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Swiss ice hockey team beaten by late Swedish goal

Switzerland suffered a 1-0 defeat in Wednesday's friendly match against Sweden, after conceding a goal with less two minutes of the game remaining.

The result ensured that Ralph Krueger’s men made a losing start to the five friendly matches scheduled before the world championships in Germany. More than 11,000 fans in Zurich’s Hallenstadion saw the Swedish visitors ‘steal’ victory with the single goal from Mikael Renberg.

A draw would have certainly been a more fitting end to a match which had seen both sides roughly level in terms of shots and goal chances. However Sweden had shown signs of improvement in the later stages of the game, following a sluggish start.

Marc Reichert and Sandy Jeannin had the best of the Swiss chances.

Afterwards, Krueger said he was not too unhappy about the defeat, explaining that he had been satisfied by the team’s defensive play and by his players’ adherence to his instructions. “There were also possibilities in attack,” the German-Canadian trainer added, “but in the end the Swedes had the right man in the right place.”

Krueger also said he was confident of taking revenge on Friday, when the two teams are set to meet once more in Lugano.

Just as reassuring for Krueger was the number of spectators who turned up for the match. With an official attendance figure of 12,000, Wednesday’s crowd appeared to even outnumber that which watched Zurich’s homegames against Lugano in the finals of the Swiss league championships.

The crowd was also the biggest at an international friendly in Switzerland for 15 years.

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