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Lugano consolidate Continental Cup chances

Lugano players celebrate a goal in their victory over Milan Keystone

Lugano have strengthened their chances of a semi-finals place in ice hockey's Continental Cup, after beating Milan 3-1.

The canton Ticino side fought hard against their Italian neighbours, in what was their toughest game so far in the pan-European club competition. Milan were leading 1-0 as late as the thirty-ninth minute, when Aeschlimann equalised for Lugano.

His shot was followed by two more from teammates Keller and Bozon, the latter hitting an open goal. Having breezed passed Ukrainian side Sokol Kiev 3-0 in Friday’s match, Lugano now lead the cup table.

Sokol themselves face Austria’s Villach on Saturday. If Villach lose, then Lugano are mathematically assured of top spot, and will have qualified for the semi-finals in November.

But if Villach take the win, then Lugano, who play the Austrians on Sunday, need to take one further point to book their place in the semi-finals. The semis are being held in Lugano’s home canton in November, pitting reigning champions and archrivals Ambri-Piotta against the Munich Barons, the winner of Lugano’s group, and the as-yet-undecided fourth qualifier.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR