St. Pauli 0-1 Greuther Fürth: Kleeblätter secure a much needed victory

Przybyłko ends Fürth's goal drought to give them all three points.

Przybyłko ends Fürth’s goal drought to give them all three points.

Two sides struggling towards the bottom end of the table was Monday’s evening entertainment. The visitors were Greuther Fürth, who normally are fighting at the top end of the table, however after just one win in the league in the last eleven outings they find themselves in 14th place. The hosts St. Pauli have struggled all season long, like Fürth they’re also a side that normally fight for promotion. Their results are slowly improving having won before the break and drawing 0-0 with Sandhausen last weekend. They however are desperate to get off the bottom of the table.

The opening stages of the game were very even and saw both teams provide fans with a good midfield battle. One of the best chances of the half came just after the ten minute mark, Stephan Schröck’s freekick managed to go over everyone and bounced nicely to the back post where an unmarked Johannes Wurtz had a brilliant chance, Robin Himmelmann came out a showed great reactions to deny Wurtz.

Straight after that chance for Fürth, St. Pauli hit them on the counter and despite being three on one they couldn’t make the most of the chance. Sebastian Schachten got the ball stuck under his feet as he droved forward and Stefan Thesker was able to get back and make the crucial block.

The hosts were given a penalty when Waldemar Sobota charged into the area and his cross struck the elbow of Benedikt Röcker, who flung himself to block the ball coming in. Despite the referee awarding the penalty, a short conversation with the linesman saw him give a corner instead. It definitely struck the arm, however it would’ve been a harsh penalty to award.

Just before the half hour mark Fürth took the lead against the run of play, St. Pauli were punished for missing their chances. Thesker sent a long freekick towards the area and Kacper Przybyłko allowed the long ball to bounce before stretching in order to poke the ball past Himmelmann. The striker looked marginally offside when the freekick was taken, the officials giving him the benefit of the doubt. This was Fürth’s first goal in six matches (573 minutes).

If it wasn’t for Himmelmann Fürth would’ve scored a second in the 35th minute. Robert Zulj’s cross from the right found it’s way to Sebastian Freis, the striker managed to get goal side of his marker and once again Himmelmann reacted brilliantly to save with his foot.

Most of St. Pauli’s chances were comfortably dealt with by Wolfgang Hesl, however just before the break Marc Rzatkowski came within inches of getting his side level. After a impressive run his shot was deflected out for a corner, after the corner was played short he unleashed a terrific shot which narrowly flew wide.

St. Pauli through everything at Fürth in the second half, however they couldn’t find a leveller. They had a golden chance after the hour mark, Lasse Sobiech whipped in a brilliant ball across the face of the goal and despite being unmarked at the back post John Verhoek failed to make contact for an easy tap in.

Verhoek lost out on a battle with Röcker to make up for his missed opportunity, Röcker managed to shrug him off as he cleared Rzatkowski’s long ball over the top.

Przybyłko was a hero at his own end, Schachten flicked on a freekick outside the area and before Sobiech could get a strike away the striker made a perfect challenge to hook the ball away.

Despite dominating large spells of the game St. Pauli failed to find the net for the ninth time this season. They had chances, however they couldn’t take them, the biggest miss of the game went to Verhoek. The loss sees St. Pauli remain at the foot off the table and they have an important game next week as they face fellow relegation battlers 1860 Munich. A much needed victory for Greuther Fürth and they go up to 13th place, moving above Sandhausen, who they face next weekend.

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