FC St. Pauli secured first place in the 2nd Bundesliga table with a win at Hertha BSC. Hamburg won 2-1 (1-0) on Saturday evening (September 30th, 2023).
Johannes Eggestein converted the first goal opportunity of the game in the 25th minute. Elias Saad served Eggestein in the storm center from the left after a strong solo. After turning his body, the attacker first shot in the middle at keeper Tjark Ernst. But he could only let the ball bounce forward, where Eggestein then tipped the ball over the goal line in his second attempt (25th). Marcel Hartel increased for the guests deep in the second half of the game (74′), before Derry Scherhant brought hope into Berlin’s game again (83′). But the goal came too late.
“We completely wasted the first half”said Hertha coach Pal Dardai on Sky, “Pauli is well-rehearsed, they were a bit too strong for us. As far as morale and the second half are concerned, I can’t blame the team.” “It’s not often that I hit the ball so well with my head”Marcel Hartel said to the sports show after the game, “But I’m happy that I was able to help the team with a header goal. I can only praise the team again.”
Hertha only created their first chance to score after a good half hour, but Smail Prevljak didn’t head it powerfully enough against St. Pauli keeper Nikola Vasilj.
Excitement: penalty or not?
Then there was excitement because of a penalty decision that initially seemed logical. In the spotlight: Eric Smith, Andreas Bouchalakis and referee Deniz Aytekin. Smith went down after an attack by Bouchalakis. The whistle followed quickly. But Smith seemed to be holding the “wrong” shin. The TV images only made it unclear: Did Bouchalakis hit the Hamburg striker’s left knee or right shin? Aytekin watched the scene on the sidelines and revoked his penalty decision. There were no angry protests from FC St. Pauli, only coach Fabian Hürzeler picked up a yellow card for complaining.
2nd half: St. Pauli continues to press
After the break, FC St. Pauli continued to play forward. Saad narrowly missed a shot from 16 meters (49′). The Berliners only had their second real chance to score in the 55th minute, but Smith blocked Haris Tabakovic. After that, the guests had the game largely under control again. Eggestein almost scored the second goal, but the crossbar prevented it from making it 2-0.
This in turn fell about a quarter of an hour before the end. Oladapo Afolayan crossed exemplary from the right to Marcel Hartel, who headed it in with perfect timing and power.
Hertha and that Connection hit
The Berlin fans had to wait a long time for the next goal: First, Vasilj brilliantly parried a shot from Fabian Reese. Then Scherhant brought the atmosphere back into the Berlin Olympic Stadium with a well-placed low shot. But St. Pauli resisted the capital city’s attack.
St. Pauli against Nuremberg, Hertha against Schalke
Next matchday, St. Pauli will be challenged in the Saturday evening game against the club (October 7, 2023 at 8:30 p.m.). One day later, Hertha will face Schalke 04 away from home (1:30 p.m.).