FC St. Pauli took a big step towards maintaining their place in the Bundesliga for next season with a 1-0 win over city rivals Hamburg SV Wednesday evening at the Imtech Arena. The rare derby victory places St. Pauli in 11th place in the table, one point behind FC Schalke 04.
Gerald Asamoah was again the St. Pauli hero, providing the only goal of the match right before the hour mark. Asamoah’s sixth goal of the Bundesliga season came from a corner kick that was booted upwards by Fabian Boll, and Asamoah crashed the Hamburg goal from very close range to head the ball in. Asamoah’s goal was his fourth since winter break, and his return to form has guided St. Pauli to an undefeated record in the new year, Holger Stanislawski’s club have garnered 11 points in their five Bundesliga matches this year, and have found their scoring boots. The lowest-scoring club of the Hinrunde have responded with 11 goals after netting only 16 times in the Hinrunde.
Asamoah wasn’t the only hero for St. Pauli in their huge derby win. Backup goalkeeper Benedickt Pliquett earned the clean sheet in his first Bundesliga start of the 2010-2011 season, with the help of defenders who through themselves in front of Hamburg’s numerous shots. The 26 year-old goalkeeper came up in the Hamburg system, but has made only 28 appearances for St. Pauli’s first team since 2004. He made six saves in Wednesday’s match, as Hamburg outshot St. Pauli 22 -5. Hamburg also had 66% of possession and gained 11 corner kicks to the 5 taken by their city rivals. But St. Pauli have proven to be road warriors, as they are now undefeated in their last five matches away from the Millentor Stadion.
For Armin Veh and his Hamburg club, the frustration and disappointment following the defeat must be enormous. Hamburg did everything but score, and their lack of finishing allowed St. Pauli to hang in the match. Ze Roberto, Petric, Jarolim and Ben-Hatira each had three shots, but could not find the back of the net. Hamburg also missed the opportunity to inch closer to a Europa League spot for next season, and remain four points away from a European berth.
It will be a short week for both clubs to prepare for their MatchDay 23 contests Saturday, as St. Pauli will try to continue their undefeated road streak against the daunting Borussia Dortmund club while Hamburg host Werder Bremen in a north German matchup.
Hamburg Lineup: Rost, Mathijsen, Westermann, Aago, Demel, Ze Roberto, Jarolim, Jansen, Ben-Hatira, Petric, van Nistelrooy Subs Used: Elia 45′ (for Jansen), Guererro 72′ (for van Nistelrooy), Pitroipa 72′ (for Ben-Hatira)
St. Pauli Lineup: Pliquett, Gunesch, Zambrano, Volz, Thorandt, Lehmann, Boll, Bartels, Kruse, Asamoah, Takyi Subs Used: Ebbers 58′ (for Takyi), Daube 71′ (for Asamoah), Bruns 89′ (for Boll)