Stuttgart beats Freiburg 1-0 in Bundesliga

Posted Saturday, January 23, 2010 by AP

FRANKFURT (AP)—Ciprian Marica’s goal late in the first half was enough for Stuttgart to collect a 1-0 victory at Freiburg and continue its strong run in the Bundesliga on Friday.

The Champions League side collected its third straight win and extended its unbeaten streak to five games.

Christian Gross’ team improved to 22 points from 19 rounds, moving to 11th place in the league.

“I think we’re out of the crisis. The success brings self-confidence. And things are going well now,” Stuttgart midfielder Alexander Hleb said.

Goalkeeper Sven Ulreich played his third game as the replacement for the suspended Jens Lehmann.

“We dominated the first half before Freiburg came back a bit in the second half. But we could have added a goal if we would have finished our counterattacks,” Ulreich said. “Still, most important is that we won.”

Freiburg was unable to clear some space from the relegation zone with its third loss in a row for 18 points and 15th in the standings.

Robin Dutt’s team has not scored in its last four games.

Stuttgart dominated the first half hour but was unable to take the lead until the 41st minute, when Marica collected a pass from Pavel Pogrebnyak before beating Freiburg keeper Simon Pouplin.

The host put the ball in the net after 63 minutes but Papiss Cisse’s shot was deflected in against the offside Heiko Butscher.

Stuttgart defender George Niedermeier cleared Felix Bastians’ header at the line with 14 minutes to play.

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