Switzerland continued their record of not losing a World Cup opening match in their past five appearances on football’s biggest stage as they edged past a vibrant Cameroon side in their Group G game.
Cameroonian-born striker Breel Embolo scored Switzerland’s winning goal in the first half after winger Xherdan Shaqiri slid a perfect ball over the box.
Embolo, 25, was born in Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, but moved to Switzerland with his family and was granted Swiss citizenship shortly after his 18th birthday.
After scoring, Embolo held up his hands in apology as teammates celebrated around him. He pointed to Swiss fans behind the goal where he had scored, then to Cameroonian fans in the opposite corner of the Al Janoub stadium.
Cameroon were the better side in the first half and might have been able to take the lead as Karl Toko Ekambi, Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting and Martin Hongla all missed good chances against a mediocre Swiss side struggling to get out of first gear .
But the Swiss were much better in the second period and took the lead through a well-developed goal from Embolo. Ruben Vargas had an excellent chance for a second but was thwarted by goalkeeper Andre Onana as Cameroon ran out of steam.
Brazil and Serbia complete the group and play later today.