CAPITAL PUNISHMENT – FCSP GO DOWN 4-1 AT UNION BERLIN
Sunday, 26. August 2018, 17:00 Uhr
Köpenick remains an unhappy hunting ground for St. Pauli. In the battle between the two remaining unbeaten teams, the Boys in Brown slipped to their first defeat of the season at Union Berlin. In an uneventful opening 45 the home side struck twice in clinical fashion on the stroke of half-time before Sebastian Andersson added a third just shy of the hour. Henk Veerman pulled one back on 71 but it proved too little too late, as Andersson completed a brace near the end to leave the final score 4-1.
Injuries to Sami Allagui and Christopher Avevor forced Markus Kauczinski to rethink his starting lineup for the trip to Berlin. The head coach eventually made three changes to the side that began the cup-tie at Wehen Wiesbaden. Dimitrios Diamantakos began up top, while Christopher Buchtmann, playing with a brace after hand surgery, returned to the side at the expense of Waldemar Sobota. He took up a central position in attacking midfield, with Mats Møller Dæhli reverting to the flank. Bernd Nehrig slotted into the holding position in front of the back four, where Marvin Knoll deputised for Avevor. In Florian Hübner and Ken Reichel, Union's starting lineup included two changes compared with the cup game at Carl Zeiss Jena.
The Boys in Brown began with focus, pressing the Berliners early and playing some attractive football going forward. The only thing lacking was the final ball, so while the eleven men in brown edged the opening quarter of an hour, they fashioned no chances of note. The first opportunity of the game fell to the home side in the 20th minute when Sebastian Andersson benefited from a mistake in the St. Pauli build-up and went for goal. In stealing possession, however, Union's Simon Hedlund ran in from the touchline after receiving treatment, which resulted in a bout of pushing and shoving once the ball had gone out of play.
Kauczinski's side looked unsettled after that interruption and Union came more into it. A harmless header by Grischa Prömel on the half-hour and a blocked effort from Akaki Gogia six minutes later was initially all they could muster, however. In an increasingly scrappy encounter, it looked as if the two sides would go in goalless at half-time, but in the 44th minute the St. Pauli defence were unable to clear their lines from a throw-in, allowing Prömel to take advantage and give his side the lead from a narrow angle. It was to get even worse. Another long throw-in again sowed confusion in the danger area, and Akaki Gogia fired home to make it 2-0.
Despite the double blow on the stroke of half-time, Markus Kauczinski fielded an unchanged side for the second period. Once again, his charges looked to get forward at every opportunity. Six minutes in, Diamantakos forced his way nicely down the left and only narrowly failed to find Richard Neudecker and Nehrig in the middle. The St. Pauli boss then made his first change in Veerman for Nehrig. But instead of the hoped-for attacking onslaught, another setback followed, Andersson collecting a through pass to take the ball round Philipp Ziereis and leave Himmelmann no chance with a pinpoint finish.
The situation called for morale and the Boys in Brown enjoyed the luck of the brave in the 71st minute when Veerman's shot from 20 metres took a deflection off Marvin Friedrich and found its way into the net – the Dutchman's first goal for the club and the opening salvo in a late rally.
Kauczinski's men set up camp in the Union half and probed tirelessly in search of a gap in their defence. On 78 Buchtmann finally found one, but his shot from the inside-left channel was defused by Rafal Gikiewicz. Ten minutes later the same two players went up against each other again and Gikiewicz came out on top a second time, producing a fine reflex save to turn the midfielder's half-volley over the crossbar. It could have been 3-2, but at the other end Andersson put the game to bed with his second of the afternoon to make it 4-1 and extend St. Pauli's winless run in Köpenick.
1. FC Union Berlin
Gikiewicz – Trimmel, Friedrich, Hübner, Reichel – Schmiedebach – Prömel, Kroos (Zulj 77') – Gogia (Redondo 71'), Andersson, Hedlund (Ryerson 89')
Head coach: Urs Fischer
FC St. Pauli
Himmelmann – Dudziak, Knoll, Ziereis, Buballa (Carstens 87') – Nehrig (Veerman 53') – Neudecker, Flum, Buchtmann, Møller-Dæhli – Diamantakos (Sahin 61')
Head coach: Markus Kauczinski
Goals: 1-0 Prömel (44'), 2-0 Gogia (45'+1), 3-0 Andersson (57'), 3-1 Veerman (71'), 4-1 Andersson (88')
Yellow cards: Redondo – Flum, Buchtmann, Sahin
Referee: Sven Jablonski
Attendance: 22,012 (sold out)