Thursday, November 24, 2022 at 12:55• Mart Oude Nijeweeme • Last update: 13:04

Switzerland started the World Cup with a narrow victory over Cameroon. The team of national coach Murat Yakin played anything but convincing, but left the field after ninety minutes with a 1-0 win. Breel Embolo, of all people, who was born in Cameroon, was crowned man of the match with the only goal of the game. Later in the day, the other match from Group G will be played with Serbia – Brazil.

Cameroon is on a dramatic series at the World Cup finals. The African country was unable to win any of its last seven games and only Mexico recorded a worse series in the past (nine losses between 1930 and 1958). Switzerland, on the other hand, traveled to Qatar with confidence. The country finished in qualification above Italy, among others, and remained undefeated in the last five opening games at the World Cup. The last time the Swiss lost in the opening round at a World Cup was in 1996 (5-0 against Germany).

In addition to Embolo, Switzerland also entered with star players Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri. On the Cameroon side, there were basic places for André Onana and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting. Vincent Aboubakar was surprisingly passed. The first danger of the match came from Cameroon. After a quick breakout, Bryan Mbeumo came across Yann Sommer’s fists. The rebound was not spent on Karl Toko Ekambi. Olympique Lyon’s attacker shot hard and wildly over. Switzerland managed to play football under the pressure of Cameroon, but hardly created any significant opportunities.

Choupo-Moting Cameroon seemed to take the lead just before half-time. The Bayern Munich striker was given time and space to score, but saw his effort turned by Nico Elvedi. At the first achievement of the second half, Onana was immediately beaten. After a nice attack over several discs, Remo Freuler delivered the ball to the completely detached Embolo. The AS Monaco attacker was overlooked by the Cameroon defense and was able to easily finish from close range: 1-0. It turned out that it affected him at the celebration, when he couldn’t control his emotions and burst into tears.

For Onana, the goal against was a hard blow, because he really had nothing to do until the goal. For Switzerland, the opening goal was a sign to tighten the thumbscrews. After more than an hour of play, Ruben Vargas had an imposed chance to end the game early, but his effort was brilliantly caught by Onana. The Internazionale goalie then had to act once more on a shot by Xhaka, but the score did not change. The defeat brings Cameroon’s number of losses to eight. Next Monday, the team will rehabilitate against Dusan Tadic’s Serbia.