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 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.”

Cameroon boss Rigobert Song admitted afterwards he would “have liked him to be on my side” but did say he was “proud” of Embolo.

“We are all proud of our country and you saw he did not celebrate the goal,” said Song. “That is part and parcel of football and I’m proud of him.”

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.

After the game, captain Granit Xhaka echoed his coach’s comments, arguing “we can beat anyone” and pointing to their record in recent tournaments as evidence of their potential.

Yet Switzerland 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 Song’s side impressed at times here.

Song 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 favorites Brazil on Monday.

Player of the match

xhakaGranite 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 nameRodriguez

  7. squad number9Player nameSeferovic

  8. squad numberonePlayer namesommer

  9. squad number3Player nameWidmer

  10. squad number4Player namethe glove

  11. squad number17Player nameVargas

  12. squad number15Player namesow

  13. squad number20Player namefrei

  14. squad number25Player nameRieder

  15. squad number19Player nameokaphor

  16. squad number18Player nameGenerous

cameron

  1. squad number13Player nameChoupo-Moting

  2. squad number20Player namembeumo

  3. squad number23Player nameona

  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

  • onesommer
  • 3Widmer
  • 5akanjiBooked at 83mins
  • 4the gloveBooked at 64mins
  • 13RodriguezSubstituted forGeneroushorse 90′minutes
  • 8Freuler
  • 10xhaka
  • 23ShaqiriSubstituted forokaphorhorse 72′minutes
  • 15sowSubstituted forfreihorse 71′minutes
  • 17VargasSubstituted forRiederhorse 81′minutes
  • 7emboloSubstituted forSeferovichorse 72′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Fernandes
  • 6Zakaria
  • 9Seferovic
  • 12omlin
  • 14aebischer
  • 16Fassnacht
  • 18Generous
  • 19okaphor
  • 20frei
  • 21Kobel
  • 22schar
  • 24Kohn
  • 25Rieder
  • 26jashari

cameron

formation 4-3-3

  • 23ona
  • 19Fai CollinsBooked at 36mins
  • 21Castelletto
  • 3Nkoulou
  • 25Tolo
  • 8Anguissa
  • 14Oum Gouet
  • 18honglaSubstituted forondouahorse 68′minutes
  • 20mbeumoSubstituted forNgamaleuhorse 81′minutes
  • 13Choupo-MotingSubstituted foraboubakarhorse 74′minutes
  • 12Toko-EkambiSubstituted forNkoudouhorse 74′minutes

Substitutes

  • oneNgapandouetnbu
  • 2Ngom Mbekeli
  • 4wow
  • 5ondoua
  • 6Ngamaleu
  • 7Nkoudou
  • 9Nsame
  • 10aboubakar
  • 11thbassogogue
  • 15Full nelson
  • 16epassy
  • 17Mbaizo
  • 22ntcham
  • 24Ebosse
  • 26marou

Referee:
Facundo Tello

Attendance:
39,089

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