Switzerland 1-0 Cameroon: 5 hits and flops as Breel Embolo strike powers Red Crosses | 2022 FIFA World Cup

Switzerland v Cameroon: Group G - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
The Red Crosses are off to a winning start in Qatar.

Switzerland opened their 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign in Qatar with a 1-0 defeat of Cameroon in Group G on Thursday (November 24) in Al Wakrah.

Breel Embolo scored the only goal of the game in the 48th minute to sink the Indomitable Lions. Rigobert Song's team were the better team in the first half, keeping Switzerland at bay and not allowing them a shot on target.

However, the European team returned stronger after the break and went ahead just three minutes into the restart when Xherdan Shaqiri found Embolo unmarked inside the area.

Cameroon looked to respond through Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Frank Anguissa, but both players saw their efforts saved by Swiss custodian Yannick Sommer.

Cameroon go 1-0 down to Switzerland 👇

The Red Crosses then saw an effort of their own brilliantly saved by Cameroon custodian Andre Onana after an unmarked Ruben Vargas had fired goalwards.

Deep into stoppage time, Haris Seferovic was denied by Jean-Charles Castelletto, who threw his body in front of the ball to prevent Switzerland from doubling their lead.

However, it was too little too late, as Murat Yakin's side took home all three points ahead of their clash with mighty Brazil on Monday. On the same day, Cameroon will face Serbia to keep their progression hopes alive.

On that note, here're the five hits and flops from the game:

Hit: Breel Embolo (Switzerland)

Embolo scored against the country he was born in.
Embolo scored against the country he was born in.

He just had to score against Cameroon, wasn't he? Breel Embolo was born in Cameroon but opted to represent Switzerland, where he later grew up and played in junior teams.

Breel Embolo, who was born in Cameroon, didn’t celebrate after opening the scoring against them for Switzerland 🤝

As destiny would have it, the forward bagged a goal against his country of birth, and he refused to celebrate as a mark of respect. Embolo drifted to the centre of the six-yard box to connect with Shaqiri's cross and comfortably lashed it home to put Switzerland into the lead.

Flop: Karl Toko Ekambi (Cameroon)

The winger struggled to make his presence felt.
The winger struggled to make his presence felt.

He wasn't totally disappointing, but Karl Toko Ekambi failed to make a telling impact for Cameroon. The Lyon winger looked to create width by stretching out wide, but that left Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting isolated in the centre.

Moreover, Switzerland had Ekambi boxed up most of the time, limiting him to just one cross and one shot all game. That shot could've altered the course of the game, as Ekambi blasted a loose ball over the bar early on after Yannick Sommer had pushed Choupo-Moting's effort away.

That would set the tone for the rest of his game.

Hit: Xherdan Shaqiri (Switzerland)

'The Magic Dwarf'  (right)worked his spell once more.
'The Magic Dwarf' (right)worked his spell once more.

Switzerland ace Xherdan Shaqiri was central to everything for his team. It was no surprise then that he also bagged the assist for Embolo's goal.

The Nati came in with one clear plan — get the ball to Shaqiri, who combined his vision and passing range to open Cameroon up.

Another day, another assist! 🅰Xherdan Shaqiri with another goal involvement for Switzerland at a major tournament!He's been directly involved in half of their 24 goals over the last four major tournaments#BBCFootball #BBCWorldCup

Shaqiri was also a huge threat from the flanks, making the most of the spaces left behind to offer width and stretch the Indomitable Lions.

Early into the second half, the former Bayern Munich midfielder squared the ball to Embolo from the right, who did the rest to put the Swiss in front. Shaqiri may no longer play for a top European club but clearly remains a key player with his national team.

Flop: Collins Fai (Cameroon)

He was too rash and rackless
He was too rash and rackless

Cameroonian right-back Collins Fai lacked composure and seemed reckless with his goal attempts. He was also the first player to be booked in the game.

In the 36th minute, Fai was shown a yellow card for a cynical tackle on Nico Elvedi, while his crosses also seemed rushed and overhit. For context, Fai completed just one of six attempts.

Early into the exchanges, the Saudi Arabia-based defender made a wild effort after play switched to him, firing the ball well over the bar instead of making a measured shot.

Hit: Silvan Widmer (Switzerland)

It was an epic performance in defence by Widmer
It was an epic performance in defence by Widmer

Whenever Cameroon looked to build their attacks, Silvan Widmer was always there to intervene and thwart the danger.

A right-back by trade, he spent most of his time in his own half to deny the Indomitable Lions space from the flanks when Ekambi and Mbeumo looked to stretch the Swiss wide.

Widmer ended the game with a staggering eight clearances. He also worked hard to win back possession with crunch tackles, completing three of them.

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Edited by Bhargav
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