Embolo gives Swiss opening win over Cameroon

Published on: 24 November 2022

Switzerland's Breel Embolo scored the only goal against Cameroon - the country of his birth - in a hard-fought World Cup Group G opener.

Embolo refused to celebrate when he finished off a slick Swiss attack shortly after half-time.

The Indomitable Lions were unfortunate to lose after an enterprising display at the Al Janoub Stadium in Qatar.

Victory was vital for Switzerland, as both sides still have to face Brazil in the group.

    'He is my little brother' - Cameroon boss praises Swiss match-winnerHow the game unfoldedFifa World Cup: Groups & ScheduleWorld Cup TV Coverage guide

Embolo moved to Switzerland from Cameroon with his family as a six-year-old and pledged his allegiance to the European nation after being granted citizenship in 2014.

At the age of 18, he set up the Embolo Foundation to support refugee children in Switzerland and disadvantaged children in the country of his birth.

He said before the game it would be "a very special" occasion to play against Cameroon and when he scored, he respectfully raised his arms and closed his eyes.

"I told him, 'Breel, friendship until the start, then they are your opponents,'" said Switzerland coach Murat Yakin. "Football writes such stories but he completed his mission.

"I am very happy with his performance."

Cameroon boss Rigobert Song admitted afterwards he would "have liked him to be on my side" but did say he was "proud" of Embolo.

"We are all proud of our country and you saw he did not celebrate the goal," said Song. "That is part and parcel of football and I'm proud of him."

Embolo's strike ensured victory for a side with high expectations - Yakin has declared his squad "the best Switzerland side ever" and said he expects them to achieve their best return at a World Cup.

After the game, captain Granit Xhaka echoed his coach's comments, arguing "we can beat anyone" and pointing to their record in recent tournaments as evidence of their potential.

Yet Switzerland struggled in the first half in the face of a vibrant Cameroon start and ought to have gone behind, with Eric Choupo-Moting, Bryan Mbeumo and Martin Hongla all missing presentable opportunities.

The goal rocked Cameroon and the Swiss had chances to extend their lead, only for Andre Onana to save superbly from Ruben Vargas, while Embolo and substitute Haris Seferovic were denied by last-ditch defending.

The Indomitable Lions have now lost eight successive games at the World Cup finals but Song's side impressed at times here.

Song admitted afterwards their next game against Serbia will be "decisive" if they are to stand any chance of becoming the first Cameroon team to progress beyond the group stage since 1990.

For Switzerland, the win gives them breathing space before their match against group favourites Brazil on Monday.

Player of the match

XhakaGranit Xhaka

with an average of 7.70


SwitzerlandAvgSquad number10Player nameXhakaAverage rating


Squad number23Player nameShaqiriAverage rating


Squad number8Player nameFreulerAverage rating


Squad number7Player nameEmboloAverage rating


Squad number5Player nameAkanjiAverage rating


Squad number13Player nameRodríguezAverage rating


Squad number9Player nameSeferovicAverage rating


Squad number1Player nameSommerAverage rating


Squad number3Player nameWidmerAverage rating


Squad number4Player nameElvediAverage rating


Squad number17Player nameVargasAverage rating


Squad number15Player nameSowAverage rating


Squad number20Player nameFreiAverage rating


Squad number25Player nameRiederAverage rating


Squad number19Player nameOkaforAverage rating


Squad number18Player nameCömertAverage rating


CameroonAvgSquad number13Player nameChoupo-MotingAverage rating


Squad number20Player nameMbeumoAverage rating


Squad number23Player nameOnanaAverage rating


Squad number5Player nameOndouaAverage rating


Squad number12Player nameToko-EkambiAverage rating


Squad number10Player nameAboubakarAverage rating


Squad number6Player nameNgamaleuAverage rating


Squad number3Player nameNkoulouAverage rating


Squad number14Player nameOum GouetAverage rating


Squad number25Player nameToloAverage rating


Squad number18Player nameHonglaAverage rating


Squad number8Player nameAnguissaAverage rating


Squad number21Player nameCastellettoAverage rating


Squad number19Player nameCollins FaiAverage rating


Squad number7Player nameNkoudouAverage rating


    Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text


Formation 4-2-3-1


    1Sommer3Widmer5AkanjiBooked at 83mins4ElvediBooked at 64mins13RodríguezSubstituted forCömertat 90'minutes8Freuler10Xhaka23ShaqiriSubstituted forOkaforat 72'minutes15SowSubstituted forFreiat 71'minutes17VargasSubstituted forRiederat 81'minutes7EmboloSubstituted forSeferovicat 72'minutes




Formation 4-3-3

23Onana19Fai Collins21Castelletto3Nkoulou25Tolo8Anguissa14Oum Gouet18Hongla20Mbeumo13Choupo-Moting12Toko-Ekambi

    23Onana19Fai CollinsBooked at 36mins21Castelletto3Nkoulou25Tolo8Anguissa14Oum Gouet18HonglaSubstituted forOndouaat 68'minutes20MbeumoSubstituted forNgamaleuat 81'minutes13Choupo-MotingSubstituted forAboubakarat 74'minutes12Toko-EkambiSubstituted forNkoudouat 74'minutes


    1Ngapandouetnbu2Ngom Mbekeli4Wooh5Ondoua6Ngamaleu7Nkoudou9Nsame10Aboubakar11Bassogog15Kunde16Epassy17Mbaizo22Ntcham24Ebosse26Marou

Referee:Facundo TelloAttendance:39,089Match StatsHome TeamSwitzerlandAway TeamCameroonPossessionHome51%Away49%ShotsHome7Away8Shots on TargetHome3Away5CornersHome11Away5FoulsHome12Away10Live TextPost update

Match ends, Switzerland 1, Cameroon 0.

90'+7'Full Time

Second Half ends, Switzerland 1, Cameroon 0.

90'+6'Post update

Manuel Akanji (Switzerland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

90'+6'Post update

Foul by Georges-Kévin Nkoudou (Cameroon).

90'+5'Post update

Corner, Switzerland. Conceded by Jean-Charles Castelletto.

90'+5'Post update

Attempt blocked. Haris Seferovic (Switzerland) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Fabian Rieder with a headed pass.

90'+2'Post update

Corner, Switzerland. Conceded by Nouhou Tolo.


Substitution, Switzerland. Eray Cömert replaces Ricardo Rodríguez.

90'Post update

Foul by Gaël Ondoua (Cameroon).

90'Post update

Fabian Rieder (Switzerland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

88'Post update

Attempt saved. Granit Xhaka (Switzerland) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Noah Okafor.

86'Post update

Foul by Moumi Ngamaleu (Cameroon).

86'Post update

Ricardo Rodríguez (Switzerland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.


Manuel Akanji (Switzerland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

83'Post update

Foul by Manuel Akanji (Switzerland).

83'Post update

Frank Anguissa (Cameroon) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

82'Post update

Corner, Switzerland. Conceded by Nicolas Nkoulou.


Substitution, Cameroon. Moumi Ngamaleu replaces Bryan Mbeumo.


Substitution, Switzerland. Fabian Rieder replaces Rubén Vargas.

79'Post update

Foul by Fabian Frei (Switzerland).

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