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Switzerland 1 Cameroon 0: Breel Embolo refuses to celebrate winner against country of birth in Group G win

GRANIT XHAKA is under pressure to meet the demands for a “best ever” World Cup for Switzerland after a drab start.

Boss Murat Yakin reckons he is in charge of the greatest ever assembly of Swiss players and believes they can reach new heights in Qatar.

Breel Embolo didn’t celebrate after scoring the winner for Switzerland
Embolo scored the winner three minutes after half-time
Xherdan Shaqiri (left) provided the assist for Switzerland’s winner

And it will be down to Arsenal midfielder Xhaka to give his team-mates a kick up the backside before the going gets infinitely tougher against Brazil in the next Group G match.

Switzerland’s best performance at a World Cup is the last eight, but even though they beat Cameroon there is plenty to do.

A second half goal from Cameroon-born Breel Embolo masked a dreary performance in which last year’s Euro 2020 quarter finalists should have been way more comfortable.

Embolo was left unmarked three minutes into the second half to bury a neat cut back from ex-Liverpool and Stoke forward Xherdan Shaqiri from just outside the six yard box.

The muted celebrations were partly due to his background but also symbolised a half-hearted showing from the Swiss.

Manchester City defender Manuel Akanji missed a cracking chance to when he put a header wide from Shaqiri’s corner on the stroke of half time.

Playing in front of thousands of empty seats did not help lift the first game in this group.

The crowd was officially given as 39,089 in a stadium that today at least was listed as having a capacity of 44,325, given the hosts tendency to change them day by day to make the grounds seem full.


Xhaka started the move which led to the decisive goal on 48 minutes. 

Dragging the ball inside from the right hand side he laid off a ball which ultimately found Shaqiri on the left hand edge of the box.

The stocky, little winger got to the by-line then hit a diagonal ball across the face of goal where Embolo was waiting for a simple tap-in.

Cameroon carved out few chances and Brentford winger Bryan Mbuemo will be kicking himself at wasting a great chance for the Africans to take the lead in the 10th minute.

Racing clear on the left hand side of the box he had skipper Eric Choupo-Moting screaming for the ball with a free shot on goal.

But on his World Cup debut having made a switch from France’s Under-21s, Mbeumo opted to shoot straight at the keeper which was easily saved.

Former Fulham midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa also had a header saved in the second half.

Switzerland face Brazil on Monday and need to up their game before facing the Samba Stars if they want to make the knockout stages.

Brentford winger Bryan Mbeumo had a chance to put Cameroon ahead
Ex-Fulham man Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa had a header saved after the break

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