Embolo strike enough to see off Cameroon

Embolo strike enough to see off Cameroon
Breel Embolo (L) of Switzerland in action against Jean-Charles Castelletto (C) of Cameroon during the FIFA World Cup 2022 group G soccer match between Switzerland and Cameroon at Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar, 24 November 2022. EPA/Abir Sultan

by Staff Reporter

Thursday Nov 24, 2022. 14:45

Breel Embolo scored the only goal of the game as Switzerland kicked off their World Cup campaign with a 1-0 win over Cameroon at the Al Janoub Stadium on Thursday.

Embolo struck in the 48th minute to secure all three points for Murat Yakin’s side as the Indomitable Lions were left to count the cost of their missed opportunities in Al Wakrah.

The Swiss are now unbeaten in their last six opening games of the World Cup, while the Central African giants have lost their last eight matches at the tournament.

Rigobert Song’s team were happy to let Switzerland have the ball in the opening stages as they sat back to conserve their energy in the Al Wakrah heat.

The five-time African champions looked to adopt a direct approach and it almost bore fruit on 10 minutes when a long ball took out the Swiss defence to release Bryan Mbeumo through on goal.

The Brentford forward hit his shot straight at Yann Sommer, who parried the ball into the path of Karl Toko Ekambi but he lacked composure and blazed over from 10 yards out.

Cameroon threatened again four minutes later as Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting flicked the ball past Manuel Akanji before getting off a shot that didn’t have the power or precision to trouble Sommer.

Martin Hongla did manage to hit the target on the half-hour mark after making a strong run down the right channel but Sommer was equal to the task, pulling off a good save.

Switzerland had offered very little in attack during the first half, although they should have opened the scoring from a corner in the first minute of stoppage time when an unmarked Akanji somehow missed the target with a header from five yards out.

The Indomitable Lions were caught napping at the back early in the second half as Xherdan Shaqiri advanced into the area on the right unopposed and cut the ball back for Embolo, who swept home from six yards out.

Cameroon looked to respond, with Choupo-Moting getting away from Akanji on the right but wasn’t able to beat Sommer from a tight angle in the 57th minute.

However, Switzerland wasted a glorious opportunity to double their advantage just two minutes later when Ruben Vargas surged towards goal from the right and lashed a shot wide with Embolo unmarked in the middle.

A flurry of chances followed as Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa drew a routine save out of Sommer with his header from a 65th-minute corner before Vargas forced Andre Onana into a superb save moments later after running onto a cutback pass on the right.

Anguissa then came to the Cameroonians’ rescue at the other end on 67 minutes to deflect Embolo’s hooked effort over the crossbar when he looked certain to score again at the back post.

Cameroon had posed a serious threat down the wings in the first half but they ran out of gas in the second stanza and provided no outlet from the wider positions.

Granit Xhaka, who is renowned for his shooting prowess from distance, looked to seal the win with a long-range shot on 88 minutes that stung the palms of Onana.

Switzerland (0) 1 (Embolo 48′)

Cameroon (0) 0

Switzerland: Y. Sommer, S. Widmer, M. Akanji, N. Elvedi, R. Rodriguez (E. Comert 90′), R. Freuler, G. Xhaka, X. Shaqiri (N. Okafor 72′), D. Sow (F. Frei 71′), R. Vargas (F. Rieder 81′), B. Embolo (H. Seferovic 72′).

Cameroon: A. Onana, C. Fai, J. Castelletto, N. Nkoulou, N. Tolo, A. Zambo Anguissa, M. Hongla (G. Ondoua 68′), S. Gouet, B. Mbeumo (M. Ngamaleu 81′), E. Choupo-Moting (V. Aboubakar 74′), K. Toko Ekambi (G. Nkoudou 74′).

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