Switzerland’s Breel Embolo scored the only goal against Cameroon – his home country – in a tough World Cup Group G opener.
Embolo refused to celebrate as he finished off a slick Swiss attack after the break.
The Indomitable Lions lost miserably after an enterprising display at the Al Janoub Stadium in Qatar.
The win was vital for Switzerland as both sides still have to face Brazil in the group stage.
Embolo moved to Switzerland from Cameroon with his family when he was six and pledged allegiance to the European nation when he was granted citizenship in 2014.
At just 18 years old, he founded the Embolo Foundation to help refugee children in Switzerland and children in his home country.
He said before the game that playing against Cameroon would be “very special” and when he scored, he raised his arms in respect and closed his eyes.
His strike secured victory for a team with high hopes: coach Murat Yakin called his side “the best Swiss team ever” and said he was hoping for the best return at the World Cup.
However, they struggled in the first half in the face of a lively Cameroon start and should have gone behind, with Eric Choupo-Moting, Bryan Mbeumo and Martin Hongla all missing presentable chances.
The goal shook Cameroon and the Swiss had chances to extend their lead, only for Andre Onana to save brilliantly from Ruben Vargas, and Embolo and substitute Haris Seferovic were denied by last-ditch defending.
The Indomitable Lions have lost eight games in a row at the World Cup finals, but Rigobert Song’s side impressed at times here.
Their next match against Serbia will be crucial if they have any chance of becoming the first Cameroon side to progress beyond the group stage since 1990.
For Switzerland, the win gives them a breather ahead of their match against favorites Brazil on Monday.
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- 5AkanjiBooked in 83 minutes
- 4goodbyeBooked in 64 minutes
- 13Rodríguezreplaced byGenerousin 90′minutes
- 23to Shaqireplaced byOkaforin 72′minutes
- 15sowreplaced byFreiin 71′minutes
- 17Wowreplaced bythe wheelsin 81′minutes
- 7to the plungerreplaced bySeferovicin 72′minutes
- 24the old
- 25the wheels
- 26to chase
- 19Fai CollinsBooked in 36 minutes
- 21small castle
- 8The eel
- 14Oum Gouet
- 18Honglareplaced byturn it onin 68′minutes
- 20Mbeumoreplaced bysorryin 81′minutes
- 13Choupo-Motingreplaced byaboubakarin 74′minutes
- 12Shop-Ekambireplaced byNkoudouin 74′minutes
- 1by Pandouetnbu
- 2Ngo Mbekeli
- 5turn it on
- 15It’s possible
- 17An advantage
- Facundo Tello
Game over, Switzerland 1, Cameroon 0.
Second half ends, Switzerland 1, Cameroon 0.
Manuel Akanji (Switzerland) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Georges-Kévin Nkoudou (Cameroon) is missing.
Corner, Switzerland. Jean-Charles Castelletto’s basket.
Attempt blocked. Haris Seferovic (Switzerland) left footed shot from the center of the box is saved in the center of the box. Assisted by Fabian Rieder with a header pass.
Corner, Switzerland. Nouhou Tolo receives the ball.
Change, Switzerland. Eray Cömert replaces Ricardo Rodriguez.
Foul by Gaël Ondoua (Cameroon).
Fabian Rieder (Switzerland) wins a free kick.
The attempt has been saved. Granit Xhaka (Switzerland) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Noah Okafor.
Foul by Moumi Ngamaleu (Cameroon).
Ricardo Rodríguez (Switzerland) wins a free kick.
Manuel Akanji (Switzerland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Manuel Akanji (Switzerland).
Frank Anguissa (Cameroon) wins a free kick.
Corner, Switzerland. Nicolas Nkoulou receives the ball.
Alternate, Cameroon. Moumi Ngamaleu replaces Bryan Mbeumo.
Change, Switzerland. Fabian Rieder replaces Rubén Vargas.
Foul by Fabian Frei (Switzerland).
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