PAULI EDGE THRILLER !
Whew! What a finish that was! Pauli hold on to pick up their first three points on what was an incredible afternoon of drama at the Millerntor. Jackson Irvine, Leart Paqarada and Lukas Daschner were all on target for the hosts in the first half. Nuremberg hit back through Kwadwo Duah at the start of the second half while a late Enrico Valentini strike meant for a nervy ending for the Kiezkicker!
VALENTINI DRAMA !
Valentini pounces on a loose defensive header before slamming home on the half volley. Nuremberg with a late lifeline!
The board shows there will be four extra minutes to play.
SCHINDLER OFF TARGET
Defender Christopher Schindler wallops one over the bar and drops his head in disappointment. It's been a tough day for Der Club, who will leave here with plenty of food for thought. Improvements will no doubt be made ahead of next week's game at home to Greuther Fürth.
PAULI ON COURSE
WEKESSER TRIES ONE
Wekesser stands over the set piece. He has a look at the target but surely he's not going to have a go from here. He does! Smarsch races across to claw the ball away from danger. That was ambitious.
HARTEL HAS A GO
Hartel with an ambitious effort from the left which whizzes off target. Pauli are taking this one home, it seems. Nuremberg's early second-half fight appears to have fallen away.
Substitute Wekesser lashes a left-footed shot into the ground that spins narrowly wide. Der Club are not out of this just yet.
Nuremberg are beginning to tire here. Eggestein moves forward before unleashing a shot that is blocked. Pauli are looking to turn the screw.
END TO END
Chances at both ends: Daferner just fails to connect with a ball over the top for Nuremberg. Pauli come back with Smith's shot deflected off target.
HOSTS RETAKE CONTROL
Paqarada stings the palms of goalkeeper Mathenia with a rasping shot fro the left. The subsequent corner comes to nothing.
DER CLUB HIT BACK
Sensational start to the second half for Nuremberg! Duah latches on to the through ball and almost scuffs a shot to the far post before wheeling away in celebration as the ball nestles in the bottom corner. Game on?
AWAY WE GO, PART II
Nuremberg get us underway for the second half. Visiting coach Robert Klauß makes a change, with Wekesser entering the scene.
And breathe! What a half of football that was! The majority of fans inside the Millerntor-Stadion are on their feet and applauding. Pauli are almost out of sight here having given Nuremberg a lesson in finishing in that opening 45 minutes. Can the visitors produce an early second-half response?
CLINICAL BOYS IN BROWN
The incredible thing is that Nuremberg have not played that badly. Simply put, Pauli have been clinical in front of goal and have been relieved to see the visitors fail to take advantage of plenty of uncertainty at the back.
PAULI PARTY !!
Incredible ! Pauli are 3-0 up after Daschner takes possession on the edge of the area, controls and prods a delicate finish in off the upright!
HOSTS INCREASE LEAD
Easy does it from Paqarada, who sends the keeper the wrong way from the penalty spot to the delight of the home fans. Nuremberg don't know what's hit them.
PENALTY PAULI !
The hosts have a chance to double their lead from the spot after a review goes with the referee's original decision to award a foul on Daschner.
Uffff Smarsch again looking uncomfortable as he comes off his line only to see Medic's looping back header heading goalwards. The keeper adjusts his feet and rescues the situation. Serious communication issues for Pauli at the back.
SMARSCH AWOL AGAIN
Another goalkeeper/defender mix up for Pauli ! The visitors' Dennis Smarsch - in as injury cover - is having a bit of a nightmare here. The shot stopper comes off his line again messes up his lines. Nuremberg fail to take advantage and the keeper is left looking flustered.
IRVINE ON TARGET
There it is ! Against the run of play for sure, but Jackson Irvine doesn't care, Pauli's No.7 getting to Matanovic's set piece before heading home. The hosts edge in front!
VISITORS IN COMMAND
Oooh, Asger Sorensen is leaning back into a shot after the ball reaches him from a corner. The defender's effort flies wide but that could have been trouble once again for Pauli.
DAFERNER CHANCE !
The ball loops all the way across to Daferner who has time to control. The forward subsequently lashes his shot wide of the upright. That was a top chance.
Der Club look to have settled into their shape and are prodding the ball around confidently. Robert Klauß's side may not have been at their best in pre-season, but they're looking sharp here.
PAULI MIX UP
Scenes! Pauli 'keeper Smarsch and Medic get into one hell of a mix up, the defender chesting the ball to his custodian, who doesn't anticipate the pass. Smarsch eventually tidies up from Daferner's shot but that was close to being catastrophic for the hosts.
Duman blasts a shot over the top as Nuremberg make inroads into the Pauli defence. There's been a fast, free-flowing start to this game.
HOSTS' QUICK START
Pauli break upfield and are almost in when Marcel Hartel just fails to collect possession at the crucial moment.
KICK OFF !
Game on at the Millerntor-Stadion.
HERE COME THE TEAMS
It's a beautiful, bright afternoon here in the St. Pauli district of Hamburg, The teams are out, the captains going through their pre-game formalities. Ladies and gentlemen, we are good to go.
IT'S ALMOST TIME !
The teams are completing their respective warm-ups out on the pitch in front of a packed Millerntor. We're all set for a spectacular atmosphere as these two promotion hopefuls kick start their 2022/23 challenge.
PAULI TEAM NEWS
Pauli goalkeeper Nikola Vasilj sustained a fractured finger in pre-season and thus misses out today. Dennis Smarsch comes in between the posts for the hosts. Recent signing, Betim Fazliji, takes a place on the bench.
NUREMBERG TEAM NEWS
Nuremberg report that Johannes Geis is a late withdrawal from today's encounter at the Millerntor, the midfielder suffering with an illness. The 24-year-old Taylan Duman steps in to fill the void.
Klaus, Fofana, Valentini, Wekesser, Castrop, Jahn, Shuranov, Wintzheimer
NUREMBERG STARTING XI
Mathenia - Gyamerah, Schindler, Sorensen, Handwerker - Tempelmann, Nürnberger, Duman, Möller Daehli - Duah, Daferner
ST PAULI SUBS
Peitzmeier, Fazliji, Ritzka, Zander, Aremu, Boukhalfa, Jessen, Metcalfe, Otto
ST PAULI STARTING XI
Smarsch - Saliakas, Dzwigala, Medic, Paqarada - Irvine, Smith, Hartel, Daschner - Eggestein, Matanovic
COACH KLAUß "FULL OF ANTICIPATION"
PAULI "WELL SET"
Here's what home coach Timo Schultz had to say about Pauli's big kick off today. "...we're well set for the opening game, even though we need and want to improve over the course of the season. We go into the Nuremberg game having prepared well and are happy to start at home against decent opposition."
UP AND DOWN
While Pauli are embarking on a 12th successive season in Bundesliga 2, Nuremberg are playing in the second tier for the fourth year in a row. Something of a yo-yo team, Der Club have been relegated as many times (nine) as they've been promoted. They finished eighth last season, after surviving via the play-offs in 2019/20 and ending the following campaign in 11th.
A SEASON OF TWO HALVES
After going so close last season, St. Pauli begin the promotion trail anew against Nuremberg - another team with designs on the big time. Stay tuned for live build-up and match coverage from the Millerntor!