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FCSP ON WRONG END OF EIGHT-GOAL FRENZY ON FINAL DAY

FC St. Pauli slipped to a 5-3 defeat at relegated Wehen Wiesbaden on the final day of the 2019-20 season. Two quick goals from Stefan Aigner and Philipp Tietz were cancelled out by Leo Østigård and Henk Veerman before Aigner restored the home side's lead six minutes before the break. Tietz then struck twice to complete a hat-trick, with Veerman notching his second of the afternoon to complete the scoring.

Head coach Jos Luhukay, who was without the injured Daniel Buballa and Dimitrios Diamantakos and the suspended Waldemar Sobota, made three changes to the side that drew 1-1 against Regensburg last time out. Korbinian Müller came in for Robin Himmelmann between the posts, though the back four remained intact. Maximilian Franzke deputised for Sobota in midfield, thus making his first start for the club, while Luis Coordes stood in for Diamantakos. Viktor Gyökeres moved up to partner Henk Veerman, who led the team out for the first time as captain, in a two-man attack. With an average age of just over 23, it was the youngest side fielded by Luhukay this term.

Given the three-point and ten-goal gap to Karlsruher SC, the home side went into the game with only a theoretical chance of making 16th place and the relegation play-off spot. The Boys in Brown, for their part, were looking to end the campaign on a positive note and secure the maximum share of the available TV payout. Depending on results elsewhere, a victory could have seen Jos Luhukay's team climb as high as 11th place in the table.

Wiesbaden made the better start and fashioned the first chance with just 80 seconds on the clock, Philipp Tietz directing a glancing header just over from a Moritz Kuhn corner. The home side maintained the pressure and soon struck twice within a minute. First, Stefan Aigner capitalised on a defensive mistake to score at the near post and then the same player turned provider for Tietz, who netted with a pinpoint low drive from the edge of the box. The Boys in Brown defended too passively on both occasions, leaving Müller powerless. Lorch then fired just over from nigh on 25 metres before Leo Østigård dived in to get a decisive deflection on another Tietz effort two minutes later.

Luhukay's side had to wait until midway through the first half for their first opportunity, Sascha Mockenhaupt defusing an attempt from Gyökeres. The shot went out for a corner, and when the delivery came in Wehen keeper Lukas Watkowiak punched the ball out of the danger area, but only as far as Luca Zander, whose delivery found Østigård at the back post. The centre-back rose to head it back across goal and into the net to halve the deficit with 25 minutes gone.

The Boys in Brown were now far more solid at the back and within seven minutes they were level following a neat passing move. Finn Ole Becker launched an attack with a pass to Gyökeres, who found his compatriot Sebastian Ohlsson. The Swede slipped the ball to Maximilian Franzke, and his square pass was diverted into the far corner by Veerman from nine metres to make it 2-2. Luhukay's charges continued to push forward and Gyökeres was denied by Watkowiak from the edge of the box. At the other end, however, the Boys in Brown failed to clear their lines and the ball found its way to Aigner, who netted at the near post to restore the home side's lead.

Leo Østigård's goal to make it 2-1 was his first for the club.

Leo Østigård's goal to make it 2-1 was his first for the club.

Both sides remained unchanged for the final 45 minutes of the season. The Boys in Brown started the better, but Franzke could only find the side netting from a narrow angle four minutes in before Coordes was thwarted on the edge of the area on a promising counterattack. In an entertaining second half both sides looked to get forward and exploit the gaps in the opposition rearguard. Luhukay made his first substitution in the 56th minute, introducing Kevin Lankford for Coordes, and 60 seconds later Jeremias Lorch struck a long-range effort well off target for the home side.

It was end-to-end stuff now. First, Müller denied Dominik Franke with an excellent reflex save from point-blank range, and then Gyökeres hit the post at the other end. Almost immediately, Ohlsson tripped Aigner in the box and referee Christian Dingert pointed to the spot. Tietz stepped up and converted to make it 4-2. Five minutes later the home side extended their lead when Tietz completed his hat-trick, prodding a low cross from Lorch over the line at the back post.

Müller was blameless for all five goals and soon after he prevented Rüdiger Rehm's side from adding a sixth, pulling off another fine reflex save to deny Daniel Kofi Kyereh. The goal fest continued at the other end, however, Veerman shrugging off a challenge from Sebastian Mrowca to fire into the roof of the net at the near post to make it 5-3.

Luhukay threw on fresh legs in James Lawrence, Matt Penney, and Johannes Flum for Ohlsson, Becker and Franzke for the closing stages. Veerman was denied by Watkowiak before Lankford went close at the back post from a corner. At the other end, Müller kept out an effort from substitute Knöll, and Kyereh struck a free-kick over the top from 25 metres. With two minutes left, Veerman was unable to get off a shot under pressure from two defenders and that was that.

SV Wehen Wiesbaden

Watkowiak - Lorch, Mockenhaupt, Chato, Franke (Niemeyer 82') - Mrowca, Guthörl (Knöll 72'), Kuhn (Ajani 72'), Kyereh (Dittgen 87'), Aigner (Schönfeld 82') - P. Tietz

Head coach: Rüdiger Rehm

 

FC St. Pauli

Müller - Zander, Østigård, Senger, Ohlsson (Penney 73') - Franzke (Lawrence 73'), Becker (Flum 73'), Viet (Benatelli 61'), Coordes (Lankford 56') - Veerman, Gyökeres

Head coach: Jos Luhukay

 

Goals: 1-0 Aigner (11'), 2-0 Tietz (12'), 2-1 Østigård (25'), 2-2 Veerman (32'), 3-2 Aigner (39'), 4-2 Tietz (pen. 61'), 5-2 Tietz (66'), 5-3 Veerman (73')

Yellow cards: Becker

Referee: Christian Dingert

 

Photos: Witters

 

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