Eintracht Frankfurt were forced to battle hard against FC St. Pauli, but an early brace from Bas Dost helped them secure a 2-1 victory and book their place in the round of 16 of the DFB Cup.

In a combative duel at a packed Millerntor-Stadion on Wednesday, the Eagles put in a confident performance to eliminate their second-division opponents and avoid a cup upset.

Personnel: Five changes

Adi Hütter had talked about switching things around in his pre-match press conference, and in the end his starting line-up featured five adjustments compared to the team that lost 4-2 to Borussia Mönchengladbach. Evan Ndicka, Timmy Chandler, Erik Durm, Dominik Kohr and fit-again Dost all started in place of David Abraham, Danny da Costa, Djibril Sow and Goncalo Paciencia, who all dropped to the bench, as well as Filip Kostic, who missed out due to a knee complaint.

First half: Dost breakthrough

The noisy home fans were quickly silenced as Eintracht took an early lead: Martin Hinteregger picked out Dost in the box with a deep cross, and the Dutch striker produced a looping header that deceived St. Pauli goalkeeper Korbinian Müller. Before the home side could come up with a response, the Eagles doubled their advantage in the 16th minute, Dost latching on to a through ball and neatly chipping the onrushing Müller.
As the half wore on, the visitors, who looked extremely comfortable in possession, might have added to their tally, with Kohr and Hinteregger both missing viable opportunities. In the 43rd minute, however, St. Pauli were given a lifeline when referee Matthias Jöllenbeck awarded a penalty following a handball by Hinteregger. Waldemar Sobota slotted the ball past Frederik Ronnow and suddenly the second-tier side were back in it.

Second half: Eagles in control

Despite the tighter scoreline, the game followed a similar pattern in the second half, with SGE holding on to the ball for long periods while probing for an opening, and St. Pauli seemingly content to launch occasional, dangerous-looking counter-attacks. As the Hamburg outfit began to push forward more often in search of a leveller, the Eintracht rearguard responded admirably, providing excellent cover and delivering crunching tackles when needed.

As stoppage time approached, substitute Christian Conteh was forced off with an injury, leaving St. Pauli – who had already made three changes – with ten men and severely hindering any potential grandstand finish. Consequently, the Eagles saw out the remaining minutes calmly, and then proceeded to take the acclaim of the large and vocal travelling support.

Summary: Tricky tie navigated

Eintracht will be pleased with their night’s work in Hamburg, during which they took control of the match early on and subsequently restricted their determined opponents to very few clear-cut chances. Hütter had stated that he wanted his charges to “rise to the challenge”, which they certainly did, and they can now look forward to competing in the last 16 of a competition that holds such fond memories for everyone connected with the club.

SGE line-up

Ronnow – Ndicka, Hasebe (c), Hinteregger (Abraham 46’) – Fernandes, Durm, Kohr, Rode, Chandler (Da Costa 46’), Kostic – Kamada, Dost (Paciencia 88’)

Goals

0-1 Dost (4’)
0-2 Dost (16’)
1-2 Sobota (43’ pen)


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