FIFA World Cup - Group G
SwitzerlandSwitzerland1CameroonCameroon0

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

By Joe BradshawBBC Sport

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 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

with an average of 7.70

Switzerland

  1. Squad number10Player nameXhaka
    Average rating

    7.70

  2. Squad number23Player nameShaqiri
    Average rating

    7.49

  3. Squad number8Player nameFreuler
    Average rating

    7.39

  4. Squad number7Player nameEmbolo
    Average rating

    7.16

  5. Squad number5Player nameAkanji
    Average rating

    6.53

  6. Squad number13Player nameRodríguez
    Average rating

    6.34

  7. Squad number9Player nameSeferovic
    Average rating

    6.14

  8. Squad number1Player nameSommer
    Average rating

    6.11

  9. Squad number3Player nameWidmer
    Average rating

    6.04

  10. Squad number4Player nameElvedi
    Average rating

    6.02

  11. Squad number17Player nameVargas
    Average rating

    5.81

  12. Squad number15Player nameSow
    Average rating

    5.80

  13. Squad number20Player nameFrei
    Average rating

    5.75

  14. Squad number25Player nameRieder
    Average rating

    5.58

  15. Squad number19Player nameOkafor
    Average rating

    5.43

  16. Squad number18Player nameCömert
    Average rating

    5.37

Cameroon

  1. Squad number13Player nameChoupo-Moting
    Average rating

    7.61

  2. Squad number20Player nameMbeumo
    Average rating

    6.98

  3. Squad number23Player nameOnana
    Average rating

    6.37

  4. Squad number5Player nameOndoua
    Average rating

    6.09

  5. Squad number12Player nameToko-Ekambi
    Average rating

    5.88

  6. Squad number10Player nameAboubakar
    Average rating

    5.79

  7. Squad number6Player nameNgamaleu
    Average rating

    5.78

  8. Squad number3Player nameNkoulou
    Average rating

    5.77

  9. Squad number14Player nameOum Gouet
    Average rating

    5.68

  10. Squad number25Player nameTolo
    Average rating

    5.66

  11. Squad number18Player nameHongla
    Average rating

    5.63

  12. Squad number8Player nameAnguissa
    Average rating

    5.63

  13. Squad number21Player nameCastelletto
    Average rating

    5.51

  14. Squad number19Player nameCollins Fai
    Average rating

    5.48

  15. Squad number7Player nameNkoudou
    Average rating

    5.46

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

Match Stats

Home TeamSwitzerlandAway TeamCameroon
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home7
Away8
Shots on Target
Home3
Away5
Corners
Home11
Away5
Fouls
Home12
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Switzerland 1, Cameroon 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Switzerland 1, Cameroon 0.

  3. Post update

    Manuel Akanji (Switzerland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Georges-Kévin Nkoudou (Cameroon).

  5. Post update

    Corner, Switzerland. Conceded by Jean-Charles Castelletto.

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Haris Seferovic (Switzerland) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Fabian Rieder with a headed pass.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Switzerland. Conceded by Nouhou Tolo.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Switzerland. Eray Cömert replaces Ricardo Rodríguez.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Gaël Ondoua (Cameroon).

  10. Post update

    Fabian Rieder (Switzerland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Granit Xhaka (Switzerland) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Noah Okafor.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Moumi Ngamaleu (Cameroon).

  13. Post update

    Ricardo Rodríguez (Switzerland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Booking

    Manuel Akanji (Switzerland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Manuel Akanji (Switzerland).

  16. Post update

    Frank Anguissa (Cameroon) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Switzerland. Conceded by Nicolas Nkoulou.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Cameroon. Moumi Ngamaleu replaces Bryan Mbeumo.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Switzerland. Fabian Rieder replaces Rubén Vargas.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Fabian Frei (Switzerland).

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