Little was missing and Zug would have made up for the 0:2 deficit from the first leg at home. After the 2:1 in the 41st minute, the central Swiss came close to a third goal several times, but in the end the Finns scored two more goals into the empty net.
Reto Suri, the scorer for the 1-0, lamented the loss of the second third, which was lost 0:1 despite a clear superiority (19:4 shots on goal) and top chances. Despite the strong performance in the Champions Hockey League, in which Zug had only reached the quarter-finals in the first seven attempts, Suri’s disappointment was understandably greater than his pride. “In the end we can twist and turn it however we want. We fell behind there early on, we knew they would touch the concrete afterwards. Of course we could have invested more after the 2-0 defeat, but maybe we would have been knifed once or twice and lost 4-0. In some cases, millimeters were missing to make up for the deficit. Nobody knows what would have been the right thing,” he said.
EVZ coach Dan Tangnes, on the other hand, already saw the bigger perspective: “I’m proud of our run, we showed our best ice hockey so far this season in the Champions League. Tonight we played with heart. We deserved more goals. The margins are small and that’s the way it should be. But of course it sucks to be on the wrong side.” Despite the strong performance against Tappara Tampere, Zug is only 9th in the table with 17 wins in 35 games, so that they even have to worry about the direct qualification for the quarter-finals (top 6).
Suri is determined to turn things around and build on the performance in the second leg against Tappara Tampere. “We know what’s waiting for us in the league. There is a big mountain to climb. Today we proved what we are capable of against an absolutely top European team. If we do it night after night, things will soon look different.” Despite his disappointment, Suri’s determination is still greater than his pride.