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A premier performance saw FC St. Pauli extend their unbeaten run to five matches with a 2-0 win over SV Sandhausen at the Millerntor on Sunday afternoon. Finn Ole Becker and Viktor Gyökeres hit the target before the interval to lift the Boys in Brown to sixth in the table.

Head coach Jos Luhukay made several changes to the side that drew at VfL Osnabrück last time out. Daniel Buballa moved across the backline to deputise for the injured James Lawrence (muscle problem) in central defence, with Matt Penney slotting in at left-back. Waldemar Sobota and Viktor Gyökeres were also handed starts. Sobota took up Penney's position on the left wing, while Gyökeres replaced Dimitrios Diamantakos (muscle strain) in attack. Tactically, Luhukay switched from a 4-2-3-1 formation to a 4-1-4-1.

On a rainy afternoon in Hamburg, the game began with a bang when Finn Ole Becker took advantage of some space in midfield to drive forward and rifle a left-foot drive into the bottom right corner from 20 metres to give his side an eighth-minute lead. What a start!

The game continued at a fast tempo and in the 14th minute the Boys in Brown almost doubled their advantage when Gyökeres met a ball from Mats Møller Dæhli first time to force a decent save from Sandhausen keeper Martin Fraisl. Moments later the alarm bells were ringing at the other end, but Becker got his head in the way at the expense of a corner, which came to nothing. The visitors were presented with another opportunity on 23 minutes. This time, a well-struck free-kick from Leart Paqarada skimmed the side netting.

There then followed a brief lull in the proceedings before the intensity increased in the quarter of an hour before the interval. Marvin Knoll fired off a warning shot on the half-hour, but unfortunately no one could get a decisive touch on it. The pressure on the Sandhausen goal mounted and Gyökeres directed a header towards goal that lacked the necessary power. The Swede went closer two minutes before the break, his header from a Møller Dæhli cross smacking against the frame of the goal. Waldemar Sobota then tried his luck from just inside the area, but his shot only found the arms of Fraisl.

A goal was in the air and in the first minute of stoppage time it came. Møller #Dæhli and Miyaichi combined brilliantly down the right and the latter cut the ball back for Gyökeres to prod a shot over the line, ensuring the Boys in Brown went in at the break two goals to the good.

Finn Ole Becker is mobbed by his teammates after his opening goal.

Finn Ole Becker is mobbed by his teammates after his opening goal.

Both teams emerged unchanged for the second half. Møller Dæhli created the first moment of danger in the 49th minute, but Knoll was unable to steer the ball past Fraisl. The visitors showed their first sign of life at the other end 60 seconds later, Marlon Frey's angled drive fizzing past the far post.

Jos Luhukay's side began to dominate and Sobota saw two efforts blocked in quick succession on 57 before Knoll drove a free-kick just wide of the right-hand upright. Gyökeres then had a great opportunity to add a third goal when sent clear by Sobota, cruising past Aleksandr Zhirov in fine style, only to denied by a fine save from Fraisl in a one-on-one.

The visitors fashioned their best chance of the game in the 76th minute, and it took the combined efforts of Himmelmann and Leo Østigård to prevent Kevin Behrens from reducing the deficit following a ball in from Sandhausen captain Dennis Diekmeier. The latter was in the action again four minutes later, picking out Aziz Bouhaddouz in the box. Fortunately, the former St. Pauli man directed his header over the crossbar.

Both sides threw everything at it in the closing stages and Himmelmann had to pull out all the stops to keep out a powerfully struck close-range effort from Bouhaddouz. At the other end, Knoll guided a shot just past the far post on 87. Himmelmann then produced another fine stop to deny Biada. And because Miyaichi was unable to put the ball past Fraisl right at the death, it ended in a deserved 2-0 victory for the home side.

FC St. Pauli

Himmelmann - Ohlsson, Østigård, Buballa, Penney – Becker (Kalla 89') - Miyaichi, Møller Dæhli (Buchtmann 84'), Knoll, Sobota – Gyökeres (Tashchy 84')

Head coach: Jos Luhukay


SV Sandhausen

Fraisl – Diekmeier, Nauber, Zhirov, Paqarada – Frey, Zenga – Scheu (Bouhaddouz 60'), Türpitz (Halimi 72'), Engels (Biada 59') – Behrens

Head coach: Uwe Koschinat


Goals: 1-0 Becker (8'), 2-0 Gyökeres (45'+1)

Yellow cards: Østigård, Møller Dæhli – Paqarada

Referee: Matthias Jöllenbeck

Attendance: 29,546 (sold out)

Photos: Witters


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