FIFA World Cup: Apologetic embolo gives Switzerland a narrow win over Cameroon | FIFA World Cup news

Al Wakrah (Qatar): Switzerland beat Cameroon 1-0 on Thursday at Al Janoub Stadium with a goal against Breel Embolo’s run of play against their native country to win their opener in Group G.

Born in Yaounde but raised in Basel, Embolo struck three minutes after the restart following a cutback by Xherdan Shaqiri to go top of the table.

The 25-year-old refused to celebrate the goal on his 60th cap, raising his hands in the air and frowning as the small group of Swiss fans cheered wildly at Al-Janoub Stadium.

Swiss coach Murat Yakin praised his team’s overall performance.

“It was a mature performance with a lot of solidarity from the whole team,” he said.


Swiss players applaud the fans after the game. Photo: Reuters/Suhaib Salem

Switzerland’s goal came after Cameroon dominated the first half and missed several good chances to take the lead.

The Indomitable Lions, who eliminated Algeria in a play-off to qualify for the tournament, had outplayed the Swiss in the opening 45 minutes with quick combinations, speed and power while their opponents remained toothless on offense.

They got their first chance after 10 minutes when Bryan Mbeumo tested goalkeeper Yann Sommer before Karl Toko Ekambi sent his rebound over the bar.

André Frank Zambo Anguissa

Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa of Cameroon (right) walks past Switzerland’s Djibril Sow. Photo: AFP/Fabrice Coffrini

The Swiss struggled again a little later when in-form striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting snatched the ball away from an opponent to charge into the box, only Sommer was able to block his attempt.

In their quest for their first World Cup win in 20 years, Cameroon were bolder, taking on their opponents in one-on-one situations, while the Swiss rarely managed to get into the Africans’ penalty area.

Switzerland, who finished in the last 16 at the previous two World Cups, struck early in the second half when the veteran Shaqiri broke into the box and Embolo scored for the winner.

An almost identical move just after the hour nearly found the Swiss again but Ruben Vargas’ shot was missed by goalkeeper Andre Onana to keep his team in the game.

Cameron failed to repeat his first-half performance, failed to pose a serious threat to Sommer and was lucky not to concede another goal in added time through Haris Seferovic.

“The next game is crucial for us. We have to create opportunities. But we remain with our heads held high and know that everything is possible,” said Cameroon coach Rigobert Song.

Next up on Monday are Switzerland against Brazil and Cameroon against Serbia.


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