Stuttgart storm into qualification places in Group E after 2-0 win in Copenhagen
Stuttgart stormed into the qualification places in Europa League Group E with a win at FC Copenhagen.
Last Updated: 08/11/12 9:00pm
Vedad Ibisevic and Martin Harnik scored in the final quarter to seal a win that owed also to goalkeeper Sven Ulreich's heroics in the opening 45 minutes.
Stuttgart had started the day bottom of the group, following a goalless home draw with Copenhagen a fortnight ago, but leapt above their rivals and into second with victory.
The visitors were indebted to Ulreich in the opening period as he made a couple of impressive stops to keep it goalless.
Ulreich had to be at his best early to keep out the dangerous Andreas Cornelius from 12 yards before the ball was cleared.
Ibrahima Traore was off target at the other end before Ulreich was more comfortable as he held onto a header from Kris Stadsgaard.
Stadsgaard missed the target from 12 yards moments later as the hosts looked to turn the pressure up.
Harnik flashed a shot wide for Stuttgart but they went into the break happy to just be level after Ulreich made another fantastic stop to again deny Cornelius.
Both teams traded chances at the start of the second half with Ibisevic twice threatening with headers.
Ulreich had more work to do as he held on from Thomas Delaney and Christian Gentner.
But with 16 minutes remaining it was Stuttgart who broke the deadlock through Ibisevic. The striker got onto the end of an assist from Shinji Okazaki to head home from 12 yards.
Okazaki then drew a smart stop from Kim Christensen before Harnik sealed victory with a stunning strike in the third minute of injury time.
Cristian Molinaro's right-wing cross to the top of the area found Harnik who blasted in from 25 yards.