Switzerland gets narrow win over Cameroon

DOHA-Breel Embolo's second-half goal led Switzerland to a narrow win over Cameroon in the World Cup Group G opener on Thursday.
Switzerland's Remo Freuler is sandwiched during the World Cup group G match between Switzerland and Cameroon.(Photo by Ebrahim Noroozi/AP).

Neither national team was able to break the deadlock in the first half at Qatar’s Al Janoub Stadium. Three minutes into the second half Switzerland took the lead through Embolo.

Bryan Mbeumo broke free following a quick Cameroon counter-attack and chose to shoot from a tight angle rather than square the ball to Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, and saw his shot saved by Yann Sommer. 

The rebound fell perfectly into the path of Karl Toko-Ekambi, but the forward blasted his effort over the bar.

Minutes later Sommer was called into action again to deny Choupo-Moting from close range after the Bayern Munich forward broke through the Switzerland defence to set up a one-on-one, but failed to convert.

Despite Cameroon enjoying the better of the opening period following Switzerland’s early dominance, it was the latter who missed a big chance to break the deadlock on the stroke of half-time. 

Manchester City’s Manuel Akanji rose highest to meet a corner in the six-yard box, but he guided his almost-free header over.

Granit Xhaka started a move in the middle of the park and found Remo Freuler with a progressive pass, on the half turn the midfielder quickly offloaded the ball to Shaqiri out wide who drove forward toward the byline to pull a low cross back for Embolo in front of goal who could not miss, as he fired the ball beyond Andre Onana.

Onana kept Cameroon in the game when he made a brilliant save to deny Ruben Vargas. Shaqiri was allowed to drive toward the byline on the left again and pull back another low cross, this time for Vargas to fire a shot Onana’s way, but the Inter Milan goalkeeper made a strong save.

Quickly after Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa produced a game-changing interception when Shaqiri delivered a dangerous corner toward Embolo who was ready to tap in a second at the back post, but Anguissa got his foot in the way to put Embolo off.

It’s Switzerland’s sixth straight opening game at the World Cup without defeat, their last first-game loss coming against Germany in 1966. (Agencies)

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