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FC St. Pauli went down by the only goal against VfL Osnabrück on Friday evening. The Boys in Brown dominated for long periods and had plenty of opportunities to score, but the visitors needed just one chance for David Blacha to grab the winner five minutes from time.

Encouraged by a decent first-half showing at Paderborn last time out, head coach Timo Schultz made just two changes to his side. Captain Christopher Avevor missed out with a foot injury and was replaced in central defence by Philipp Ziereis, who also took the armband, and Rico Benatelli slotted into the starting eleven in place of Maximilian Dittgen. Osnabrück coach Marco Grote reacted to his team's first defeat of the season on Monday by making three changes, Lukas Gugganig, Kevin Wolze and Luc Ihorst coming in for Ken Reichel, Ludovit Reis and Maurice Multhaup.

In a bright start to the game, the home side registered the first opportunity of note on eight minutes, but Finn Ole Becker's effort from the edge of the box lacked the necessary precision. The young midfielder was involved again just two minutes later when he tried his luck a second time from a similar position. This time the ball flew just past the right-hand upright. With the visitors making no headway in attack, the Boys in Brown continued to fashion promising openings, the best of which ended with a Benatelli shot being blocked in the penalty area.

It remained a high-intensity affair but there was little action to speak of in either box, as Osnabrück increased their grip on the proceedings and the Boys in Brown gave little away at the back. A Simon Makienok header in the 39th minute was simultaneously the next and final opportunity of the half. Leaning back slightly, the striker could not get enough power on the ball, however, and the two sides went in goalless at the break.

Both teams emerged unchanged for the second period, in which the Boys in Brown hit the ground running. Kevin Lankford tried his luck from an acute angle following a corner, only to see his shot land on top of the net, before Makienok was presented with a golden opportunity to give his side the lead. Kofi Kyereh pressed the ball to win possession and slipped the ball inside to Makienok in the box, but the Danish striker was unable to get the better of Osnabrück keeper Philipp Kühn.

Five minutes later, Rodrigo Zalazar directed a 30-metre free-kick just over the crossbar, prompting Grote to introduce fresh legs in the shape of Ludovit Reis and David Blacha. Lukas Daschner replaced Becker for the Boys in Brown and made his presence felt almost immediately with a dangerous header. Timo Schultz's side began to turn the screw and when Zalazar smacked a free-kick towards goal from the left edge of the penalty area, Kühn did well to punch the ball clear.

Schultz then made three further changes with the addition of Marvin Knoll, Max Dittgen and Borys Tashchy. The Boys in Brown took some time to find their rhythm again but fortunately Osnabrück were unable to take advantage. A Gugganig effort that flew wide left of the goal on 75 was the only opportunity for the visitors in this phase. The home side regained control, and Dittgen did well to beat two defenders on the left and tee up Lankford in the penalty area, but he dragged his shot wide from a promising position.

The goal, when it came, was scored at the other end. Robin Himmelmann produced a decent save to deny Etienne Amenyido with his foot but was powerless to prevent David Blacha from netting on the rebound. Makienok almost salvaged a point with a header from a right-wing corner in time added on, but it just wasn't to be on the night.

FC St. Pauli

Himmelmann - Ohlsson, Ziereis (Knoll 72'), Lawrence, Buballa (Dittgen 72') - Zalazar, Benatelli (87' Matanovic) - Lankford, Becker (Daschner 62'), Kyereh (Tashchy 72') - Makienok

Head coach: Timo Schultz


VfL Osnabrück

Kühn - Gugganig, Trapp, Beermann - Wolze, Taffertshofer (Reis 60'), Henning (Blacha 60'), Ajdini (Engel 82') - Kerk (Schmidt 68') - Ihorst, Amenyido

Head coach: Marco Grote


Goals: 0-1 Blacha (85')

Yellow cards: Henning, Beermann, Henning, Amenyido

Referee: Dr Matthias Jöllenbeck (Freiburg)


Photos: Witters