League leaders Freiburg made the trip to Hamburg on Sunday to try and extend their unbeaten run and their lead at the top. Their host’s St. Pauli find themselves also in good form and this season are a tougher nut to crack. Freiburg have only picked up one loss so far this season, while St. Pauli have just two losses to their name.
Last time out St. Pauli were involved in one of the game’s of the week as they drew 3-3 with Union Berlin, the host’s have drawn twice and lost once in their last three matches and went into this game looking for their first win in October.
As for Freiburg they were involved in an equally entertaining match last weekend as they managed to see off Greuther Fürth and win 5-2, their last three games have seen them win twice and draw one, their only loss this season was back in August.
This was the first competitive meeting between the sides since the 2010/11 season and that last meeting finished 2-2 as history show’s that these two are normally evenly matched.
The game started with Freiburg on top and they showed why they were the team at the top of the league, however despite the possession they struggled to break through the strong St. Pauli defence.
Freiburg had an early penalty appeal as Jan-Philipp Kalla’s clearance struck his own hand before going out for the first corner of the game. The penalty wasn’t given and if it was it would’ve been a very harsh decision. Sadly the resulting corner didn’t result in anything.
The first real chance of the game came just before the half hour mark, a long ball forward was misjudged by Marc-Oliver Kempf and this allowed Lennart Thy to try his luck from just inside the area. Alexander Schwolow was alert and made a comfortable save as Thy’s effort wasn’t the best.
Freiburg finally managed to create a chance with all their possession, after half hour of football Mensur Mujdža’s cross picked out Amir Abrashi inside the area and the midfielder wasted the chance by firing well over.
After a few teasing crosses and wasted set pieces the first half half finally showed signs of life and just before the break Vincenzo Grifo tried his luck from range, although it was a promising attempt Robin Himmelmann more than matched the effort with a good save.
The second half started more promisingly, however the first pit of drama happened ten minutes into the half. A long ball forward saw Marc Hornschuh and Maximilian Philipp battle to come out on top for their teams and as soon as they reached the area Philipp went to the ground and a penalty wasn’t awarded, much to Philipp’s anger.
St. Pauli increased the pressure on the league leaders and they managed to carve open a few chances which unfortunately for their fans they weren’t able to take as they flew over and straight at Schwolow.
Freiburg were almost gifted a goal in the last twenty minutes, a lacklustre back pass from Lasse Sobiech saw Philipp run through but luckily for the defender Himmelmann was very quick off his line to slide in and beat Philipp to the ball.
It was a tight match up throughout the game and the breakthrough came very late on as in the first minute of injury time St. Pauli grabbed the winner. Jeremy Dudziak launched a long throw into the box and Thy unleashed a great volley towards goal, Schwolow did brilliantly to save the strike, however at the back post Marc Rzatkowski raced in to tap the ball home.
On the second half performance it was a deserved victory for St. Pauli as they rightfully punished Freiburg who failed to perform, luckily they’ll stay top of the table but only by the point rather than four had they won. This was their first away defeat of the season and next week they’ll have home comforts as they host Eintracht Braunschweig, before that clash however they have the small matter of facing Bundesliga side Augsburg in the DFB Pokal.
St. Pauli aren’t in cup action during the week so they have the gift of a weeks rest before facing Bochum away from home. Another tough test for St. Pauli, but with defending like they’ve shown it should be a great battle.
Article for VAVEL Bundesliga.