Stuttgart book German Cup final

Berlin, April 18 (IANS) Stuttgart overcame Freiburg 2-1 in the southern derby of the DFB Pokal semifinals thanks to the decisive goal by Martin Harnik at the Mercedes Benz Arena.

The hosts had a frenetic start to Wednesday’s match and nearly grabbed the lead within five minutes, but Martin Harnik squandered the chance one on one with Freiburg goalkeeper Oliver Baumann, reports Xinhua.

Stuttgart were rewarded in the ninth minute as Arthur Boka slammed home a low cross by Ibrahima Traore to break the deadlock.

Freiburg responded four minutes later when Max Kruse set up Jan Rosenthal, who beat onrushing Stuttgart keeper Sven Ulreich into the far post corner at the 13th minute.

Stuttgart again had an answer ready as Harnik headed home a cross by Christian Gentner at the back post to stun the visitors at the 29th minute.

However, Freiburg frenetically pressed for the equalizer but Stuttgart’s well-positioned defence was able to wind down the clock to finish a mediocre season with a final in Berlin.

“Stuttgart were the better team today. They deserved the victory as we were just not good enough,” Freiburg coach Christian Streich said.

Result of the second-leg matches in the German Cup semi-finals:

Wednesday:

VfB Stuttgart 2 (Boka 9, Harnik 29) Freiburg 1 (Rosenthal 14).

Tuesday:

Bayern Munich 6 (Mandzukic 17, Robben 35, Shaqiri 50, Gomez 80, 83, 86) VfL Wolfsburg 1 (Diego 45).

Final at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium June 1.

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