Saturday, September 23, 2023

Superstar Mikko Rantanen confuses the audience at Nokia Arena – “There’s someone out there now”


The Lions’ number one star reminds us of the nature of the World Cup tournament.


The Lions suffered a 1-2 loss to Sweden in Monday night’s struggle for supremacy. Thus, the first World Cup home win over a western neighbor in history was still awaited.

Finland clearly dominated the match, especially in the opening set, but Sweden’s keeper Lars Johansson, 35, was difficult to overcome.

– tough game. Sweden defends the center well. Maybe we lacked some restraint in the game of attack. Maybe we tried to force it in the middle a little bit. A few times himself, Mikko Rantanen said.

– There were again positions to score the required goals, but now there is some pressure. You have to rest, Ratanen continued.

Rantanen, playing as the biggest star of the World Cup in Tampere, has yet to kick start his machines except for the triple set that dominated Germany’s play.

The points balance in Rantanen’s first three – as well as the toughest – group matches was 0+2.

Against Sweden, the puck bounced confusedly on Rantanen’s platform. The superstar was far from his best.

– Sometimes it happens. We’re trying to add extra focus so it doesn’t bounce, Rantanen said.

Rantanen looked very comfortable outside the rink at the start of the WC tournament. However, he looked very disappointed after Monday night’s defeat.

– I haven’t taken it easy. Yes, I think I work and defend a lot. I go both hard, skin and tackle.

Today again there was space. In that too (Ville) Pokka scored from behind, yes you should score in that. In places like that, you probably need a little bit of mental sharpness and a strong racket, so we put the puck in the backpack.

Mikko Rantanen fought hard against Sweden.

Mikko Rantanen fought hard against Sweden. Photo: Heikki Soukoma / Lehtikuva

Rentz was asked whether the reason for the bounce of the puck was in the ice, which was criticized, at least from the Swedish camp.

– It’s the same for both. Maybe it’s a little soft, but that’s no excuse. If the ice is bad, you have to play more simply.

After the match, Rantanen reminisced about the nature of the World Cup tournament. Although the Lions have lost two of their three matches, they won’t matter much in the big picture if they only finish among the top four in the group, ie the quarter-finals.

– There’s still a lot of time here. The most important games won’t start until next week. But of course we need to win here to get a good place in the group. But one game and one change at a time, I’m progressing myself. Yes, I believe it will definitely be better, Rantanen said.

Finland’s tournament continues on Wednesday at 20:20 with a match against France.

With the two losses, Finland’s road to winning the group is starting to be rocky. This probably means that in the quarter-finals, one will face one of the three tougher teams in Group B: Canada, the Czech Republic or Switzerland.

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