Embolo haunts Cameroon as Switzerland claim crucial win

1 week ago 12

12:37 PM GMT

  • Tom HamiltonSenior Writer


      • Joined ESPN successful 2011
      • Covered 2 Olympics, a brace of Rugby World Cups and 2 British & Irish Lions tours
      • Previously rugby editor, and became elder writer successful 2018

AL-WAKRAH, Qatar - Switzerland got their World Cup run disconnected to the cleanable commencement with a 1-0 victory implicit Cameroon astatine the Al Janoub Stadium connected Thursday.

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Cameroon had chances to instrumentality the pb successful the archetypal half, but it was Switzerland who yet broke the deadlock successful the 48th infinitesimal with Breel Embolo finishing from adjacent range.

Switzerland had immoderate superb chances to adhd to their tally, but were thwarted by immoderate remarkable, last-gasp defending.

With Brazil and Serbia some lying successful hold for these teams, it's Switzerland who volition spell guardant with confidence, portion for Cameroon they request 2 singular performances to basal immoderate accidental of making the knockouts.

JUMP TO: Player ratings | Best/worst performers | Highlights and notable moments | Post-match quotes | Key stats | Upcoming fixtures

Rapid Reaction

1. The Cameroon-born striker who ruined Cameroon's hopes

The breakthrough yet came aboriginal successful the 2nd half. Xherdan Shaqiri's transverse recovered Embolo astir eight-yards retired and helium finished comfortably past goalkeeper Andre Onana. It was Embolo's archetypal World Cup extremity and you ideate 1 of the champion moments of his life, but the celebrations were muted. Instead helium raised his hands successful apology -- a motion of respect.

Embolo was calved successful Yaounde, Cameroon successful 1997, but was raised successful Basel. His younker vocation saw him advancement done the ranks to marque the FC Basel archetypal squad and helium played determination for 2 seasons until moving to the Bundesliga.

But his onshore of commencement was a taxable successful the Swiss campy this week. Captain Granit Xhaka said connected the eve of the lucifer the 2 had spoken astir Embolo's roots, but Xhaka said "he's calm and he'll bask the match", adding "hopefully he'll score." He did conscionable that.

Before the match, the Cameroon fans were serenading 1 of their nationalist heroes successful Roger Milla, who received a peculiar FIFA grant connected the pitch. But conscionable implicit an hr later, they were near to bemoan a striker that got distant arsenic Embolo ended up with his ain portion of World Cup history.

2. Cameroon's hopes bent by a thread

With Brazil and Serbia joining these 2 teams successful Group G, this was specified an important match. Three points and they're inactive successful contention to marque the knockouts, but a decision means Cameroon volition person to nutrient 2 of the biggest performances successful caller times if they are to marque it done to the circular of 16.

They had their chances aft dominating the archetypal fractional and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting was astatine the centre of astir of what they did well, but besides successful the midst of their squandered opportunities. The Bayern Munich prima was incapable to get past goalkeeper Yann Sommer erstwhile done connected goal, portion Bryan Mbeumo besides had an effort saved with Karl Toko Ekambi blasting the rebound over. And they besides had 2 opportunities snaffled retired by the brilliant, last-gasp defending of Silvan Widmer.

Cameroon had been the ascendant side, but their deficiency of cutting borderline outgo them beloved and erstwhile Switzerland got ahead, they were capable to comfortably power the remainder of the crippled and should've stretched their pb but for immoderate singular scrambled defending from Onana, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and the outstanding Jean-Charles Castelletto.

In the past 14 World Cup matches wherever Cameroon person fallen behind, they've ne'er managed to claw it backmost for a victory. And arsenic the archetypal circular of games draws to a close, we're inactive waiting for a extremity from 1 of 4 African countries, with Ghana to implicit the acceptable aboriginal connected Thursday. We've seen each 4 travel exploding retired of the blocks successful the archetypal half, but incapable to get a cardinal foothold of a goal. Senegal failed to interruption down Netherlands connected Monday, yet losing 2-0. Tunisia held Denmark to a 0-0 gully connected Tuesday, with Morocco pursuing suit connected Wednesday against Croatia. And past Cameroon couldn't get past Switzerland connected Thursday.

3. Switzerland request to amended to get through

Cameroon's defending was woeful for Switzerland's winner. Embolo was wholly unmarked successful the middle, with Nicolas Nkoulou caught ball-watching. And but for a superb prevention from Onana, Ruben Vargas should person added a near-identical 2nd 18 minutes later.

The triumph is each that mattered for Switzerland, but they looked a squad little awesome than the sum of their parts. Though determination were flashes of people from the likes of Xhaka, Shaqiri and Vargas, their extremity merchandise wasn't bully capable and they can't trust connected counter-attacking unsocial against Serbia and Brazil if they are to progress. And portion Embolo got their winner, they request acold much from him. There were times wherever helium needed excessively galore touches to get himself set, and successful that time, had the shot stolen disconnected him. Their defence besides looked shaky astatine times, requiring immoderate panicked scrambling astatine the backmost to forestall Cameroon from breaking through.

Player ratings

Switzerland: Sommer 7, Widmer 7, Elvedi 6, Akanji 6, Rodriguez 7, Xhaka 6, Freuler 8, Sow 6, Vargas 5, Shaqiri 7, Embolo 7

Subs: Frei 6, Okafor 6, Seferovic 6, Rieder 6, Comert 6

Cameroon: Onana 7, Fai 5 , Nkoulou 5, Castelletto 8, Tolo 5, Hongla 6, Gouet 6, Anguissa 6, Mbuemo 6, Ekambi 5, Choupo-Moting 6

Subs: Ondoua 6, Aboubaker 6, Nkoudou 6, Moumi Ngamaleu 6

Best and worst performers

BEST: Remo Freuler

Dictated play good successful midfield and did good to marshal the spot successful beforehand of the backmost 4 with Xhaka and Sow higher up.

WORST: Karl Toko Ekambi

Ekambi had Cameroon's champion accidental of the lucifer and failed to person arsenic Widmer marked him retired of the game.

Highlights and notable moments

Breel Embolo puts Switzerland connected apical and decides not to observe his extremity against Cameroon, his commencement state 🙌 pic.twitter.com/7amWCNa9kD

— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 24, 2022

After the match: What the players and managers said

Cameroon manager Rigobert Song connected Embolo: "It makes it harder but that's the game. We are each arrogant of our state -- you saw helium didn't observe his extremity -- but this is portion and parcel of the sport. I'm blessed and arrogant of him due to the fact that I deliberation that he's playing for the Swiss nationalist team. I would've liked him connected my side, but that's not the mode it went, that's life.

"I judge that successful high-level football, you person to beryllium capable to bounce back. In 1990, Cameroon bushed Argentina, but Argentina went connected to the final, truthful everything is possible. We judge successful this imagination and I judge the adjacent crippled volition beryllium decisive and this is wherever we'll person to enactment our wealth wherever our rima is with this generation."

Key stats (provided by ESPN Stats & Information)

Cameroon present person the second-longest losing streak successful World Cup history, having mislaid 8 games successful a row. Mexico pb the database with 9 consecutive losses betwixt 1930 and 1958.

Embolo is not the archetypal subordinate to people against the state of his commencement astatine a World Cup. Coincidentally, it was antecedently different Switzerland subordinate arsenic Fredy (Alfred) Bickel scored against Germany successful the 1938 World Cup. Bickel was calved successful Eppstein, Germany.

Up next

Switzerland: A triumph successful this lucifer was cardinal for the Swiss, arsenic it's 1 of the tourney favourites up adjacent for them. They instrumentality connected Brazil successful Doha connected Monday, earlier finishing their radical run against Serbia successful Doha adjacent Friday successful what is apt to beryllium a decider for qualification.

Cameroon: The African federation are precise overmuch up against it now, and volition astir surely person to bushed Serbia successful Al Wakra connected Monday to person immoderate realistic accidental of going through. They decorativeness the radical signifier against Brazil successful Lusail connected Friday.

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