Cameroon had probabilities to take the lead within the first half, but it surely was Switzerland who lastly broke the impasse within the forty eighth minute with Breel Embolo ending from shut vary.
Switzerland had some sensible probabilities so as to add to their tally, however had been thwarted by some outstanding, last-gasp defending.
With Brazil and Serbia each mendacity in await these groups, it is Switzerland who will go ahead with confidence, whereas for Cameroon they want two outstanding performances to face any probability of creating the knockouts.
1. The Cameroon-born striker who ruined Cameroon’s hopes
The breakthrough lastly got here early within the second half. Xherdan Shaqiri‘s cross discovered Embolo about eight-yards out and he completed comfortably previous goalkeeper Andre Onana. It was Embolo’s first World Cup objective and also you think about probably the greatest moments of his life, however the celebrations had been muted. As a substitute he raised his fingers in apology — an indication of respect.
Embolo was born in Yaounde, Cameroon in 1997, however was raised in Basel. His youth profession noticed him progress by means of the ranks to make the FC Basel first group and he performed there for 2 seasons till shifting to the Bundesliga.
However his land of start was a subject within the Swiss camp this week. Captain Granit Xhaka mentioned on the eve of the match the 2 had spoken about Embolo’s roots, however Xhaka mentioned “he’s calm and he’ll enjoy the match”, including “hopefully he’ll score.” He did simply that.
Earlier than the match, the Cameroon followers had been serenading one among their nationwide heroes in Roger Milla, who obtained a particular FIFA award on the pitch. However simply over an hour later, they had been left to bemoan a striker that obtained away as Embolo ended up along with his personal slice of World Cup historical past.
2. Cameroon’s hopes cling by a thread
With Brazil and Serbia becoming a member of these two groups in Group G, this was such an essential match. Three factors and so they’re nonetheless in rivalry to make the knockouts, however a defeat means Cameroon should produce two of the most important performances in current instances if they’re to make it by means of to the spherical of 16.
That they had their probabilities after dominating the primary half and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting was on the centre of most of what they did nicely, but additionally within the midst of their squandered alternatives. The Bayern Munich star was unable to get previous goalkeeper Yann Sommer when by means of on objective, whereas Bryan Mbeumo additionally had an effort saved with Karl Toko Ekambi blasting the rebound over. And so they additionally had two alternatives snaffled out by the sensible, last-gasp defending of Silvan Widmer.
Cameroon had been the dominant aspect, however their lack of leading edge value them pricey and as soon as Switzerland obtained forward, they had been capable of comfortably management the remainder of the sport and will’ve stretched their lead however for some outstanding scrambled defending from Onana, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and the excellent Jean-Charles Castelletto.
Within the final 14 World Cup matches the place Cameroon have fallen behind, they’ve by no means managed to claw it again for a victory. And because the first spherical of video games attracts to an in depth, we’re nonetheless ready for a objective from one among 4 African nations, with Ghana to finish the set afterward Thursday. We have seen all 4 come exploding out of the blocks within the first half, however unable to get a key foothold of a objective. Senegal failed to interrupt down Netherlands on Monday, finally dropping 2-0. Tunisia held Denmark to a 0-0 draw on Tuesday, with Morocco following swimsuit on Wednesday towards Croatia. After which Cameroon could not get previous Switzerland on Thursday.
3. Switzerland want to enhance to get by means of
Cameroon’s defending was woeful for Switzerland’s winner. Embolo was utterly unmarked within the center, with Nicolas Nkoulou caught ball-watching. And however for a superb save from Onana, Ruben Vargas ought to have added a near-identical second 18 minutes later.
The win is all that mattered for Switzerland, however they appeared a group much less spectacular than the sum of their elements. Although there have been flashes of sophistication from the likes of Xhaka, Shaqiri and Vargas, their finish product wasn’t ok and so they cannot depend on counter-attacking alone towards Serbia and Brazil if they’re to progress. And whereas Embolo obtained their winner, they want way more from him. There have been instances the place he wanted too many touches to get himself set, and in that point, had the ball stolen off him. Their defence additionally appeared shaky at instances, requiring some panicked scrambling on the again to stop Cameroon from breaking by means of.
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
Finest and worst performers
BEST: Remo Freuler
Dictated play nicely in midfield and did nicely to marshal the spot in entrance of the again 4 with Xhaka and Sow increased up.
WORST: Karl Toko Ekambi
Ekambi had Cameroon’s finest probability of the match and did not convert as Widmer marked him out of the sport.
Highlights and notable moments
Breel Embolo places Switzerland on high and decides to not have fun his objective towards Cameroon, his start nation pic.twitter.com/7amWCNa9kD
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 24, 2022
After the match: What the gamers and managers mentioned
Cameroon coach Rigobert Tune on Embolo: “It makes it harder but that’s the game. We are all proud of our country — you saw he didn’t celebrate his goal — but this is part and parcel of the sport. I’m happy and proud of him because I think that he’s playing for the Swiss national team. I would’ve liked him on my side, but that’s not the way it went, that’s life.
“I imagine that in high-level soccer, you might have to have the ability to bounce again. In 1990, Cameroon beat Argentina, however Argentina went on to the ultimate, so every thing is feasible. We imagine on this dream and I imagine the subsequent sport might be decisive and that is the place we’ll should put our cash the place our mouth is with this era.”
Key stats (supplied by ESPN Stats & Data)
Cameroon now have the second-longest dropping streak in World Cup historical past, having misplaced eight video games in a row. Mexico lead the listing with 9 consecutive losses between 1930 and 1958.
Embolo isn’t the primary participant to attain towards the nation of his start at a World Cup. Coincidentally, it was beforehand one other Switzerland participant as Fredy (Alfred) Bickel scored towards Germany within the 1938 World Cup. Bickel was born in Eppstein, Germany.
Switzerland: A victory on this match was key for the Swiss, because it’s one of many match favourites up subsequent for them. They tackle Brazil in Doha on Monday, earlier than ending their group marketing campaign towards Serbia in Doha subsequent Friday in what’s prone to be a decider for qualification.
Cameroon: The African nation are very a lot up towards it now, and can nearly definitely should beat Serbia in Al Wakra on Monday to have any real looking probability of going by means of. They end the group stage towards Brazil in Lusail on Friday.