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Late Silkeborg goals down Schultz XI despite long periods of dominance

FC St. Pauli lost their third warm-up game of pre-season against Danish top-division club Silkeborg IF by two goals to nil on Friday afternoon. In front of 700 fans in the Danish town of Tønder, the Boys in Brown dominated the proceedings for long periods, but were unable to turn the advantage into goals. Silkeborg did better in the closing stages, Joel Felix and Anders Klynge scoring within seven minutes of each other to give the Danish outfit a 2-0 win.

Head coach Timo Schultz opted for his customary 4-4-2 formation for the warm-up game against Danish top-flight side Silkeborg IF. Nikola Vasilj kept goal for the first time since returning from an extended break, while Johannes Eggestein partnered Igor Matanović in attack. Striker David Otto, who had been unveiled a day earlier, made the trip across the border and was named in the squad, but started on the bench.

Wearing their new away kit, the Schultz XI applied pressure from the start and created the first decent opportunity in the fifth minute. Eric Smith won the ball in midfield and launched a counterattack, at the end of which Marcel Hartel curled the ball wide from just outside the box. The Danish side also had their first chance on the break. In the end, Mads Kaalund's shot lacked the necessary power, leaving Vasilj no problem making the save. Then, on 16 minutes, Lukas Daschner played a one-two with Matanović before pulling the trigger from the edge of the penalty area, only for Silkeborg keeper Nicolai Larsen to claw the ball out of the bottom-right corner (16).

The Boys in Brown continued to look the brighter of the two sides and dictated the play, but were were unable to create any more chances for the time being. In the 35th minute, however, Manolis Saliakas was sent on his way down the right. His cross was blocked, but the ball fell to Hartel, whose finish failed to produce the desired result. Shortly after that, the ball was nestling in the back of the Silkeborg net. Matanović, after some excellent spadework by Franz Roggow, bore down on Larsen, took the ball round him and slotted it into the empty net. The goal was disallowed, however, because the assistant referee had spotted Matanović in an offside position and raised his flag. It thus remained scoreless at the break in front of just under 700 fans.

Schultz made five changes for the second half, but the pattern of the game remained the same. St. Pauli had more of the possession and also the first big chance. Hartel found Carlo Boukhalfa with a pass into the Silkeborg penalty area and the substitute knocked the ball past keeper Larsen, but unfortunately wide of the goal, too. Schultz then made three more changes, with the result that there were now five Under-23 players on the pitch in Sven Mende, Gwangin Lee, Luca Günther, Maximilian Schütt and Serhat Imsak. With about an hour gone, the Danish side tried their luck from distance, but Vasilj was alert to the danger and pulled off a smart stop. At the other end, a long-range effort by Leart Paqarada, another half-time substitute, narrowly missed the target.

As the game progressed, the Danish outfit gradually took control of the game and began to threaten the FCSP goal. Eventually, Joel Felix met a low cross into the penalty area from the left to give his side the lead on 74. Substitute Stefan Thordarson missed a chance to make it 2-0 shortly afterwards when he was denied by a good reaction save from Vasilj. There was nothing the keeper could do five minutes later, however, Anders Klynge finding the net from close range to double the advantage. That was to prove the last of the action at Tønder, meaning it ended in a 2-0 defeat for a St. Pauli side who had dominated much of the game.

"Overall, it was a decent run-out against Silkeborg and a really good performance from us for 60 minutes. We gave very little away and scored a nice goal that unfortunately was offside. On top of that, we had another three or four really good chances. If you compare it with the Kiel game, it was a good step forward. In the end, we made a lot of substitutions and had a few players on the pitch who haven't even trained with us. Against a team who may be playing in Europe next season, you're potentially going to struggle towards the end. But the lads did well, they held their own and looked for footballing solutions. In general, it was a step forward, but at the end of the day, we again failed to score. We had enough chances and have to become more effective in front of goal. We'll work on that at training camp, we need to get some freshness in our legs and heads," said head coach Timo Schultz after the game.

"Looking at the game at Kiel, it was a step in the right direction, especially considering the first 15 to 20 minutes. But we have to improve a few things. I can only speak for the first half, and there we did a good job at the back. Silkeborg had problems creating chances. In the second half we had a lot of changes, which led to a loss of rhythm," said Eric Smith after the final whistle.

Silkeborg IF (starting lineup)

Larsen - Felix, Sonne, Vallys, Tengstedt, Helenius, Brink, Kaalund, Salquist, Klynge, Engel

Head coach: Kent Nielsen


FC St. Pauli

Vasilj - Saliakas (Schütt 57'), Beifus, Medić (Zander 46'), Ritzka (Paqarada 46') - Smith (Mende 46'), Hartel (Günther 59'), Roggow, Daschner (Lee 57') - Matanović (Imsak 46'), Eggestein (Boukhalfa 46')

Head coach: Timo Schultz


Goals: 1-0 Felix (74'), 2-0 Klynge (82')

Attendance: approx. 700


Photos: Witters