FC St. Pauli won for the first time since the beginning of October with a resilient display against VfL Bochum.
They took the lead from out of nowhere with a free-kick in the first half through Lasse Sobiech, before the advantage was doubled after the break by Jan-Marc Schneider.
Lukas Hinterseer pulled one back to make for a nervy final 15 minutes, however Bochum lost Anthony Losilla to a second yellow card and the Boys in Brown hung on for a first win under Markus Kauczinski.
Sobiech goal brings life to Kauczinski’s St. Pauli
Both sides were looking to go into the winter break on a high after enduring difficult campaigns so far. St. Pauli came into the match fourth from bottom with recently-installed coach Kauczinski making two changes from the draw with MSV Duisburg, Yi-Young Park and Schneider replacing the injured Bernd Nehrig and suspended Aziz Bouhaddouz. Sobiech had been a doubt with a muscle problem, but was fit to start. Back-to-back wins had extended Bochum’s unbeaten run to six, with Jens Rasiejewski making just one change – Sidney Sam came in for Johannes Wurtz from the win at SSV Jahn Regensburg
Unsurprisingly the away side looked more confident in the opening stages. Robbie Kruse came close to giving them the lead early on, with a good strike towards the corner sent wide expertly by Robin Himmelmann. That was as good a chance as either side would have in the opening 30 minutes though, with a tricky cross from Waldemar Sobota the most Felix Dornebusch was tested, although Cenk Sahin had also looked lively.
Having had little but scraps to feed off up to this point, a free-kick provided St. Pauli with the lead after Losilla brought down Sobota. Sahin dipped it into the box, and it collides off Danilo Soares to the feet of Sobiech, with the St. Pauli captain striking it low into the back of the net.
Bochum’s defence had fallen asleep for the goal and didn’t wake up after either. Another Sahin free-kick almost led to Sobiech scoring, only this time he headed it straight to Dornebusch. They didn’t learn their lesson and from a corner a couple of minutes later he was allowed to head a corner into the ground and off the bar before Dornebusch could eventually grab the loose ball. All in all it was a strong end to the half for the hosts.
Schneider makes it two but Hinterseer makes for nervy conclusion
It took them less than five minutes to get a second after the resumption. They caught Bochum cold on the counter, with Sahin running past two defenders before picking out the run of Schneider in the middle. A proven scoring for their second team, he’s still finding his feet at this level, but the 23-year-old coolly places it past Dornebusch.
It had come against the run of play though. A cross Kruse had given Kevin Stöger the chance to score early on but his shot was kept out by Himmelmann. That save had nothing on his next one though. Stefano Celozzi had an attempt from considerable distance, and his shot was headed in, only for an outstanding save from the St. Pauli shot stopper and came moments before his side went down the other end to score. Bochum though kept up the pressure after that too, Kruse coming close but he was locked by Sobiech.
Sahin, Sami Allagui and Kruse would come close for the respective sides after that, however in scrappy fashion Bochum got themselves back in the game with 15 minutes remaining. St. Pauli couldn’t break up a move following on from a short corner, with a ball from Losilla blocked but given straight to Hinterseer. He duly converted.
St. Pauli hadn’t won since beating Eintracht Braunschweig on the first day of October, and not at home since August, so they were understandable nervous. Stöger struck wide and Bochum kept up the pressure, but their cause was undone when Losilla fouled Allagui on the edge of the box, earning him a second yellow of the game. There were big appeals for a penalty at the other end, when Sobiech appeared to push Hinterseer, but St. Pauli hung on for a big victory to take into the winter break.