Munich - Having done all of the damage in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League tie with Russia's oldest club Dinamo Moskva, Bruno Labbadia's VfB Stuttgart clinched their place in the competition's group stages courtesy of a 1-1 draw (agg. 3-1) in the Russian capital.

The Swabian side put their disappointing loss to VfL Wolfsburg behind them with a confident defensive performance that successfully staved off Moskva's constant advances. Vedad Ibisevic broke the deadlock and, though Alexsandr Kokorin leveled the scores late on, Stuttgart did enough over the course of two legs to progress into the next stage of the tournament.

Moskva take initiative

VfB were comfortable in possession during the opening exchanges, but it was the hosts, without an away goal to their name, who began purposefully as they looked to put a dent in Stuttgart's two-goal first leg lead. They failed to make the pressure count though, as Kokorin and Balasz Dzsudzsak both squandered early chances before the visitors began threatening on the counter.

Shinji Okazaki scuffed an effort from just inside the box, which failed to trouble Anton Shunin, but almost set-up the opening goal when he broke to the byline, only for Martin Harnik to crash his near post effort off the woodwork and away from danger. Moskva looked the more likely score, yet Stuttgart's compact backline proved too tough a nut to crack for the home side in the first half.

Moskva out-maneuvered

However, Dinamo almost went ahead seconds after the restart when Christian Noboa caught Stuttgart napping only to hit the bar with his improvised volley. Labbadia's charges were happy to take the sting out the game, but grabbed the all-important away goal just past the hour mark to really take the wind out of Moskva's sails.

Two-goal hero from the first leg, Ibisevic, broke Dinamo's offside trap before controlling the ball on his chest and coolly finishing past Shunin at his front post. Former VfB striker Kevin Kuranyi almost found an immediate response, but his rasping effort could only rustle the side netting as it flew wide of the target. Moskva refused to lay down and though Kokorin did find the back of the net, it proved to be nothing more than a consolation for the home fans as Stuttgart sealed their qualification for the UEFA Europa League group stages.


Stuttgart: Ulreich - Sakai, Tasci, Maza, Boka (Molinaro 71') - Kvist, Gentner - Harnik (Tunay Torun 68'), Hajnal, Okazaki - Ibisevic (Cacau 78')

Moskva: Schunin - Chicherin, Schildenfeld, Fernandez, Granat - Sapeta (Semshov 61'), Noboa - Dzsudzsak (Nekhaychik 68'), Lomic - Kuranyi (Misimovic 68') - Kokorin

Goals: 0-1 Ibisevic (64'), 1-1 Kokorin (78')

James Thorogood