Al-Wakrah [Qatar]: Switzerland's Breel Embolo scored the a solitay goal against Cameroon, which is a country of his birth, in a hard-fought opening match of Group G of FIFA World Cup 2022 here at the Al Janoub Stadium.
Xherdan Shaqiri's assist helped Breel Embolo score a crucial goal in the 48th minute of the match to give the Swiss team a 1-0 lead, which they maintained until the end. The 25-year-old Embolo though did not celebrate after scoring the goal as he scored against a country of his birth. As a six-year old he moved to Switzerland from Cameroon with his family.
The odds were pitted against Cameroon ranked 43rd in the FIFA rankings as they faced their European opponents ranked at 15th position.
However, this did not stop the African team from making early inroads into the Swiss box. Cameroon forwards rattled the Swiss defence as they constantly found possession of the ball and made spirited runs towards their opponent's goalpost.
The first half was packed with action as the Swiss dominated the beginning 10 minutes of the first half, making planned runs to the Cameroon box. But the spirited Cameroonian forwards also showcased their skill as they came tantalisingly close to scoring twice in the first half.
The scoreline could have been different had the Swiss found the back of the net in the dying minutes of the first half via a corner.
Manuel Akanji missed out on a close chance of a good corner kick. Akanji needed to put the ball into the goal but his header went wide of the left post as the chance to score went begging.
Therefore, both the teams went into half-time without scoring a goal. Embolo's goal proved to be the major difference between the two sides.
For Switzerland, the win will give them a huge boost ahead of their match against group G favourites Brazil on Monday.
There was very little to choose between the two in terms of possession as Switzerland had 51 per cent while Cameroon had 49. The African nation had five shots on target compared to the European side, which had only three.