Zurich Lions failed by a whisker to pull off a sensational victory in Wednesday's first leg of the ice hockey Champions League final.
The Swiss team started well, scoring twice in the first 13 minutes, but in the end managed only a 2-2 draw with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of Russia.
Magnitogorsk's first goal did not come until the 52nd minute, but that was the turning point. A superb save by their goalkeeper prevented the Swiss from widening the gap again just five minutes later.
But it was only 43 seconds before the end of the game that the Russians equalised – a great disappointment for the Swiss goalkeeper in particular, who had previously deflected a number of difficult shots.
If the Lions win the return match in Rapperswil on January 28 they will secure the championship. A draw will still give them a chance of victory since the title will then be decided by penalty shoot-out.
The Champions League involves the national champion teams playing club hockey in Europe. 2008/2009 is its first season.