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World Cup 2022: Switzerland 1-0 Cameroon – Breel Embolo strike secures win

Switzerland’s Breel Embolo scored the only goal against Cameroon – the country of his birth – in a hard-fought World Cup Group G opener.

Embolo refused to celebrate when he finished off a slick Swiss attack shortly after half-time.

The Indomitable Lions were unfortunate to lose after an enterprising display at the Al Janoub Stadium in Qatar.

Victory was vital for Switzerland, as both sides still have to face Brazil in the group.

Embolo moved to Switzerland from Cameroon with his family as a six-year-old and pledged his allegiance to the European nation after being granted citizenship in 2014.

At the age of just 18, he set up the Embolo Foundation to support refugee children in Switzerland and disadvantaged children in the country of his birth.

He said before the game it would be “a very special” occasion to play against Cameroon and when he scored, he respectfully raised his arms and closed his eyes.

“I told him, ‘Breel, friendship until the start, then they are your opponents,'” said Switzerland coach Murat Yakin. “Football writes such stories but he completed his mission.

“I am very happy with his performance.”

Embolo’s strike ensured victory for a side with high expectations – Yakin has declared his squad “the best Switzerland side ever” and said he expects them to achieve their best return at a World Cup.

Yet they struggled in the first half in the face of a vibrant Cameroon start and ought to have gone behind, with Eric Choupo-Moting, Bryan Mbeumo and Martin Hongla all missing presentable opportunities.

The goal rocked Cameroon and the Swiss had chances to extend their lead, only for Andre Onana to save superbly from Ruben Vargas, while Embolo and substitute Haris Seferovic were denied by last-ditch defending.

The Indomitable Lions have now lost eight successive games at the World Cup finals but Rigobert Song’s side impressed at times here.

Head coach Song admitted afterwards their next game against Serbia will be “decisive” if they are to stand any chance of becoming the first Cameroon team to progress beyond the group stage since 1990.

For Switzerland, the win gives them breathing space before their match against group favourites Brazil on Monday.

Player of the match

XhakaGranit Xhaka

Switzerland

  1. Squad number10Player nameXhaka

  2. Squad number23Player nameShaqiri

  3. Squad number8Player nameFreuler

  4. Squad number7Player nameEmbolo

  5. Squad number5Player nameAkanji

  6. Squad number13Player nameRodríguez

  7. Squad number9Player nameSeferovic

  8. Squad number1Player nameSommer

  9. Squad number3Player nameWidmer

  10. Squad number4Player nameElvedi

  11. Squad number17Player nameVargas

  12. Squad number15Player nameSow

  13. Squad number20Player nameFrei

  14. Squad number25Player nameRieder

  15. Squad number19Player nameOkafor

  16. Squad number18Player nameCömert

Cameroon

  1. Squad number13Player nameChoupo-Moting

  2. Squad number20Player nameMbeumo

  3. Squad number23Player nameOnana

  4. Squad number5Player nameOndoua

  5. Squad number12Player nameToko-Ekambi

  6. Squad number10Player nameAboubakar

  7. Squad number6Player nameNgamaleu

  8. Squad number3Player nameNkoulou

  9. Squad number14Player nameOum Gouet

  10. Squad number25Player nameTolo

  11. Squad number18Player nameHongla

  12. Squad number8Player nameAnguissa

  13. Squad number21Player nameCastelletto

  14. Squad number19Player nameCollins Fai

  15. Squad number7Player nameNkoudou

Line-ups

Switzerland

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Sommer
  • 3Widmer
  • 5AkanjiBooked at 83mins
  • 4ElvediBooked at 64mins
  • 13RodríguezSubstituted forCömertat 90′minutes
  • 8Freuler
  • 10Xhaka
  • 23ShaqiriSubstituted forOkaforat 72′minutes
  • 15SowSubstituted forFreiat 71′minutes
  • 17VargasSubstituted forRiederat 81′minutes
  • 7EmboloSubstituted forSeferovicat 72′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Fernandes
  • 6Zakaria
  • 9Seferovic
  • 12Omlin
  • 14Aebischer
  • 16Fassnacht
  • 18Cömert
  • 19Okafor
  • 20Frei
  • 21Kobel
  • 22Schär
  • 24Köhn
  • 25Rieder
  • 26Jashari

Cameroon

Formation 4-3-3

  • 23Onana
  • 19Fai CollinsBooked at 36mins
  • 21Castelletto
  • 3Nkoulou
  • 25Tolo
  • 8Anguissa
  • 14Oum Gouet
  • 18HonglaSubstituted forOndouaat 68′minutes
  • 20MbeumoSubstituted forNgamaleuat 81′minutes
  • 13Choupo-MotingSubstituted forAboubakarat 74′minutes
  • 12Toko-EkambiSubstituted forNkoudouat 74′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Ngapandouetnbu
  • 2Ngom Mbekeli
  • 4Wooh
  • 5Ondoua
  • 6Ngamaleu
  • 7Nkoudou
  • 9Nsame
  • 10Aboubakar
  • 11Bassogog
  • 15Kunde
  • 16Epassy
  • 17Mbaizo
  • 22Ntcham
  • 24Ebosse
  • 26Marou

Referee:
Facundo Tello

Attendance:
39,089

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