In a tense World Cup Group G opener against his native Cameroon, Breel Embolo of Switzerland scored the game’s lone goal.
When he finished off a deft Swiss attack just after halftime, Embolo chose not to celebrate.
After putting on a creative performance at the Al Janoub Stadium in Qatar, it was unfortunate that the Indomitable Lions lost.
Switzerland needed the win since both teams still had to play Brazil in the group round.
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 just 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.
His strike ensured victory for a side with high expectations – boss Murat Yakin has declared his squad “the best Switzerland side ever” and said he expects them to achieve their best return at a World Cup.
Yet they 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 Rigobert Song’s side impressed at times here.
Their next game against Serbia will be pivotal 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.
Leave a Reply