2022 FIFA World Cup: Breel Embolo’s goal took Switzerland to a 1-0 victory over Cameroon at the World Cup on Thursday and he kept his promise not to celebrate scoring against his native country. The Swiss striker from Yaounde struck with a right-footed shot in the 48th minute, standing eight meters (yards) alone in the center of the goalmouth to take Xherdan Shaqiri’s low pass.
Embolo then pursed his lips in a wry smile and held his arms wide, before raising his hands in an apologetic gesture as teammates ran towards him at the penalty spot. He pointed to Swiss fans behind the goal where he had scored and then to Cameroonian fans in the opposite corner of the Al Janoub stadium.
The 25-year-old attacker left Cameroon with his family when he was five. They spent time in France before settling in Switzerland, the country he is now representing at a second World Cup. Although an African-born player scored, teams from Africa are now winless in the four games they have played in this World Cup. All have played higher-ranked teams, with Morocco and Tunisia drawing 0–0 against Croatia and Denmark respectively.
Born in Cameroon
scores in #SUICMR
Cameroon’s streak of defeats in World Cup finals extended to eight games dating back to 2002. Brazil and Serbia are also in Group G and will meet later on Thursday.
In the move for Embolo to score, it was too easy for the Swiss to quickly pass the ball from the left flank to the right through Cameroon’s defensive lines.
The fast Swiss start to the second half contrasted with a lack of urgency in the first half that could hardly be explained by the 1pm kick-off, one of only seven games in Qatar to be played entirely in daylight. The heat peaked at 29 degrees Celsius (84 Fahrenheit), humidity was low, and most of the playing field was shaded.
Cameroon squandered a clear scoring chance to take control in the 10th minute. A long, straight pass past Switzerland’s centre-backs led to Karl Toko Ekambi firing a half-volley high over the crossbar from just 10 meters (yard).
Cameroon applied little pressure to level the game. Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa’s header in the 66th was aimed directly at goalkeeper Yann Sommer who made an easy save.
In the next play, a Swiss move down the right flank nearly repeated the goal, but goalkeeper Andre Onana saved from Ruben Vargas.
Cameroon’s great Roger Milla was paraded onto the pitch before the match. Fans were shown a video montage of his goals at the 1990 World Cup where Cameroon became the first ever African team to progress to the quarter-finals.
Milla was joined by Samuel Eto’o, Cameroon’s greatest player who now heads the football federation. Eto’o scored the only goal as Cameroon last won at the World Cup? 1-0 against Saudi Arabia in 2002.
REFEREE’S QUIET DAY
Referee Facundo Tello had a quieter day than when he sent off 10 players in Argentina just before coming to Qatar. He showed red cards to seven Boca Juniors players and three from Racing Club after extra time. Here Tello showed three yellow cards and no red cards. This was the 13th match at the World Cup and no player has yet been sent off.
Switzerland then plays Group H favorite Brazil in Doha on Monday evening.