Embolo wears the Nati and makes Cameroonians cry


Born in Cameroon, the striker of the Swiss selection remained unmoved on the goal which offered a precious victory to Switzerland.

Abused for 45 minutes, Switzerland finally took the upper hand on Thursday 1-0 on Cameroon for the first match of Group G of the World Cup, thanks to a goal from Breel Embolo, born in Cameroon but having made the sporting choice of the “Nati”.

This victory, at the Al-Janoub stadium in Doha, will be very expensive in a particularly tough pool, where Brazil and Serbia also play, who face each other in the evening (8:00 p.m.). From the start, however, we saw the Cameroonians well in place, solid behind and tactically organized to prevent Switzerland from playing in depth, with André-Frank Anguissa, the Napoli midfielder, omnipresent in the midfield.

It didn’t take 10 minutes for the Indomitable Lions to create their first chance, when Bryan Mbeumo was launched deep from his own half into the back of the defence. He made the choice to try his luck, while Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting was in the center, but the Nati goalkeeper Yann Sommer made his first save of the game. Four minutes later, the Bayern center-forward also found himself alone against Sommer, and lost his duel. The Swiss, powerless in the game, were unable to put the Cameroonian defense out of position. An off target header from Nico Elvedi from a corner (40th) was ultimately their most dangerous action in the first period. Cameroon dominated the debates and proved dangerous in each counter situation.

Embolo does not celebrate

It was still necessary to mark, to transcribe on the scoreboard the immense ambitions displayed by Samuel Eto’o, the former star striker who became president of the Cameroonian Federation (Fécafoot), who animated the last days of preparation by predicting no more no less than one Cameroon victory in the World Cup final.

But on returning from the locker room, it was Switzerland who showed cold realism, scoring on their first real chance. Breel Embolo, free of any marking at the penalty spot, victoriously took over a cross from the right (1-0, 48th).

The 25-year-old didn’t celebrate his goal, as he had announced. Born in Cameroon and arrived in Switzerland at the age of four, the AS Monaco striker has kept strong ties with his native country. “If I score, I will try not to celebrate,” he warned. “It’s a very, very special game for me and for my whole family. Because it’s a bit of a conflict! There will be a lot of emotion during this match. This goal gave confidence to the Swiss, who finally dared to take offensive risks, to try to make the break. The match then changed soul, and the Nati became dominating. Cameroonian goalkeeper André Onana avoided the knockout by diverting a reflex parade from a powerful recovery from Ruben Vargas (66th). On the corner, Embolo again was very close to scoring a double.

Cameroonian coach Rigobert Song tried to react by bringing in his captain Vincent Aboubacar in place of Choupo-Moting (74th), but the green and yellow never managed to restore the rhythm of the first period, and even seemed resigned in the final minutes as Switzerland finished stronger. The Nati will meet Neymar et Cie on November 28 for their second match in the competition. The Cameroon of Rigobert Song which started badly and sees piling up an 8e consecutive defeat in the World Cup (between 2002 and 2014; the Indomitable Lions were not qualified in 2018) will have an appointment with Serbia.



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