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GOAL FEST AT THE MILLERNTOR AS ST. PAULI BEAT STOKE

St. Pauli played host to Stoke City in a friendly on Tuesday evening. Goals from Sami Allagui and Maurice Litka opened up a 2-0 lead before Joselu pulled one back for the visitors in front of 14,500 fans. Kyoungrok Choi made it 3-1 after the break, only for Joselu to reduce the deficit again. Seven minutes from time Cenk Sahin secured his side a 4-2 win from the penalty spot.

Olaf Janssen made several changes to the side that won at Bochum in the season opener. Yiyoung Park, Clemens Schoppenhauer, Johannes Flum, Cenk Sahin and Maurice Litka all made the starting lineup, as did Jeremy Dudziak, back from injury after a three-month layoff. Stoke manager Mark Hughes included former Bundesliga players Bojan Krkic (Mainz 05), Philipp Wollscheid (VfL Wolfsburg) and Mame Diouf (Hannover 96) plus 42-times-capped England international Peter Crouch in his side.

The Boys in Brown made a bright start to the game and with a bit more composure in front of goal could have been three up within the first seven minutes. After some neat link-up play involving Park and Sami Allagui in the third minute the latter teed up Maurice Litka, who rifled a shot just past the right-hand upright from the edge of the area. Two minutes later Sahin tried his luck with a free-kick that Stoke keeper Grant Lee had to tip over the crossbar. Almost immediately, Litka set up Aziz Bouhaddouz, whose first-time volley from just inside the box fizzed past the far post.

It was to prove a case of fourth time lucky. Allagui got away from the Stoke defence when Bouhaddouz threaded a lovely ball through and left Grant no chance with a low shot into the right-hand corner to open the scoring after 11 minutes. Robin Himmelmann then defused a Charlie Adam effort from close to the halfway line and within seconds it was 2-0. Litka ran on to a defence-splitting pass from Bernd Nehrig and beat Grant with a cool finish on 21.

There were to be no more chances until the 34th minute when Krkic pulled the trigger from range, but Himmelmann was able to watch it comfortably past the post. At the other end Grant had to intervene to prevent a Bouhaddouz free-kick sneaking in at the near post. But four minutes before the break Stoke halved the deficit. Joselu's initial effort smashed back off the post and he was the first to react, directing the rebound into the net to send the sides in at the break with the score at 2-1.

Aziz Bouhaddouz (left) congratulates Maurice Litka on his goal to make it 2-0.

Aziz Bouhaddouz (left) congratulates Maurice Litka on his goal to make it 2-0.

While Mark Hughes made just one change at the interval, Olaf Janssen introduced five fresh players. The first chance fell to Kyoungrok Choi, who collected the ball on the edge of the box and struck a shot on the turn that flew a whisker past the left-hand upright. Soon after fellow substitute Jan-Marc Schneider tried his luck from 16 metres, but Grant gathered safely.

With an hour gone the Boys in Brown extended their lead when Choi pounced on an error by Grant and curled the ball past the keeper and into the far corner from the edge of the area. The attacking midfielder almost added another moments later, but Grant turned his low shot round the post for a corner. FCSP kept up the pressure and the Stoke custodian produced another fine save to deny Litka on 62.

Instead of enjoying a comfortable lead the Boys in Brown saw their advantage reduced to one again when Diouf forced his way down the right and cut the ball back for Joselu, who beat Heerwagen with a powerful drive on the half-volley. Janssen responded and made another four substitutions with 20 minutes left. Within minutes both Sahin and Mats Møller Dæhli both missed chances to restore the two-goal advantage.

The pattern remained much the same as the game entered the closing stages. Stoke rarely threatened, while Janssen's charges continued to push forward in search of another goal. Schneider headed over the top from a Daniel Buballa cross on 79. Four minutes later Wollscheid was adjudged to have fouled Choi and Sahin stepped up to convert the penalty to settle it. There was to be no further scoring as the Boys in Brown saw the game out to complete a deserved 4-2 win over the Premier League outfit.

 

FC St. Pauli

Himmelmann (Heerwagen 46') - Park (Kalla 70'), Sobiech (Avevor 46'), Schoppenhauer (Koglin 70'), Dudziak (Buballa 70') - Sahin (Sobota 83.), Nehrig (Neudecker 46'), Flum, Litka (Møller Dæhli 70') - Allagui (Choi 46'), Bouhaddouz (Schneider 46')

Head coach: Olaf Janssen

 

Stoke City

Grant – Muniesa, Wollscheid, Souttar (Edwards 46') – Adam, Imbula – Tymon (Sweeney 57'), Krkic (Sobhi 70'), Diouf (Verlinden 89') – Joselu, Crouch

Manager: Mark Hughes

 

Goals: 1-0 Allagui (11'), 2-0 Litka (21'), 2-1 Joselu (41'), 3-1 Choi (59'), 3-2 Joselu (67'). 4-2 Sahin (pen. 83')

Yellow cards: None

Referee: Tobias Stieler

Attendance: 14,500

 

Photos: Witters

 

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