Switzerland’s Breel Embolo scored the lone goal against his native Cameroon in a closely fought World Cup opener in Group G.
Embolo refused to celebrate when he completed a slick Swiss attack shortly after the break.
The indomitable lions were unlucky to lose after an enterprising display at Qatar’s Al Janoub Stadium.
The win was vital for Switzerland as both sides have yet to face Brazil in the group.
Embolo moved to Switzerland with his family from Cameroon as a six-year-old and pledged his allegiance to the European nation after being granted citizenship in 2014.
At just 18 years old, he founded the Embolo Foundation to support refugee children in Switzerland and underprivileged children in his native country.
He said before the game that it would be “a very special” occasion to play against Cameroon and when he scored, he raised his arms respectfully and closed his eyes.
His attack secured victory for a side with high expectations – boss Murat Yakin has declared his side “the best Swiss side ever” and said he expects them to have their best return at a World Cup.
Still, they struggled in the first half despite a lively start in Cameroon and should have fallen behind, with Eric Choupo-Moting, Bryan Mbeumo and Martin Hongla all missing representative opportunities.
The goal rocked Cameroon and the Swiss had chances to extend their lead, only for Andre Onana to make a superb save from Ruben Vargas, while Embolo and substitute Haris Seferovic were denied by last ditch defence.
The Indomitable Lions have now lost eight consecutive games in the World Cup final, but Rigobert Song’s side has sometimes impressed here.
Their next game against Serbia will be crucial if they are to have any chance of becoming Cameroon’s first team to progress beyond the group stage since 1990.
For Switzerland, the victory gives them breathing space ahead of their match against group favorites Brazil on Monday.
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- 5AkanjiBooked at 83 minutes
- 4ByeBooked at 64 minutes
- 13RodriguezSubstituted forGenerousBee 90′minutes
- 23ShaqiriSubstituted forOkaphorBee 72′minutes
- 15SowSubstituted forFreeBee 71′minutes
- 17woeSubstituted forwheelsBee 81′minutes
- 7PlungerSubstituted forSeferovicBee 72′minutes
- 19Fay CollinsBooked at 36 minutes
- 21small castle
- 14Uncle Gouet
- 18HonglaSubstituted forTurn it onBee 68′minutes
- 20MbeumoSubstituted forI apologizeBee 81′minutes
- 13Choupo-MotingSubstituted foraboubakarBee 74′minutes
- 12Shop-EkambiSubstituted forNkoudouBee 74′minutes
- 1By pandouetnbu
- 2Ngo Mbekeli
- 5Turn it on
- 6I apologize
- 17An advantage
- Facundo Tello
Match ends, Switzerland 1, Cameroon 0.
Second Half ends, Switzerland 1, Cameroon 0.
Manuel Akanji (Switzerland) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Georges-Kévin Nkoudou (Cameroon).
Hook, Switzerland. Conceded by Jean-Charles Castelletto.
Attempt blocked. Haris Seferovic (Switzerland) left footed shot from the center of the box is blocked. Assisted by Fabian Rieder with a header.
Hook, Switzerland. Conceded by Nouhou Tolo.
Replacement, Switzerland. Eray Comert replaces Ricardo Rodriguez.
Foul by Gaël Ondoua (Cameroon).
Fabian Rieder (Switzerland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Granit Xhaka (Switzerland) left footed shot saved by the keeper! Attempt saved from outside the box in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Noah Okafor.
Foul by Moumi Ngamaleu (Cameroon).
Ricardo Rodríguez (Switzerland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Manuel Akanji (Switzerland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Manuel Akanji (Switzerland).
Frank Anguissa (Cameroon) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Hook, Switzerland. Conceded by Nicolas Nkoulou.
Replacement, Cameroon. Moumi Ngamaleu replaces Bryan Mbeumo.
Replacement, Switzerland. Fabian Rieder replaces Ruben Vargas.
Foul by Fabian Frei (Switzerland).
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