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BOYS IN BROWN HELD AT OSNABRÜCK

In a hard-fought and entertaining clash at newly promoted VfL Osnabrück, FC St. Pauli secured a point in a 1-1 draw. Kevin Wolze gave the home side the lead with a 13th minute free-kick before Ryo Miyaichi levelled the scores nine minutes later. Both teams had chances to win it after that, but neither could force a result.

Head coach Jos Luhukay had little cause to change his derby-winning team. Christian Conteh was ruled out of the trip to Osnabrück by a thigh strain and was replaced in the starting lineup by Matt Penney. Dimitrios Diamantakos, in contrast, shook off the effects of a cold and was given the all-clear. Osnabrück had impressed at home going into the game, with wins over Darmstadt (4-0) and Karlsruhe (3-0) underlining their decent start to the season. Ample warning, then, that the Boys in Brown would do well to strive for a repeat of their performance from Monday night.

The home side made the brighter start on a sultry afternoon in Osnabrück and with five minutes gone a venomous drive from Etienne Amenyido forced Robin Himmelmann to opt for safety first and punch the ball clear. At the other end, Diamantakos tried his luck from a tight angle, but VfL keeper Philipp Kühn was alert to the danger. The Violets proceeded to set up camp in our half and forced the Boys in Brown into several fouls in dangerous areas. And after Alvarez had smashed an initial free-kick into the wall, Kevin Wolze stepped up to bend the second into the top corner from an inside-right position with 13 minutes on the clock.

Luhukay's side continued to struggle to piece together an attacking move and could count themselves lucky not to go further behind in the 19th minute when Bashkim Ajdini's shot smacked back off the upright. After that wake-up call, the Boys in Brown pushed forward with more purpose and were immediately rewarded when Diamantakos skipped past several defenders on the left-hand side to tee up Miyaichi, who battered a shot into the roof of the net from the penalty spot to restore parity.

With the scores level, the two sides matched each other blow for blow in an engaging encounter. Marvin Knoll had an opportunity to give his side the lead on 33 minutes but couldn't get enough power on the shot when promisingly placed. Benjamin Girth was then allowed space to hook a shot towards goal from close range. Fortunately for the Boys in Brown, his effort flew straight into the arms of Himmelmann. The play continued to ebb and flow towards the end of the half and in the 39th minute Penney had the ball in the net, only for the goal to be correctly ruled out because Miyaichi had strayed offside in the build-up. The two sides thus went in level-pegging at the break.

Both teams emerged unchanged for the second half and after a cautious start goalscorer Miyaichi almost returned the favour for provider Diamantakos in the 55th minute, delivering a cross that the Greek striker headed narrowly over the top. The game began to pick up pace again and on 59 Amenyido only just failed to latch onto a ball in from Marcos Alvarez. Three minutes later, Diamantakos made way to allow Borys Tashchy to make his competitive debut for the club, and five minutes after that Luhukay threw on Youba Diarra for Knoll. Amenyido then had another pop, and as in the first half Himmelmann was forced to punch the ball clear. The home side had the better of the exchanges at this stage of the game, with the Boys in Brown content to seek their chance on the break.

Several hefty challenges saw the intensity of the game increase and the Boys in Brown were reduced to ten with six minutes left when Diarra, who had already been booked within ten seconds of coming on, was shown a second yellow followed by a red for a tactical foul on Amenyido. Despite being a man down, Luhukay's charges rallied for one last push and Finn-Ole Becker missed the right-hand upright by a whisker with a drive from 20 metres. That was to prove the final attempt on goal, and it ended all square.

VfL Osnabrück

Kühn - Ajdini, Heyer, van Aken, Wolze - Taffertshofer (Heider 85'), Amenyido, Blacha - Klaas (Ouahim 62'), Girth, Alvarez (Schmidt 75')

Head coach: Daniel Thioune

 

FC St. Pauli

Himmelmann - Ohlsson, Østigård, Lawrence, Buballa - Knoll (Diarra 67'), Becker - Miyaichi, Møller Dæhli, Penney (Coordes 79') - Diamantakos (Tashchy 62')

Head coach: Jos Luhukay

 

Goals: 1-0 Wolze (13'), 1-1 Miyaichi (22')

Yellow cards: Taffertshofer, Amenyido – Miyaichi, Diarra, Østigård

Red card (second yellow): Diarra (84')

Referee: Martin Petersen

Attendance: 16,000 (sold out)

 

Photos: Witters

 

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