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."