Germany: 2. Bundesliga
1 - 0
(0 - 0)
St. Pauli
R. Glatzel (85), X L. Reis (90)
M. Saliakas (90)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

HSV spoil St. Pauli's chance at direct promotion, Düsseldorf secure vital three points

Three of the four teams at the top of the 2. Bundesliga table were in action on Friday night in a massive pair of simultaneous Friday night kickoffs in the German second division. FC S. Pauli, Hamburger SV, and Fortuna Düsseldorf all helped raise the curtain on the second divisions 32nd match-day.

Most German footballing eyes were focused on the famous Hamburger "Stadt-Derby". First-placed FC St Pauli traveled to fourth-placed rivals Hamburger SV with a chance to secure automatic promotion back to the Bundesliga with a victory.

Steffen Baumgart's HSV - entering the match four points behind promotion-relegation place playoff holders Fortuna Düsseldorf - were effectively playing to preserve what slender hopes they had for promotion after five seasons spent in the "Unterhaus". 

This hosting Rothosen were able to preserve slim hopes of securing the relegation playoff place for the third consecutive season alive with a huge home win. Düsseldorf were also able to pick up three points, however, leaving "Der Dino" four points off third-place.

FC St. Pauli head-coach Fabian Hürzeler had hoped to celebrate his first derby win in three tries against city rivals Hamburger SV on Friday evening at the Volkspark Bahrenfeld. Had his Kiezkicker been able to best Steffen Baumgart's HSV, the smaller Hamburg club would have been able to secure automatic promotion back to the Bundesliga for this first time since their 2010/11 relegation. Unfortunately for the 2. Bundesliga's first-placed side, confirmation will have to wait after Hürzeler's men fell 0-1 in the Stadtderby. 

The hosts were able to control most of the possession in the opening 45. The larger Hamburg club were unlucky not to score in the 20th minute on a Robert Glatzel/Ransford-Yeboah Königsdörffer double chance. Glatzel saw an effort cleared off the line by St. Pauli defender Karol Mets. Kiezkicker keeper Nikola Vasilj - beaten on Glatzel's initial effort - recovered in time to save Königsdorffer's follow up. 

Some four minutes later, a controversial scene saw a Glatzel tally disallowed by referee Matthias Jöllenbeck due to light contract by Glatzel on midfielder Manolis Saliakas. Replays confirmed that Saliakas may have initiated the contract. The VAR team in the Kölner Keller nevertheless did not compel Jöllenbeck to take another look. Thanks to the fact that Königsdorffer later hit the post, the hosts had noting to show for their dominant first-half. 

Both teams struggled to find a sense of flow in the second 45 during a mistake-ridden phase after the restart. Another supposed HSV goal in the 62nd was disallowed when Lukasz Poreba was adjusted to have fouled Saliakas in the challenge preceding the tally. Bamgaurt's men were able to re-establish their possession game, yet found no way through against the deep defending guests until the final quarter-of-an-hour.

Königsdorffer tested Vasilj with a stinging effort in the 77th. Three minutes later, Immanuel Pherai hit the crossbar. The game-winning goal eventually came of a seemingly innocuous corner. Glatzel was able to head home a Miro Muheim service in the 85th after Vasilj misjudged the ball. Ludovit Reis had a chance to increase the lead from the penalty spot at 90+7, but Vasilj made a fine save.

In the parallel fixture, Düsseldorf were able to pick up three points against visiting Nürnberg at the Merkur-Spiel Arena. A crucial win for the Flingeraner leaves them four points above HSV in third-place with two match day's remaining. Second-placed Holstein Kiel face relegation candidates SV Wehen Wiesbaden on Sunday. In lieu this evening's results, the northern Storks can't clinch anything yet even with a win. 

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