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FC St. Pauli drew 1-1 with SV Sandhausen on Sunday to miss out on a third home win. The Boys in Brown dominated from start to finish in front of a capacity crowd and deservedly went in a goal to the good at the break thanks to a 38th minute strike by captain Jackson Irvine, only for David Kinsombi to deny them the hoped-for home victory on 71.

Head coach Timo Schultz made one change to the side that drew 2-2 at Greuther Fürth, handing Etienne Amenyido his first start, with David Otto dropping to the bench. The visitors also made one adjustment compared with the goalless draw against Kaiserslautern, coach Alois Schwartz preferring former St. Pauli man Tom Trybull to Matej Pulkrab. The Boys in Brown went into the game determined to end a three-match winless run (two draws, one defeat) by securing their third home victory of the season against a Sandhausen side who were winless in four (one draw, three defeats).

In perfect conditions for football, the Schultz XI dominated the possession from the off and soon created the opening chance, but Sandhausen keeper Patrick Drewes had no trouble dealing with Marcel Hartel's header from a Manolis Saliakas cross. After a neat passing move, Lukas Daschner ushered in the first clear-cut opportunity on 10 when he picked out Johannes Eggestein in the penalty area from the left channel. The striker stretched to meet the ball but was unable to get the better of Drewes. Within 60 seconds, Philipp Ochs was allowed too much space on the left and his cross found Merveille Papela in the middle, whose header from ten metres flew a good four metres wide of the target.

The Boys in Brown went much closer four minutes later following a quick counterthrust. Though Aleksandr Zhirov chased down a square ball from Eggestein, he could only knock it straight to Lukas Daschner, leaving the midfielder with a clear view of goal. Drewes reacted brilliantly, however, to prevent what looked certain to be the opening goal with his left foot. The Schultz XI continued to hog the possession in the ensuing period but struggled to find a way through the packed Sandhausen rearguard. The visitors, for their part, pounced on any loss of possession to break quickly, without ever posing a meaningful threat.

After a lull in the action with no chances at either end, Saliakas played a one-two with Amenyido before crossing from the right to Eggestein, who outjumped his marker, Dario Dumić. The header lacked power, however, and Drewes made a comfortable save. There was no lack of oomph behind Jackson Irvine’s header five minutes later, though. The captain for the day beat Zhirov to Leart Paqarada’s cross and the ball flew into the top right corner to open the scoring - a magnificent goal! Amenyido could have made it two soon after following a Hartel corner, but his attempt from the right channel missed the target by a couple of metres. That was to prove the last action of note and the Boys in Brown took a deserved 1.0 lead into the break.

Leart Paqarada and Jackson Irvine celebrate the opening goal.

Leart Paqarada and Jackson Irvine celebrate the opening goal.

After a 15-minute breather, both sides emerged unchanged for the second half. The Boys in Brown continued to dominate the proceedings and fashioned the next chance from a corner when Hartel despatched the ball into the middle and David Nemeth headed over. The next opportunity fell to Paqarada. He rifled a shot towards goal from the left channel, but Drewes was on hand to make the save. Despite finding themselves behind after the restart the visitors did not change their style of play, continuing to keep a tight ship and attempting to stifle the Schultz XI just before the halfway line, but with just over an hour gone Alois Schwartz finally reacted with a triple substitution.

The pattern remained the same, however, and the Schultz XI went on to carve out more chances. First, Eggestein curled the ball just past the right post from 18 metres. And then, moments later, Eggestein delivered a cross from the byeline to Saliakas, who was completely unmarked. His shot from twelve metres came back of the post and Amenyido's rebound effort was blocked by a defender. With 68 minutes gone, Dumić had the ball in the net for the visitors following a free-kick, but his effort was correctly ruled out for offside, prompting Schultz to make a double change in the shape of Igor Matanović and David Otto for Johannes Eggestein and Etienne Amenyido.

No sooner had the new strike pairing entered the fray than Sandhausen notched the equaliser. The Boys in Brown failed to clear their lines from another free-kick, allowing Zhirov to return the ball into the middle from the right. David Kinsombi was given far too much space at the back post and slid in to net the equaliser from four metres.

Back at the other end, Saliakas tried his luck from the distance but missed the target by two metres. With the game entering the closing stages, Connor Metcalfe, who levelled the scores at 2-2 soon after coming on at Fürth last week, was introduced as an impact substitute, Eric Smith the man to make way.

The home side were left breathing a sigh of relief when substitute Christian Kinsombi rifled a shot towards goal from just outside the box. Nikola Vasilj, who had had nothing to do to that point, couldn’t hang onto it and the ball struck the post. Four minutes from time, the Boys in Brown went for broke with the introduction of Luca Zander and Betim Fazliji for Manolis Saliakas and David Nemeth. And Zander almost made a perfect start, steering the ball just over after Irvine had flicked on a Hartel corner. There was to be no late goal this week, unfortunately, though Zander did come close with a header when another corner was flicked on right at the death, this time by Otto, forcing the Schultz XI to settle for a draw.

FC St. Pauli

Vasilj - Saliakas (Zander 86'), Nemeth (Fazliji 86'), Medić, Paqarada - Hartel, Irvine, Smith (Metcalfe 79'), Daschner - Amenyido (Otto 69'), Eggestein (Matanović 69')

Head coach: Timo Schultz


SV Sandhausen

Drewes - Ajdini, Zhirov, Đumić, Okoroji - Trybull (C. Kinsombi 61'), Ochs (Soukou 61'), Papela, D. Kinsombi (Höhn 90'+3) - Esswein (Pulkrab 61' ), Bachmann

Head coach: Alois Schwartz


Goals: 1-0 Irvine (38'), 1-1 D. Kinsombi (71')

Yellow cards: Papela, Trybull

Referee: Michael Bacher (Munich)

Attendance: 29,546 (sold out)


Photos: FC St. Pauli/Witters