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FC St. Pauli beat FC Schalke 04 by three goals to one in the game of the weekend in front of a sell-out crowd at the Millerntor on Saturday evening. Marcel Hartel gave his side the lead from the spot on 21 minutes, only for Sebastian Polter to equalise soon after. Hartel struck again to restore the advantage 12 minutes into the second half before substitute Carlo Boukhalfa sealed the win in time added on.

Six days after the convincing 5-1 defeat of Holstein Kiel the Boys in Brown were at home again, this time against FC Schalke 04. Head coach Fabian Hürzeler made one change to his starting lineup. Manolis Saliakas, who missed the Kiel game due to illness, returned at right-back in place of Philipp Treu. Other changes on the bench saw David Nemeth back in the squad, though Simon Zoller and Luca Günther both missed out. Schalke boss Thomas Reis made three adjustments to the team that beat Magdeburg 4-3 last week, Michael Langer stepping in between the posts for the injured Marius Müller, while Ron Schallenberg, back from suspension, and Yusuf Kabadayi got the nod over Assan Ouédraogo and Tobias Mohr.

The atmosphere at the Millerntor was electric well before kick-off and it remained that way for the full 90 minutes. Fabian Hürzeler’s charges were the busier side from the off, with the visitors content to keep things tight at the back and allow the Boys in Brown lots of possession. Connor Metcalfe scored a beauty after just four minutes against Kiel and it was he who launched the first attempt on goal with six minutes gone, this time firing well wide, however, with his weaker right foot. They can’t all fly in the top corner!

Just after the quarter-hour the Boys in Brown came close to scoring three times in the space of a few seconds. It began when Manolis Saliakas unlocked the Schalke defence with an exquisite pass to Marcel Hartel, who pulled the ball back for Elias Saad to shoot, only for Cedric Brunner to clear his effort off the line. The ball arrived at the feet of Lars Ritzka, who wasted no time getting a shot off that was also blocked on the line, this time by Timo Baumgartl. Next up was Metcalfe, whose humdinger from just outside the box fizzed a whisker over the top. The noise levels went up another notch two minutes later when Johannes Eggestein was denied by Schalke keeper Michael Langer from a Hartel corner and then saw his follow-up effort deflected onto the post. But then Frank Willenborg was called over to the review area by the VAR because Lino Tempelmann had thrown himself in the way of Metcalfe’s rebound effort and deflected the ball off target with both hands. Willenborg returned to the pitch and pointed to the spot, prompting Hartel to grab the ball and slot it into the bottom-right corner to open the scoring on 21 minutes.

The Royal Blues almost hit back straight from the restart, but Yusuf Kabadayi’s effort from a tight angle flew just over the top. Two minutes later, Eric Smith ballooned a 25 metre free-kick over the crossbar. In a high-intensity game the Boys in Brown continued to dictate the proceedings, but then, in the 29th minute, they left the visitors too much space. Thomas Ouwejan was allowed to cross unchallenged into the middle from the left-hand corner of the box, where Sebastian Polter beat Karol Mets to the ball and steered it deftly into the bottom corner past Vasilj’s despairing dive.

Driven forward by the home support, the Boys in Brown continued to press but apart from an Oladapo Afolayan effort from 20 metres that flew wide they were unable to restore their advantage before the break.

Captain Marcel Hartel opened the scoring from the penalty spot, but the lead was to last just eight minutes.

Captain Marcel Hartel opened the scoring from the penalty spot, but the lead was to last just eight minutes.

The two sides emerged unchanged after the interval and Schalke fashioned the first decent chance just 32 seconds in when Polter fired into the side netting from a Paul Seguin pass. Soon after, a St. Pauli press resulted in the ball finding its way to Saad on the left. He switched on the turbo, shrugged off the challenge of a defender and pulled the trigger from 25 metres, only to see it clip the outside of the post. It was end-to-end stuff now and after Polter had headed an Ouwejan corner over it was the turn of the Boys in Brown to threaten. Afolayan knocked the ball to Eggestein, who laid it off to Hartel, and his left-foot drive from the edge of the area found the net off the inside of the post to make it 2-1.

Eggestein then made way for Andreas Albers, who almost witnessed a Schalke equaliser moments after coming on. After Derry Murkin had rounded Vasilj but failed to get a shot off, Kabadayi scooped the ball high and wide from seven metres when completely unmarked to a huge sigh of relief from the home contingent. Another sharp intake of breath followed moments later when Polter popped up in front of Vasilj, who stood tall and blocked the shot with his chest. Hartel then had a chance to double the advantage after some good work by Metcalfe and Saliakas. His first shot was blocked, his second was saved by Langer low to his left.

That came just after Schalke coach Thomas Reis had introduced Assan Ouédraogo and Soichiro Kozuki for Paul Seguin and Yusuf Kabadayi. The visitors stepped up their pressing game and with it the pressure, forcing the Boys in Brown onto the back foot. On a rare venture forward, Saad unleashed a shot from distance that Langer defused at the second attempt. Hürzeler then made a double switch of his own, throwing on Etienne Amenyido and Carlo Boukhalfa for Saad and Afolayan. They were tasked with helping to see the game out safely and that is what they did. Indeed, it was Boukhalfa who put the seal on it, cutting inside from the left and beating Langer with a shot that took a deflection of Kalas to make it two home wins in six days for the Boys in Brown.

FC St. Pauli

Vasilj - Wahl, Smith, Mets - Saliakas, Hartel, Metcalfe (Nemeth 88’), Ritzka - Afolayan (Boukhalfa 82’), Eggestein (Albers 60’), Saad (Amenyido 82’)

Head coach: Fabian Hürzeler


FC Schalke 04

Langer - Brunner, Baumgartl (Kalas 85’), Kamiński, Ouwejan - Tempelmann, Schallenberg (Topp 82’), Seguin (Ouédraogo 66’) - Kabadayi (Kozuki 66’), Polter, Murkin

Head coach: Thomas Reis


Goals: 1-0 Hartel (pen. 21’), 1-1 Polter (29’), 2-1 Hartel (57’), 3-1 Boukhalfa (90’+2)

Yellow cards: Metcalfe – Kamiński, Brunner, Schallenberg, Polter

Referee: Frank Willenborg (Osnabrück)

Attendance: 29,546 (sold out)


Photos: FC St. Pauli/Witters