FC St. Pauli 0-1 Fortuna Düsseldorf: Daniel Buballa own goal leaves his side deep in the mire
Photo: Bundesliga

An own goal from Daniel Buballa condemned FC St. Pauli to a ninth defeat in thirteen games in the 2. Bundesliga this season against Fortuna Düsseldorf.

The left-back put Lukas Schmitz’s cross into his own net, and the league’s bottom side were unable to redeem themselves, despite a couple of great opportunities for Aziz Bouhaddouz.

The result leaves St. Pauli cut adrift at the bottom, but Düsseldorf moved back up to fifth in the table.

Mass changes for both sides

There has been little light at the end of the tunnel for St. Pauli this season, with just one league win, and five defeats in their last six games, with the 1-0 reverse away at Würzburger Kickers two weeks ago leaving them four points behind second-bottom Erzgebirge Aue.

Düsseldorf have been vastly improved this season, and were seventh before kick-off, however they coming off the back of a 3-0 defeat to Dynamo Dresden, having won their three previous matches.

Both managers swung the changes following those defeats. The under-pressure Ewald Lienen recalled six players, with Soren Gönther, Buballa, Bernd Nehrig, Ryo Miyaichi, Waldemar Sobota and Bouhaddouz all coming in.

Friedhelm Funkel made five changes himself. Julian Koch, Kaan Aynan, Marcel Sobottka, Oliver Fink and Axel Bellinghausen were all brought back into the starting line-up.

Another own goal leaves hosts trailing

The hosts started the game brightly but failed to put Michael Rensing under too much pressure. Nehrig triggered the first meaningful attack, which was halted by a poor first touch from an offside Bouhaddouz, whilst a promising run from Christopher Buchtmann ended as he stumbled in the box. Hedensted’s header from a corner did at least require Rensing to punch the ball way.

Düsseldorf’s best chance early in the game was created by Kevin Akpoguma, whose pass split through the St. Pauli defence to find Fink, who fired over Robin Himmelmann and, fortunately for the St. Pauli goalkeeper, his crossbar too.

But after Hedensted’s own goal had led to their defeat at Würzburg, St. Pauli’s bad luck would come to haunt them again. Schmitz’s cross from the left had Julian Schauerte at the far post in its sights, however Buballa had him covered, only to put the ball into his own net instead.

Düsseldorf should have gone two up just before the break. Sobottka was in acres of space to connect with Bellinghausen’s corner, but he could only head it wide.

Chances go begging for St. Pauli

St. Pauli had a superb chance to draw level minutes into the second half. Butchmann’s ball found Bouhaddouz, whose shot was saved by Rensing. Kyoung-Rok Choi, introduced at the break, could have scored with the rebound but was his attempt was intercepted by Akpoguma.

Düsseldorf had an even better chance soon after. An excellent ball from Schmitz found Belinghausen, who softly struck the ball past Himmelmann, however Lasse Sobiech got back to prevent a goal.

After that the game quietened down, however Düsseldorf went in search of a second in the final fifteen minutes, with Ihlas Bebou and former St. Pauli man Rouwen Hennings both having shots saved by Himmelmann.

At the other end, Bouhaddouz had another great chance after being found by Cenk Sahin, but his shot was blocked by Ayhan, whilst Choi struck over at the start of three minutes stoppage time. It was the last chance they had to prevent yet another defeat.