FC St. Pauli vs 1. FC Union Berlin
German 2. Bundesliga, 20. Matchday
St. Pauli vs 1. FC Union
German 2. Bundesliga, 20. Matchday
St. Pauli score late penalty to beat Union Berlin 3-2
Alexander Meier scored a stoppage penalty to give St. Pauli a 3-2 win over 1. FC Union Berlin in a dramatic Monday night game at the Millerntor-Stadion.
The home side went into a 2-0 lead with goals from Sami Allagui and Meier. But Union bravely battled back in the latter stages with two goals in two minutes from Grischa Prömel and Suleiman Abdullahi to give the away side a flicker of optimism.
But the game took another twist in additional time with the Nigerian forward bringing down Christopher Buchtmann according to referee Guido Winkmann. Meier took advantage of a penalty kick in the closing minutes to give the hosts three points.
FC St. Pauli: Himmelmann; Buballa, Kalla, Avevor, Carstens; Knoll, Flum; Allagui (Buchtmann 76), Daehli (Miyaichi 84), Sobota; Meier (Schneider 90)
1. FC Union Berlin: Gikiewicz; Ryerson (Taz 78), Friedrich, Hübner, Lenz; Kroos, Prömel, Schmiedebach (Abdullahi 63); Mane (Gogia 68), Hartel, Andersson
There were forced changes in the Union starting line-up following Thursday’s win against 1. FC Köln at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. Both Christopher Trimmel and Ken Reichel were suspended, while Sebastian Polter was this afternoon ruled out due to an injured metatarsal and Suleiman Abdullahi dropped to the bench. Fischer selected Carlos Mane to make his league debut for the Köpenick club, with Sebastian Andersson restored to the striking position and both Christopher Lenz and Julian Ryerson deputising at full-back.
The hosts looked hungry and energetic in the first half, breaking into some good shooting positions. An early yellow card for Manuel Schmiedebach means the defensive midfielder has incurred a suspenson for Saturday's game at home to Sandhausen. At the offensive end of the pitch, Union were just the last touch or a few inches away from netting. Robert Himmelmann stood tall to keep out Felix Kroos’ attempted chip after 20 minutes. A corner from Kroos caused havoc in the St. Pauli box but the white shirts from Union failed to convert. Within seconds, Sami Allagui fired from distance into the top corner to give St. Pauli the lead, which they held on to for the remainder of the half.
When Fischer's side worked the ball in behind the St. Pauli defence, they looked most dangerous. A long diagonal gave Lenz something to attack on the left, but his looping effort was clawed out of the goal by an inspired Himmelmann. On 61 minutes, the hosts from Hamburg doubled their lead at a set-play situation with former Eintracht Frankfurt striker Meier heading past Rafal Gikiewicz. The Köpenick club looked to the bench for inspiration at the Millerntor with Abdullahi, Akaki Gogia and young Berkan Taz bolstering Union's attack. The 20-year-old Taz made an immediate impression on his league debut for Union, having developed through the club's youth system. Taz helped turn up the heat on the home side and on 85 minutes, Prömel converted from close range to give the visitors hope. Less than two minutes later, Gogia's shot was fumbled into the path of Abdullahi who battered home for 2-2.
However, Markus Kauczinski's team would celebrate the victory on matchday 20 with Meier finishing off a penalty kick inside stoppage time. Union Berlin have the rest of the week to dust off the disappointment with SV Sandhausen coming to the capital on Saturday.
"Congratulations to Markus. I had a look at the post-game stats paper and I saw a similar performance to the game against Köln," said coach Fischer in the press conference. "For me it was a very good performance with enough chances to score. We dominated the game. In the second, it was more balanced and St. Pauli goes into the lead with two goals. Our team showed great morale to bring it back to 2-2. But then you have to be clever to go on and win the game."
Union Berlin face closest rivals FC St. Pauli
1. FC Union Berlin end the 2.Bundesliga matchday for the second week running, with an away match at FC St. Pauli on Monday February 4 (20:30).
Urs Fischer's side are coming off the back of a confidence-boosting victory of 1. FC Köln at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei on Thursday and will be looking to add some daylight to the fourth-placed club from Hamburg.
Review: Home win over Köln, Pauli lose in Darmstadt
Goals from Marcel Hartel and Florian Hübner fired Union to a memorable win with ten men against Köln in Köpenick. Three points more keeps Union in third-place, with two points to the second-placed Billy Goats. Union will be without the experience of Ken Reichel and captain Christopher Trimmel who are both suspended, while Sebastian Polter hobbled off with a foot problem. Fischer will be able to call upon the likes of Christopher Lenz and Julian Ryerson who will be keen to make an impression to the coach.
St. Pauli have perhaps surprised many observers this season with a consistent league campaign under head coach Markus Kauczinski. The 2-1 loss at Darmstadt was their first away defeat since the middle of September. Pauli are level on the same number of points as Union, while Holstein Kiel and Heidenheim are closely following behind. The club from Hamburg will be missing striker Dimitris Diamantakos and important centre-back Philipp Ziereis. Jeremy Dudziak is a doubt from the Darmstadt game, but Kauczinski has added four new faces to his squad: Kevin Lankford (Heidenheim), Jakub Bendarczyk (Leverkusen), Justin Hoogma (Hoffenheim) and Alexander Meier (Frankfurt).
Record: Home side with upper-hand in Hamburg
Though St. Pauli have won five of their 11 league meetings with Union Berlin at the Millerntor-Stadion, their last victory was a 3-0 win in 2014. Since then, the Köpenick club have travelled north strongly with two wins and a draw, including last season's 1-0 win which helped Andre Hofschneider's team avoid a nail-biting relegation battle. The previous win for the Köpenick club was a 2-1 win in March 2017 with goals from Polter and Damir Kreilach.
Personnel: Changes at full-back for Union
Fischer will not be able to call upon Reichel and Trimmel for the game on Monday night. The Union left-back was shown a second yellow card and incurred an immediate suspension, while captain Trimmel hit the five threshold for cautions in the league. Ryerson has previously deputised in his place this season, performing strongly away to Jahn Regensburg. Meanwhile, Christopher Lenz is the candidate to step in for Reichel, having featured for the final chunk of the game at the Alte Försterei on Thursday.
There are no more tickets available for the Union section at the Millerntor-Stadion.