Spieltag 2: FC St.Pauli vs Dynamo Dresden
St. Pauli opened up the Millerntor this season whilst our very good friends (sic) Dresden travelled up the Elbe to Hamburg. The dreaded Montagspiel appeared to dampen their usual numbers. This is a rivalry with no love lost in the terraces, although for a brief moment there was harmony as former captain Sören Gonther was officially bid farewell.
Olaf Janßen sent out a largely unchanged side from last week’s win against Bochum, save for Dudziak replacing Kalla at right back. Still no starting place for Sahin, a man we spent good money to retain, but Sobota and Dæhli had really earned their place in the starting line up.
The pleasantries were very soon dispensed with; Bernd Nehrig ending up in the book inside the first minute. His rash tackle in most games would have been a talking to so early on, but the referee saw fit to put his stamp on the game. Similarly, Müller entered the book for scything Bouhaddouz down on the touchline a few minutes later.
Dresden certainly started the brighter team. They controlled the centre of the park and looked a good half a yard quicker than any St. Pauli player. They had territory and opportunities, and continually tested Buballa, who stood up to their scrutiny. That being said, Hartmann should have put them ahead on 6 minutes.
It took a 22nd minute Buchtmann wonder strike to settle St. Pauli’s nerves. He received the ball on the left corner of the 18 yard box, cut inside his man, centred up and unleashed a curling strike into the top right corner. First strike on goal, and 1-0!
As we’ve come to learn over the years, optimism is usually misplaced. Hartmann again found space inside the box (a bit too easily!) to get on the end of a cross to level it up. But St. Pauli were starting to find space in midfield, if not upfront. The two sides sparred up to half time, Röser drawing a great save from Himmelmann just before the half-time whistle.
St. Pauli finished the half having had only 37% of possession but, at the back, had only allowed two shots on goal. This flipped on its head in the second half. All of a sudden, the midfield were in control of the game – quite easy to do when your wingers are occupying the centre and your wing backs are playing as wingers. But, if it gets three points…
St. Pauli continued to press. Bouhaddouz and Dæhli had great opportunities but corners were the only result – until, once again, Buchtmann pulled something special out of the bag completing a lovely spell of passing from St. Pauli with a thundering 20 yard strike. 2-1. Two wonder goals.
A brief moment of further joy as a great ball found Allagui 1-on-1 with the keeper, and his deft finish found the bottom corner. However, elation was cut short by the linesman with a flag. The replay showed it was a very close, but ultimately the right call.
Then, in classic St. Pauli style, a draw was plucked from the jaws of victory. Dudziak found himself woefully out of position, completely missing Heise coming in on the left flank. His low shot wasn’t particularly easy to handle and Himmelmann lost the ball right in front of the on-rushing Röser, who finished with ease.
The game started to peter out. The Dresden players first started to show signs of cramps and tiredness, soon followed by their counterparts in Braun-Weiß. After some delay in stoppage time, the referee called time just after St. Pauli completed one last offensive on the Dresden lines. Any hope of a smash and grab were gone, and the honours were even.
On reflection, 2-2 probably reflects the game fairly, but having gone ahead twice, it is hard for it not to feel like a defeat. The Dresden defence did a good job of shutting Allagui and Bouhaddouz down before they could get an idea of the game. Defensively, we looked relatively strong, but it was too easy at times for the Dresden attack to get in behind them – two lapses of concentration were the difference between 1 point and 3.