Stuttgart outlasted Freiburg 2-1 on Wednesday to advance to the DFB Pokal Final in Berlin where they'll face the record title holders, Bayern Munich.
The opening half hour of the match was up and down the field. Freiburg held a majority of the possession, but that played right into Stuttgart's hands. Ten minutes had yet to tick off the clock when the hosts grabbed the lead.
After a Freiburg turnover in the Stuttgart half, Ibrahima Traore took off with the ball on a dead sprint up the left hand side of the field. The Guinean left the Freiburg players behind him before playing a cross in to Arthur Boka. The midfielder finished past Oliver Baumann with his first touch to give the hosts the early lead.
Freiburg didn't let the early goal dampen their mood. They kept attacking and were rewarded with an equalizer moments later. Jan Rosenthal broke through the Stuttgart backline and managed to hold off Boka before slotting his shot past Sven Ulreich to level the score at 1-1 just thirteen minutes into the match.
Ten minutes later, Stuttgart were back on top. After Vedad Ibisevic's shot was blocked, the ball was knocked back into the penalty area. Martin Harnik beat his man to the header. The ball struck the crossbar and bounced over the line for the 2-1 lead that they would carry into halftime.
The second half was a far more physical affair with players from both sides picking up yellow cards. Max Kruse nearly found the equalizer in the 70th minute with a bullet shot that Ulreich just managed to get a hand to it and palm away after taking a deflection from Antonio Rüdiger.
Stuttgart's defense held firmly together for the majority of the match. While Freiburg were consistently passing their way through Stuttgart in the middle of the field, they struggled to break down the Swabians as their midfield sank deeper toward their own goal. The next best chance of the match fell to Harnik in the 85th minute, but he was stonewalled by Baumann on the break to keep the score level.
The seconds ticked off the clock until the referee blew the final whistle sending Stuttgart to the Final.