Thanks to a great first half, FC St. Pauli won 3:1 against Karlsruher SC and got important points in the fight for promotion. The second half could not keep up with this exhilarating first 45 minutes, so there was some trembling for the three points towards the end. In the end, however, the victory was deserved and FC St. Pauli ended the English week with two wins and a narrow elimination in the cup.
(Cover picture: Peter Böhmer)
This is the match report that we published a few minutes after the end of the match. The detailed analysis will follow on Sunday.
Before the match
Overwhelming is probably the right word for the many donations in kind collected behind the Gegengerade from 10:00 am. Several minibuses and a 40-tonne lorry were already full to bursting well before kick-off so that further transport options were eagerly organised. That’s the way it should be.
The club also gave the right signal in the morning and during the game: Stop the war! The right signals were also sent after the final whistle when the entire team put on “No War!” shirts.
As expected in the preliminary report, Marcel Beifus and Simon Makienok were again in the starting eleven. Jackson Irvine also started, but not in his usual half position, but, as was to be expected, on the six. Somewhat surprisingly, Christopher Buchtmann moved to the half position in his place.
Karlsruher SC made three changes compared to the cup match with HSV: Ricardo van Rhijn replaced Marco Thiede at right-back. In addition, Marc Lorenz and Luca Cueto came into the game for Jerome Gondorf (suspended) and Kyoung-rok Choi (injured).
Right from the start, it was clear how both teams had envisaged the game: The KSC started rather deep and wait-and-see, looking for transition moments. FCSP, however, did not allow them to do so for the time being and instead tried to play a dominant game. Two corners were taken in the first five minutes, one of which Buchtmann was able to take, but he missed well (3rd minute).
KSC’s first dangerous action came in the 10th minute. As was to be expected, it came from a set piece, but Hofmann was unable to put enough pressure on the ball.
Barely three minutes later, FC St. Pauli launched their first really dangerous attack. And what an attack! Zander found teammate Burgstaller on the right side, the ball came via Buchtmann in the half-area to Kyereh, who first played an intentional double pass with Hartel and then an unintentional one with his opponent before he drove the ball into the net – 1:0!
FC St. Pauli once again scored a goal in the first quarter of an hour. And finally with that great combination in the final third.
In the 26th minute, FC St. Pauli also showed what they can play beautifully in the final third. However, in their own final third. Jackson Irvine shifted very skilfully to Paqarada (and showed a really good performance on the six anyway). He had a lot of space in front of him and found Hartel in the half-space. His shot was blocked, bounced to Burgstaller, who crossed to Kyereh, probably not entirely voluntarily. Kyereh slid in, but immediately the assistant referee’s flag went up. A long stoppage followed as both Burgstaller’s shot and Kyereh’s cross were only just offside. After an eternally long two minutes, however, it was clear: 2:0 – BANG!
And while I was still writing the lines of the last paragraph, Marcel Beifus played a perfectly timed long ball to Simon Makienok. The much-vaunted “exit strategy” was much more than that this time – Makienok was able to bring the ball down with his chest at the left corner of the penalty area, was completely left alone by his opponents and drove the ball, which goalkeeper Gersbeck was already looking resignedly behind, flat into the bottom right corner – 3:0 after 35 minutes!
Just two minutes later, the ball was back in the Karlsruhe goal, who by now hardly knew how to defend it adequately. Hartel finished off another really great attack. But this time the assistant referee’s raised flag was correct, as Burgstaller was offside before his cross.
More good moments in the offensive followed until half-time. 12:3 shots on goal, 63% won duels and three goals in the first 45 minutes. It was a celebration!
The second half
The start of the second half belonged to KSC, who substituted Schleusener, Jakob and Gordon for Heise, Kobald and Lorenz. But neither the first corner of the half (46th) nor a promising free-kick (49th) created any real danger.
FC St. Pauli was able to pull back a little further due to the 3:0 lead and set pinpricks in the form of counterattacks. The first really dangerous counter-attack was made by Leart Paqarada, but Gersbeck was able to distinguish himself for the first time on this day (53.). More importantly, FCSP’s defence stood up to KSC’s pressure in the first fifteen minutes of the second half (even though KSC had one or two rather harmless chances).
And since KSC did not really find any gaps in the opponent’s defence and FCSP was sloppy in its transitioning, the game went on until the 66th minute. But then a standard sailed into the FCSP penalty area at the far post, was brought back in by Gordon, where Hofmann, with a bit of luck and a lot of skill, got himself into a shooting position and drove the ball unstoppable into the goal (66th minute). FCSP cannot end the 14th league match in a row without conceding a goal.
Even more calm, even more splashing would have been appropriate. Instead, there was another great chance for KSC five minutes after the goal by Hofmann. But Cueto’s shot from a good position went wide of the FC St. Pauli goal.
From then on it was clear that this was no longer about beautiful football. FC St. Pauli was more and more confronted with tasks by KSC and was not able to put even the most promising counterattacks (e.g. Burgstaller, 78th) into the KSC goal. Instead, there were more chances for KSC: Vasilj’s cross sailed threateningly past a corner, but O’Shaughnessy was apparently so surprised by it that he was shot at while standing free rather than bringing his header towards the goal (82nd minute).
The last minutes became more and more of a full-body cramp. But even though the passes to the front were mostly misplaced, many, many duels were lost and really only little succeeded, the clock was clearly ticking down for FC St. Pauli.
We certainly have to talk about why the team floundered towards the end of the game (it’s not the first time this season). Because objectively speaking, it wasn’t KSC that had to go through 120 difficult minutes in the cup as recently as Wednesday.
But for the time being, we can be happy that FC St. Pauli finally won another home game. Thanks to a really strong first half, in which at times the spirit of the first leg of the season blew through the stadium, the team has three more important points on its account. That’s all that counts! Forza!
//Tim (translation by Arne)