The Indomitable Lions failed to yield a goal despite the many face-to-face opportunities with the Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer. Cameroon was appearing in their eighth World Cup after missing out on the previous edition in Russia.They booked their ticket for Qatar after seeing off Algeria in the qualification play-offs. Their last best run in the competition was a quarter-final finish back in 1990, when they won the hearts of fans across the world with their entertaining style of play.
Switzerland opened its World Cup campaign with a 1-0 victory against Cameroon on Thursday. Embolo scored the much-needed opener and only goal for Switzerland as they struggled to penetrate the heavily defended Cameroonian half. Embolo did not celebrate his goal as anticipated in a moment described by many as respect for his home birth country, reflecting the growing complexity of defining nationality and identity in an increasingly interconnected globe. The goal arrived came in the 48th minute, via the Swiss striker who was born in Cameroon. Embolo turned in a low cross from Xherdan Shaquiri.
Embolo, 25, plays for the French club Monaco. But he was born in Cameroon’s capital, Yaoundé, and moved to Europe as a child, first to France and then to Switzerland. Embolo has now scored for Switzerland at consecutive major championships, having opened their goal account at last summer’s European Championship, too.
Switzerland took control of the game in the second half: Ruben Vargas narrowly missed scoring on a feed identical to the one that produced Embolo’s goal in the 66th minute, and Embolo had a chance for another score but could not deliver.
Cameroon striker Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting had perhaps the best scoring opportunity of the first half in the 15th minute, slipping behind the Swiss defense and stopped only by a timely shove just as he released his shot. The play, though, was called back by offside.
Cameroon now sits in the bottom of the log with zero points, while Switzerland is on top with 3 points awaiting results from other Group G games.