Stuttgart beats Freiburg, gets Bayern Munich in German Cup final
Stuttgart advanced to the German Cup final against Bayern Munich by beating Freiburg 2-1 in the semifinals on Wednesday.
Arthur Boka and Martin Harnik scored for Stuttgart before halftime, with Jan Rosenthal notching Freiburg's goal in between the two strikes.
The final is on June 1 in Berlin's Olympic stadium. Since Bayern has already qualified for the Champions League as Bundesliga winner, Stuttgart will enter the final round of qualifying for the Europa League.
Bayern beat Wolfsburg 6-1 on Tuesday to advance to the Berlin final.
Stuttgart won the last of its three German Cup titles from six finals in 1997 under coach Joachim Loew, who is now in charge of Germany.
Freiburg is the surprise team of the season, and the small provincial club still has a chance of playing European football as it is currently fifth in the Bundesliga. This was its first appearance in the German Cup semifinals.
Stuttgart took control early and went ahead in the ninth minute. Ibrahima Traore ran down the left flank and passed into the middle, where all Boka had to do was stick out his boot and send the ball into the net.
Freiburg replied quickly. Max Kruse released Rosenthal, and he outpaced Boka to slot inside the far post.
Stuttgart regained the lead against the run of play in the 29th. Freiburg failed to clear a cross and possession went to Christian Gentner, who crossed the ball back into the area for Harnik to withstand the attention of three defenders and head it in off the underside of the crossbar.
Pavel Krmas cleared on the line from Vedad Ibisevic in the 53rd.
Stuttgart goalkeeper Sven Ulreich made a one-handed save to swat away a deflected shot by Max Kruse.
At the other end of the ground, goalkeeper Oliver Baumann prevented Stuttgart from taking a bigger lead when he stopped a one-on-one effort from Harnik.
The two sides meet again in the Bundesliga on Sunday.