FC St. Pauli 0-0 1. FC Nürnberg: Catalogue of missed chances denies hosts a win

FC St. Pauli 0-0 1. FC Nürnberg: Catalogue of missed chances denies hosts a win

Goal-line clearances, excellent goalkeeping from Fabian Bredlow and poor finishing denied die Kiezkicker a shock result against the promotion chasers.

James Rees

FC St. Pauli held 1. FC Nürnberg to a goalless draw, yet despite having the minority of possession they had the chances to get more from the game.

Sami Allagui and Waldemar Sobota were both denied on the line in the first half, with Nürnberg goalkeeper Fabian Bredlow also on top form.

A welcome point, ultimately for St. Pauli, whilst Der Club miss out on the chance to overtake Fortuna Düsseldorf at the top of the 2. Bundesliga.

St. Pauli twice denied on the line

After back-to-back defeats, St. Pauli coach Markus Kauczinski made three changes, albeit one enforced with Luca Zander injured. Yi-Young Park, Richard Neudecker and Allagui all came in. Nürnberg knew they would go top with a win, and seven points ahead of Holstein Kiel in third, after Düsseldorf’s defeat at 1. FC Union Berlin earlier in the weekend. They were unchanged from the 4-1 victory over Erzgebirge Aue.

Aside from a couple of opportunities for the Allagui, there was little to write home about in the opening 15 minutes, with the first big chance coming when Jeremy Dudziak won a free-kick for the hosts. Aziz Bouhaddouz, who finally scored his first goal of the season against Heidenhem, struck inches wide of the post.

Both sides then came mightily close to opening the scoring. Enrico Valentini set up Mikael Ishak, whose initial header hit the post. He tried to scramble in the rebound, only to be denied by Robin Himmelmann and he managed to pull something to, being forced off injured soon after.

As for St. Pauli, a free-kick from Richard Neudecker was nearly put in by Allagui. He didn’t make a clean connection with his head, but it was still enough to nearly get the ball over the line, with Bredlow just keeping it out. Allagui tried to have another go but the Nürnberg keeper was able to collect it at the second attempt.

That wouldn’t be the last time that St. Pauli would be denied on the line. Just before the half-time break, a corner from Bernd Nehrig was headed on towards the far post by Sobota, however Tim Leibold had it covered.

Deadlock fails to be broken

Early in the second half Allagui won a free-kick after being obstructed by Ewerton, and from it Bouhaddouz came ever yet closer to finally breaking the deadlock. His set piece was sweetly taken, and with Bredlow struggling to get there to save it, the ball smacked into the bar, the second time the hosts had hit the woodwork.

Nothing was going right for Allagui either, but his effort couldn’t be faulted. An admittedly weak shot still needed turning around the post by Bredlow, whilst a flick in the air only managed to carry the ball over

St. Pauli were having all the best chances, yet their possession was far inferior to their hosts, who struggled to make their control of the ball count in the final third. One free-kick from Valentini did find the heart of the box, with Park trying to hook it clear, only to find Tobias Werner. His shot was easily saved by Himmelmann though.

Another chance would come and go for St. Pauli. A ball into the box had Ewerton completely in a daze, with Bouhaddouz taking advantage. Having failed to get a clean connection though, Bredlow was able to make an excellent stop. Meanwhile a Werner strike at the other end was palmed away by Himmelmann, who then collected the rebound effort from Patrick Erras.

Both teams kept pushing to the end, with Leibold curving a shot wide with what proved to be the last shot of note before the end of the match. A disappointing night for Nürnberg, who miss out on returning to top spot, and perhaps too for St. Pauli. They would have taken a point before the game, as well as their first clean sheet since the beginning of October, but with better finishing they could have had more.