Next stop: Reeperbahn. Well, almost. In fact, we’ll be right around the corner at the Millerntor stadium; hopefully our fans can celebrate another three points in Hamburg’s Reeperbahn after the match! But before a night of (celebratory or sorrow-soaked) drinking, VfL Bochum are up FC St Pauli – we've taken a look about our northern opponents before tonight’s fixture.
“Hamburg, meine Perle…“ (“Hamburg, my love“) – oops, sorry. Wrong club! Nevertheless, FC St Pauli originates from the city of Hamburg, in fact from the red-light district. St Pauli are based right next to the world-renowned Reeperbahn. The city is not only known for this hotspot, though. About 1.8 million people live in a city that has a harbour, warehouse district, and several theatres, in addition to the newly-built Elbphilharmonie Concert House. Water is a running theme throughout the city: The city is connected together with hundreds of canals, called dikes. The inner and outer canals serve as a reservoir right in the middle of the city centre.
In April 2019 Jos Luhukay became head coach of FC St Pauli. Even before the current season had kicked off, the 56-year-old Dutchman caused a stir in the club. “I’m going to speak out of turn”, announced Luhukay at a press conference. And he was right: His explanations, in which he blamed the club for its “laziness” and for “not ever leaving its comfort zone”, must have come as quick a shock to all FCSP supporters. However, the Dutch coach might have hit the panic button at just the right time, as the Hamburg side had a remarkable start to the current campaign. This perhaps showed Luhukay’s experience in the professional game: He has amassed a record of 485 fixtures as a Head Coach, managing several Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga sides as well as some international and lower league clubs; the teams he has managed include sides like Borussia Mönchengladbach, Hertha BSC Berlin and VfB Stuttgart.
The history of FC St Pauli 1910 does not really start in 1910, in fact; rather three years beforehand, at least! The club’s origins are deeply connected with Hamburg – St Pauli Turnverein was founded in 1862, a club that still exists today. Football became an activity played in the club in 1907, although they didn’t compete in a league format until 1910, when the club joined the Northern German Football Association. In 1911 they played their first ever league games, and in 1924 they separated from the “Turnverein” side of the club and founded FC St Pauli.
FC St Pauli’s home ground is located right in the middle of the St. Pauli borough of Hamburg, right next to the red-light district. Today, the Millerntor Stadion has a capacity of 29,546 – as a result of numerous reconstructions over the past 12 years – with standing terraces for 16,940 supporters and 12,606 seats. The stadium usually sells out every home game. The visitors section is located at the north stand. Anyone who has ever witnessed a game in the stadium will have noticed that before kick off, even the visiting side’s club 'song’ is played right before kick off – a nice gesture!
Back in 2010, the Millerntor received the PETA Progress Award for the “most animal-friendly stadium” as they offer a wide range of vegetarian and vegan food.
The ACDC song “Hells Bells” is played when the teams enter the pitch.
Head to Head
There have been 10 Bundesliga and 20 2.Bundesliga clashes between the two sides, in addition to three Pokal match-ups. St. Pauli edge proceedings with a slightly better record against us than we over them; VfL have only mustered 7 wins out of a possible 33 matches thus far, with the last victory almost six years ago. In February 2014, Holmar Örn Eyjolfsson scored the winner at the Millerntor Stadion for the Bochumers. Ever since then, our record has been a difficult four draws and six wins for St Pauli. VfL‘s last away match at Pauli was rather recent, in May, when VfL cam eaway from Hamburg with a goalless draw- definitely an improvement on the four defeats that had preceeded that result! Nonetheless, it’s high time we got that winning feeling in Pauli again lads!
Pauli- So Far
It has been a season of highs and lows for FCSP, perhaps indicated by the trouble caused by their manager’s statements before the season began. They had a poor start to the season, picking up only one point from their first three games, before scraping past amateur side VfB Lübeck 4-3 on penalties in the German Pokal. There were smatterings in fact, of manager Luhukay’s days being numbered amongst the media. But the “Kiez”-team put trust in their management and the team soon got back on the track. After home victories against Kiel, HSV and Sandhausen, St Pauli have found themselves in the top half of the table. However, of late they have only managed to earn two points from their last four league games, having also been dumped out of the cup by Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt (granted- a predictable result giving Frankfurt’s strengths). Against Darmstadt and Karlsruher they conceded late goals, which them the chance to move even further up the table. Currently, Pauli are 9th on 14 points. A win and we leapfrog them!
VfL Bochum 1848 played out a 1-1 draw against FC St. Pauli on Friday night in Hamburg. Both goals came in the first few minutes of play; Simon Zoller put Thomas Reis’ side in the lead after just 5 minutes, but Waldemar Sobota quickly cancelled it out to level terms for St. Pauli just five minutes later (10’). Each side hit the post and had good chances in either half, but neither side were able to steal a winner and the points.
1': A good chance for Bochum right from the off! Ganvoula crosses from the right is in to Blum, who shoots first time. Just wide!
4': The home side hit the post! Miyaichi passes the ball across to Sobota, whose shot crashes against Riemann's right-hand post.
5': GOOOOOALLL for VfL! What a start here in Hamburg! Blum runs down the left down to the byline and crosses low. The ball comes off Ganvoula and falls to Zoller, who steers it past the Pauli goalkeeper. Great start!
8': Pauli 'keeper Himmelmann hits the ball staright to Blum, who shoots immediately as he did in the Bayern game- hwoever this time it hits a brown-shirted defender square in the body.
10': Goal for the home side. A quicl equaliser. Sobota has too much space after Möller Daehli's pass and shoots low into the left corner. Damn!
16': Losilla hits the post! Toto rises high to head the second cross from Danilo after Blum's conrer was defended away. Centimetres away from 2-1. Close!
22': Again VfL are on the attack. Soares out to Blum, who again crosses into the middle. Zoller doesn't isn't able to steer it goalward and it's a St. Pauli's goalkick.
29': Again Sobota with the shot, he's been very involved! The man in brown gets away from Tesche and shoots with his left foot, but there's not enough power and it doesn't trouble Riemann.
32': Pauli come again! Lorenz's clearance is too short, and Möller Daehli has the ball, but Tesche seems to upend him! The fans behind the goal houl for a penalty, but the Bochumer had won the ball fair and square. Corner now to Pauli, and the ball ends up in the stands. The hosts are growing into this!
34': Big chance for the hosts! Corner is swung in, and Östigard heads powerfully from close range; but Riemann is equal to it and parries away strongly!
37': Nice! Soares plays a one-two with Lee, before Danilo's cross is deflected away for a corner!
Halftime (1-1): A lively first half at the Millertor! A slightly frenetic opening period saw VfL take an early lead, only for the hosts to equalise five minutes later. For muhc of the next period Reis' side were in the ascendency, although toward the latter stages of the half St. Pauli started to impose themselves on the Blau-Weißen. Much to look forward to!
47': Close! That was a chance! Lee crosses from the right hand side to the back post, and Ganvoula has enough space to head it goalward after peeling away from a Pauli defender... damn! His header is too soft and is easily picked up by Himmelmann.
50': Yellow card for Soares. Fifth caution of the season now, which means he will be missing against Osnabrück.
56': Sobota with the corner, Östigard drives into the box and falls on the ground- he screams for a penalty, but none is given!
58': FCSP combine all too easily over on the left. In the end Tesche clears the corner.
68': Heart in mouths moment! Cross to Diamantakos, who chests it down and shoots! That would have been 2-1 had it not been for Riemann's strong block with his foot.
72': Ziereis holds Ganvoula, who tries to get past the Pauli defender and is upended. Clear yellow card!
77': Glorious pass from Lee into the path of Zoller, but his first time shot goes high and wide.
77': AHH! Zoller sends Lee in behind the FCSP defence, but he can't slot it past an onrushing Himmelmann. That could have been the winner!
81': Opportunity for FCSP to counter with Gyökeres, but Zoller tracks back well and forces his opponent to make a mistake! Good work and it's Riemann's goalkick!
86': Blum sees yellow for an innocuous foul in the middle of the park. How odd...
89': Huge opportunity for FCSP; a freekick just outside the box! Knoll takes it and the ball flies but a few millimetres past the post. That was close!
90': First VfL sub: Wintzheimer comes on for Zoller.
Fulltime (1-1): No winner this Friday evening at the Millerntor. In the end, a fair result for both sides, in a game were chances were at a premium and there were relatively few opportunities for either side to score a winner. The VfL fans applaud the heart and effort showed by their players- likewise, the players applaud back in gratitude for their continued support.
Thomas Reis (VfL Bochum 1848 Head Coach): I think that we were involved in a very intensive and balanced game today. According to the stats from the game today, the match was balanced, apart Pauli having far more corners than we did. The point is: After halftime we made life difficult for ourselves, gave away a lot of corners, and Pauli had some opportunities. After the lead we had a period of time in the game where we lost the ball too easily, and that led them to score the equaliser. In the second half we got back into the game well after a while; the boys worked well. In the last few week’s we have shown that we have worked hard to bond together. Of course we would have liked to have taken all three points with us, we had opportunities to do so. But that was the case for both sides. We can be satisfied with the way we performed today. We have to keep going like this because the league is very tight. But it's the little things that matter here.
Jos Luhukay (FC St. Pauli Head Coach): I can echo the words of my colleague. It was an intense game, in which both teams gave each other little room on the pitch to play. The game began well for us with the shot that hit the post, but immediately after that Bochum scored their goal. Soon after that Waldemar Sobota scored our equaliser. I think we all thought that we’d be in for quite a spectacle today, but I think the game failed to ignite somewhat. After a quarter of an hour it was difficult for both sides, we had the best chance with the header. In the second half we worked hard, but we lacked a bit of luck. But in the end Lee also had a good chance for the VfL. All in all it is a fair result. As Thomas said: "It's very difficult in the second league because it's so balanced”. You also have to praise your opponent: Bochum are third last, but actually are much better than their league position. Of course, the coach has also played a big part in their upturn in form. It was difficult for us today, we knew that before the game. For me, Bochum have a good mix of young and old, but we also have that. Perhaps that's why the two teams cancelled each other out today.
Danilo Soares (VfL Bochum 1848): I think that it wasn’t a yellow card. I am suspended now, but yeah we will have to see. We have played better week on week, every week we try to play football. There’s drive inside us and this mentality must stay now.
Anthony Losilla (VfL Bochum 1848’s skipper): For some weeks now we have been able to create more stability. We have clearly been conceding fewer and fewer chances, which is positive. We could have won the game today, but in the end we can be happy to come away with a point. St. Pauli had chances to score at the end. The game went to and fro, both teams had chances. I think that a draw is the right result. We started the game really well, and then we conceded. However, we were relatively stable and didn’t conceded many opportunities. This is something important, that we are no longer conceding so many goals. The game against Bayern did us good, we saw what we can do. We want to now show this every game, particularly now in the next two home games where we can pick up lots of points.
Simon Zoller (VfL Bochum 1848): I think that, it was a fair result. In the second half we dropped a bit deeper, but we defended well. I think that both teams had chances in their own right, and rode their own luck at times. In recent weeks it has been very difficult, so we are pleased with the way we managed the game here today. In any case, attitude in the last few games has been the attitude needed if you want to stay in the 2.Bundesliga. That is why we are happy to come away with a point; playing here is never easy- with the fans behind them they put a lot of pressure on us towards the end of the game. On both teams there was good goalkeeping performances, which often helped defuse potentially dangerous situations.