Unbeaten run continues after 2-2 draw at Sandhausen
Sunday, 08. March 2020, 17:27 Uhr
The Boys in Brown have extended their unbeaten run to four games thanks to a 2-2 draw at SV Sandhausen. Viktor Gyökeres gave St. Pauli the lead on 28 minutes, but Kevin Behrens equalised from the penalty spot just before half-time. Robin Scheu put the hosts ahead just after the hour mark before Dimitrios Diamantakos levelled the scores on 78.
Head coach Jos Luhukay made two changes to the side that beat VfL Osnabrück 3-1 at home last week. Henk Veerman, ruled out by a shoulder injury, was replaced by Victor Gyökeres and Luca Zander came in for the suspended Sebastian Ohlsson. Sandhausen coach Uwe Koschinat made one change to the side that drew 4-4 at VfL Bochum, with the suspended Gerrit Nauber replaced by Tim Kister in central defence.
The hosts made the better start and set a fantastic pace. After just 48 seconds, Aziz Bouhaddouz had a great chance to open the scoring with a shot from 13 metres out. The former St. Pauli player missed the target by a good metre. Another 48 seconds and the ball was back in the FCSP box and again the chance fell to Bouhaddouz, but this time Robin Himmelmann made the save. Sandhausen then created another double chance. First, Himmelmann saved a shot from Behrens from the edge of the box and Bouhaddouz hit another effort well wide of the target.
"We have to try and keep them quiet," said Luhukay, sounding a warning about Bouhaddouz and Behrens in the run-up. Something his team could not manage to do in the opening stages. Nevertheless, the Sandhausen front two were unable to find the target. After 16 minutes, the Boys in Brown could have turned the game on its head, against the run of play, with a great move involving Gyökeres, Rico Benatelli, Ryo Miyaichi and Marvin Knoll. Knoll set up Benatelli in the penalty area with a backheel, but the midfielder failed to connect properly, and his shot went wide of the left upright. Soon after, Gyökeres tried his luck from 20 metres, but Sandhausen keeper Martin Fraisl held onto the shot.
The hosts continued to pose a threat and had another chance on 23 minutes when Behrens set up Julius Biada, but the Boys in Brown were able to block his effort. At the other end, Gyökeres proved unstoppable. A counter-attack was launched after a free-kick for the hosts, Miyaichi knocking a perfect 50-metre pass to the feet of Gyökeres, who controlled it brilliantly, outwitted Leart Paqrada and fired the ball into the bottom left corner from 14 metres out to make it 1-0. Sandhausen recovered from the shock and were soon threatening again. Biada had a shot from a tight angle but the ball flashed just past the far post. After a brief lull in the play Matt Penney fouled Dennis Diekmeier on the left of the penalty area and Sandhausen were awarded a spot-kick. Behrens stepped up and hit the ball straight down the middle, with Himmelmann diving to his left, and the hosts were level at 1-1.
Jos Luhukay made one change at half-time, with Penney being replaced by James Lawrence, who celebrated his comeback after exactly three months on the sidelines. Lawrence moved into the centre of defence, with skipper Daniel Buballa operating on the left of the back four. Initially, a number of fouls interrupted the flow of the game. Bouhaddouz had the first chance for Sandhausen from a Paqarada corner but his header from eight metres flew well over the bar.
Luhukay was then forced into a second substitution. Knoll was unable to carry on following a collision with Lawrence and was replaced by Finn Ole Becker. After another corner followed for the hosts, and the ball was suddenly nestling in the back of the net. Leo Østigård headed the ball out to the edge of the box, where Robin Scheu was waiting. He failed to connect properly, but that made the shot even more dangerous, as the ball took one bounce over Himmelmann and looped into the back of the net to make it 2-1.
After Biada had hit a free kick into the wall from 18 metres, Luhukay reacted to going behind, sending on striker Boris Tashchy for Waldemar Sobota. Tashchy was tasked with helping to ward off the first defeat in four weeks but the Boys in Brown struggled to put the Sandhausen defence under pressure. The hosts then used the space that had opened up to launch a counter-attack through Diekmeier. His shot from the right was saved by a Himmelmann with his foot.
The Boys in Brown fashioned another chance when a pinpoint cross from Zander saw Tashchy try a spectacular overhead effort, but the ball flew wide of the target. Soon after, Dimitrios Diamantakos made no mistake, beating Alexandra Zhirov on the edge of the box and cutting inside before smacking a shot into the roof of the net.
Two minutes from time, Miyaichi had a great chance to win it. A long ball from Benatelli put him clean through on Fraisl but instead of shooting he opted to square the ball to Diamantakos, only for a defender to nip and defuse the danger. Linsmayer hit the bar with a header for the hosts in added time, and so the match ended all-square at 2-2. Although the Boys in Brown missed the chance of claiming their first away win outside Hamburg in over a year, they did extend their unbeaten run to four games.
Fraisl - Diekmeier, Kister, Zhirov, Paqarada - Scheu (Linsmayer 75’), Paurevic, Taffertshofer - Biada (Türpitz 86’) - Bouhaddouz, Behrens
Head coach: Uwe Koschinat
FC St. Pauli
Himmelmann - Zander, Østigård, Buballa, Penney (Lawrence 46’) - Benatelli - Miyaichi, Sobota (Tashchy 68’), Knoll (Becker 57’), Gyökeres – Diamantakos
Head coach: Jos Luhukay
Goals: 0-1 Gyökeres (28’), 1-1 Behrens (45’ pen.), 2-1 Scheu (63’), 2-2 Diamantakos (78’)
Yellow cards: Paqarada, Behrens – Penney, Østigård
Referee: René Rohde (Rostock)