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Switzerland crush Japan

Aeschlimann (right) is congratulated by his team mates after scoring Switzerland's first goal of the match

(Keystone)

Switzerland's resounding 5-1 ice hockey victory against Japan was a welcome shot in the arm after their humiliating 3-0 loss to Germany.

Monday night's win in Goteborg, Sweden, secured Switzerland's place in the World Championships intermediate round, avoiding the threat of relegation.

Opening drama

It was not all plain sailing for head coach Ralph Krueger and his young team as they battled against their relatively inexperienced Japanese foes.

Japan's Masatuhi Ito scored the first goal of the evening in the 10th minute. But, with Swiss nerves almost snapping, Jean-Jacques Aeschlimann equalised in the 19th minute.

"Aeschlimann's goal revived our chances," Krueger said. "My young players proved they could win an important match."

Goals scored by Adrian Wichser, Martin Plüss and Aeschlimann put Switzerland comfortably in front before Martin Steinegger completed the rout.

As well as ensuring Switzerland's progression into the intermediate qualifying round, which gets underway on Thursday, the win over Japan also removes the threat of relegation which had been hanging over the Swiss since their defeats to the Czech Republic and Germany.

swissinfo with agencies


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