Switzerland’s Brielle Embolo scored the only goal against Cameroon – the country of his birth – in the opening match of World Cup Group G.
Embolo refused to celebrate when he finished off a fine Swiss attack shortly after the break.
It was unfortunate that the Indomitable Lions lost out after a daring display at Al Janoub Stadium in Qatar.
The win was vital for Switzerland, as both sides still have to face Brazil in the group.
Embolo moved to Switzerland from Cameroon with his family when he was six years old and pledged allegiance to the European nation after he was granted citizenship in 2014.
At just 18, he set up the Embolo Foundation to support refugee children in Switzerland and underprivileged children in the country of his birth.
He said before the match that it would be a “very special” occasion to play against Cameroon and when he scored a goal he raised his arms respectfully and closed his eyes.
His goal secured victory for a team with high expectations – his coach, Murat Yakin, declared his team “the best Swiss team ever” and said he expected them to make their best return at the World Cup.
But they struggled in the first half against Cameroon’s vibrant start and had to fall behind, with Eric Choupo-Moting, Brian Mbeumo and Martin Hungla all missing good chances.
The goal shook Cameroon and the Swiss had a chance to extend their lead, however, Andre Onana made a superb save from Ruben Vargas, while Embolo and substitute Haris Seferovic prevented the last defence.
The Indomitable Lions have now lost eight consecutive World Cup finals matches, but Rigobert Song’s side have sometimes impressed here.
Their next match against Serbia will be pivotal if they are to have any chance of becoming the first Cameroon side to progress beyond the group stage since 1990.
For Switzerland, the win gives some breathing space ahead of their match against group favorites Brazil on Monday.
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Classification range key = give up = Absolute perfection
formation – formation 4-2-3-1
- 5AkanjiBooked in 83 minutes
- 4ElvediBooked in 64 minutes
- 13Rodriguezreplaced withcomartin 90 ‘Minutes
- 23Shakirireplaced withOkaforin 72 ‘Minutes
- 15thsowreplaced withFreein 71 ‘Minutes
- 17Vargasreplaced withreaderin 81 ‘Minutes
- 7empoloreplaced withSeferovichin 72 ‘Minutes
formation – formation 4-3-3
- 19Faye CollinsBooked in 36 minutes
- 14Um Jet
- 18Honglareplaced withondoin 68 ‘Minutes
- 20Mbeumureplaced withNgamaleuin 81 ‘Minutes
- 13Chubu Motingreplaced withAbu Bakrin 74 ‘Minutes
- 12Toko Ekambireplaced withNkodoin 74 ‘Minutes
- 2Mbekele stars
- 10Abu Bakr
- Facundo Tello
The match ended, Switzerland 1, Cameroon 0.
The second half ends, Switzerland 1 and Cameroon 0.
Manuel Akanji (Switzerland) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Georges Kevin Nkodo (Cameroon).
Corner, Switzerland. Grants from Jean-Charles Castelletto.
Attempt is prohibited. Haris Seferovic (Switzerland) left footed shot from the center of the penalty area is blocked. Assisted by Fabian Rieder with a header.
Corner, Switzerland. Nouhou Tolo against him.
Alternative, Switzerland. Iray Comert replaces Ricardo Rodriguez.
Foul by Gail Ondoua (Cameroon).
Fabian Rieder (Switzerland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Granit Xhaka (Switzerland) is saved with his left foot from outside the penalty area in the bottom right corner. With assistance from Noah Okafor.
Foul by Moume Ngamaleu (Cameroon).
Ricardo Rodriguez (Switzerland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Manuel Akanji (Switzerland) is shown a yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Manuel Akanji (Switzerland).
Franck Anguissa (Cameroon) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Switzerland. Against him, Nicolas Nkoulou.
Substitution, Cameroon. Moumi Ngamaleu replaces Bryan Mbeumo.
Alternative, Switzerland. Fabian Reeder replaces Rubén Vargas.
Foul – Fabian Frey (Switzerland).
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