Breel Embolo scored his first World Cup goal against the country of his birth as Switzerland pipped wasteful Cameroon 1-0 in Group G opener on Thursday morning. This means African teams continue their quest for the first goal and win in Qatar.
Cameroon had the better chances of finding the back of the net in the first half of the encounter but a brilliant display by Switzerland goalie Yann Somer and a wayward play from Eric Choupo-Moting kept the game barren at halftime.
Choupo-Moting picked up a pass in the middle of the pitch and ran through an open area, leaving him one-on-one with Somer, but Bayern Munich launched the ball into the goalkeeper, who parried it to safety.
At the half hour mark, Somer was again called to action following a one-two between Mbeumo and Choupo-Moting outside the box. Mbeumo then gave the ball to Hongla, who shot a slow effort from the right corner in the box but Somer was there to handle the threat.
Following a sloppy first half, Switzerland changed the momentum of the game barely three minutes into the second half when three Cameroonian defenders failed to clear Shaqiri’s cross into the box, leaving Cameroonian-born Embolo to fire the ball into the net.
The 25-year-old Monaco forward refused to jubilate after the goal, raising his hands up as a sign of apology to the Cameroonians. The goal would seal an important victory for Switzerland as they provisional go top of Group G.
African countries are yet to record neither a victory nor a goal so far at the Qatar FIFA World Cup. Four of the five continental representatives in the global stage have so far recorded two defeats and two draws.