), Tempelmann - Daferner (Goller 64'), Duah (Lohkemper 81')

Head coach: Markus Weinzierl


FC St. Pauli

Vasilj - Dźwigała (Beifus 46'), Medić, Mets - Saliakas, Hartel, Irvine, Paqarada - Metcalfe (Afolayan 59'), Otto (Maurides Roque Junior 72'), Daschner (Aremu 90')

Head coach: Fabian Hürzeler


Goals: 0-1 Medić (33')

Yellow cards: Nischalke, head coach Weinzierl - Saliakas, Vasilj

Referee: Alexander Sather (Grimma)

Attendance: 30,871


Photos: FC St. Pauli/Witters