1. FC Union Berlin are joint top of the 2. Bundesliga with 1. FC Köln after beating FC St. Pauli 3-1, ending their unbeaten start whilst maintaining their own.
St. Pauli had played the better football but poor defending from back-to-back throw-ins saw them 2-0 down at the break, with Grischa Prömel and Akaki Gogia benefitting.
Sebastian Andersson made it three after half-time, with Henk Veerman getting a consolation for die Kiezkicker, before Andersson got his second and his side’s fourth at the death.
Eisern score twice from throw-ins at end of half
These two clubs, unbeaten in the league before this match, had mixed fortunes in the DFB-Pokal last weekend – Union beat former East German rivals Carl Zeiss Jena 4-2, whilst St. Pauli fell to 3. Liga side SV Wehen Wiesbaden in extra time. The hosts made a couple of changes in defence, with Florian Hübner and Ken Reichel starting in place of Michael Parensen and Christopher Lenz. St. Pauli, looking to regain top spot after Köln’s win on Saturday, brought in Bernd Nehrig, Christopher Buchtmann and Dimitrios Diamantakos from that cup defeat.
The early stages saw both sides sizing each other up, with the only real openings coming from mistakes. St. Pauli were the better side, and an error from Reichel allowed Mats Møller Dæhli to break down the right, but his cross was blocked in the box. Simon Hedlund then snatched the ball from Johannes Flum, finding Andersson, but his first cut back was blocked and the second attempt to put it in the middle went out wide. Hedlund and Marvin Knoll then fell out over something, creating a brief bit of excitement for the fans.
Jeremy Dudziak had a shot blocked from distance, but after that die Eisern realised they had to up their game. A free-kick from Christopher Trimmel was headed over the bar by Prömel, before a Trimmel rebound shot some way out of the area was intercepted. Andersson then did well to hold up the ball for Gogia, but again a defender got in the way of his effort.
They opened the scoring just before the break in scrappy fashion. St. Pauli failed to clear a Union throw-in after Felix Kroos had got his head to it. The ball eventually fell to Prömel at the near post, and he turned it in past Robin Himmelmann, who had had little to do for the previous 44 minutes.
Incredibly, they scored another goal from a throw-in in stoppage time. Trimmel went long into the box, with St. Pauli’s defenders more interested in dealing with Andersson and watching the ball go past him than they were in Gogia, who was left unmarked to score. Two bad goals to concede just before the break.
Andersson compounds misery for St. Pauli
St. Pauli knew they had played well before the goals and tried to continue playing that way at the start of the second half. A cut-back across goal from Diamantakos failed to find anyone, however, whilst Flum’s header from a Knoll cross was blocked, with Daniel Buballa then blasting over.
As for the hosts, Reichel had a shot from outside the box saved by Himmelmann, but moments later it became 3-0. Manuel Schmiedebach found Andersson with a ball over the top, with Philipp Ziereis failing to hold off the Swedish striker as he trickles the ball past Himmelmann and watched it slowly crawl in.
In pursuit of some respectability, a run from Richard Neudecker allowed him to shoot but the shot was saved by Rafal Gikiewicz. Just after that though, the ball fell to Veerman, who had been brought on early in the half for his first league appearance for St. Pauli. He swivelled and then struck the ball well, with a big deflection off Marvin Friedrich wrong-footing Gikiewicz, handing St. Pauli what was surely only a consolation, and the Dutchman a first goal for the club.
The onus was on the visitors to try to get another to rattle their hosts. Their best chance fell to Buchtmann, who control a Dæhli cross before Gikiewicz managed to get someone on the shot.
The final say though would fall to Andersson. A Himmelmann goal-kick was quickly brought back the other way by Union. Robert Žulj, off the bench for a debut following his loan move from TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, found Andersson, via a dummy from Manuel Schmiedebach, and he struck in the edge of the box to pile on the misery for St. Pauli, on a day where ruthlessness in front of goal was the only real difference between the two sides.