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Breel Embolo haunts Cameroon as Switzerland take 3 points (Live Blog)

- Switzerland beat Cameroon 1-0 in a tight game at the Al Janoub Stadium.

- Breel Embolo was the goal scorer with a close-range strike.

- Switzerland can now head into the Brazil game with confidence after a win in their first group game.

- Brazil, Portugal and Uruguay set for opening fixtures later today.


FULL TIME

The Swiss have done enough to win it in a tight encounter with Cameroon. Breel Embolo, who was born in Cameroon, was the difference between the two sides. The striker didn’t celebrate out of respect for his country of birth. What a game!


95’

Seferovic sends Castelletto with a lovely drop of the shoulder, but an amazing block is made by a reaching Castelletto who has got back up. Not the first time Cameroon have been last ditch this game!


91’

Cameroon looks out of steam and are resulting to long balls to get it up the pitch. If Switzerland keep their nerve, they should be able to see this out.


90’

6 minutes of added time.


88’

Granit Xhaka drills a low shot towards the bottom-right corner from range. This was a lot better than his first long-range effort and was on target, but he couldn’t double Switzerland’s lead.


83’

Akanji is yellow carded for a cynical foul on Anguissa.


82’

Penalty appeals from the Swiss players for a handball in the box by Aboubakar. VAR checks the incident but quickly concludes no action is needed. There was nothing in it really.


81’

Both countries make changes. Mbeumo has earned a rest, Ngamaleu comes on for him. Vargas also comes off for Rieder.


80’

It’s been quiet since the substitutes. A deep, fast cross from Fai worried Sommer for a second but it went out for a goal kick.


74’

Choupo-Moting and Toko Ekambi make way for N’Koudou and Vincent Aboubakar. A roll of the dice in attack for Rigobert Song as he injects pace into it from N’Koudou and strength from Aboubakar.


72’

Seferovic, Okafor and Frei replace Embolo, Shaqiri and Sow. Fresh legs and target man Seferovic is now on in attack.


68’

Gael Ondoua replaces Martin Hongla for some fresh legs in midfield.


67’

ANOTHER HUGE CHANCE!

Switzerland will be kicking themselves here. The ball from the corner falls to Embolo who is too slow to react and Anguissa prodded it away. Two huge chances to kill the game go begging for Switzerland.


66’

HUGE CHANCE!

Onana makes a fabulous reaction save to keep Cameroon in it. The whole of the Al Janoub Stadium thought that was in. The chance is completely mimicking the first goal, and the low cross is cut back again completely catching Cameroon out. Vargas caught the ball so well and drilled it goal wards but the shot is matched by Onana who made a superb stop.


64’

Samuel Eto’o is in attendance. I bet Rigobert Song wishes he could substitute prime Eto’o on today now.


61’

The game is very open now which will suit Cameroon who are in search of an equaliser. Both countries have had one, in the last couple of minutes but both times the opposing side has managed to get numbers back quickly.


57’

CHANCE!

Embolo breaks at the heart of a Swiss counter-attack from the Cameroon corner. He spreads it out to Vargas who balloons it over the top. Xhaka was free right across goal. He has every right to be annoyed at his teammate.


56’

CHANCE!

Amazing play from Choupo-Moting as he sends the defender for a hotdog whilst dancing through the Swiss defence. His shot is saved because he found himself at a tight angle. His teammate is annoyed for not squaring it, but he arrived in the box way too late, so I don’t understand why he’s complaining.


55’

Cameroon have looked desperate and stretched since the goal. They need to get on the ball more and calm down before Switzerland put the game to bed.


49’

Embolo didn’t celebrate there, as he represents Switzerland but was born in Cameroon. He shows great respect to his country of birth, leaving some fans questioning if the goal was offside!

48’

GOALLLLL! BREEL EMBOLO!

Switzerland switch the ball from left to right through Freuler in lightning speed. Shaqiri puts the ball into the box but cuts it back, leaving the Cameroon defence caught out and back-pedalling. Embolo has the ball on a plate, and he clinically dispatches the ball into the net from close range. 1-0 and game on!


45’

SECOND HALF BEGINS

Cameroon get us underway for the second period. Both teams will be wanting a win here, as it is such a close group on paper but has Brazil. Serbia, Switzerland and Cameroon will be expected to battle it out for 1 place.



HALF-TIME

0-0

The first half draws to a close, and the scoreline suggests this has been a boring game, but it hasn’t. Cameroon have looked the more likely to score but it remains 0-0.


46’

SO CLOSE!

A Vargas corner is whipped in towards Manuel Akanji. The Manchester City centre back glaces his head just wide of the post. Massive opportunity for Switzerland who have been second-best in the first period!


45’

Switzerland have a corner as the added time board rises. It’s only two minutes, which is a massive surprise after the FIFA Protocol adding lots of time onto every game so far in the tournament. Can Switzerland convert this corner at the end of the half?


44’

The tempo of this game is fantastic for a 1pm kick-off Qatari time. Most of the pitch is in the shade and the air-con is blowing, the players would be tiring a lot more otherwise. Interestingly, Yann Sommer is deciding to stand in the sun.


39’

AMAZING CHALLENGE!

Castelletto makes a perfectly timed slide tackle just as Breel Embolo was baring down on goal. Embolo certainly has quality, but he has been very quiet this half.


36’

Yellow card to Fai. Apart from the last 2 minutes, he has been disappointing.


34’

CHANCE!

Cameroon full-back Fai combines well with Toko-Ekambi. Fai bursted down the wing and fired the ball in, but Elvedi just put Toko-Ekambi off.



32’

Vargas holds the ball on the right-hand side before Widmer comes steaming down the right flank on the overlap. His ball across is low and powerful but there is no attacker in the box to knock it home.


29’

ANOTHER CHANCE GOES BEGGING!

Mbuemo’s proving himself as a nightmare for Switzerland to deal with and he clearly has had the bit between his teeth in the opening half an hour. The chance fell to Owum Gwet who has Sommer stretched. He can’t hold onto it and Switzerland manage to clear it out for a corner.


23’

Some lovely feet from Brentford’s Bryan Mbuemo manages to carve out a chance. They’ve won a corner and and Mbuemo is clearly in the mood. The resulting corner leads to nothing, however.


20’

Mbuemo’s frightening pace isn’t just good for counter attacks, his high press there made the Swiss fans hold their breath. Sommer managed to chip the ball to Elvedi at the last second though.


14’

CHANCE!

Akanji is dispossessed by Choupo-Moting who finds himself one-on-one with Sommer. The experienced shot-stopper stays composed and saves Choupo-Moting’s poor effort. Cameroon are looking very threatening on the counter-attacker here and pace is certainly a big asset to their attack.

13’

Switzerland get the ball out to that man again, Xherdan Shaqiri. The mini magic man nutmegs the defender whilst slipping through Vargas who is clumsily barged over. The Swiss fans howl for a penalty, but it is correctly pulled back for offside.


12’

Granit Xhaka loves a long-range effort, but he won’t want to remember this one. His shot slices high and wide.


10’

CHANCE!

A beautiful defence-splitting pass by Cameroon has pacy attacker Mbuemo chasing. He lashes a shot towards goal, but it is straight at the keeper. The rebound came straight out to Choupo-Moting but the Bayern star ballooned it over the crossbar!


5’

Castelletto scuffs his clearance. It could be early nerves for Cameroon, though Switzerland probably has more pressure on them going into this fixture.


4’

Shaqiri is already causing problems here. He is roaming all over the final third and Switzerland will be looking to get the ball out to him to spearhead their attacks.


2’

A Switzerland corner is swung in dangerously by Shaqiri, but it is hooked away after a scary scramble in the box. Switzerland have started livelier here.


1’

All eyes will be on Shaqiri today. The Swiss fans will know how crucial he can be, and the Cameroon fans will think a small child is pitch invading.


10:00

KICK-OFF

The anthems are done, the shinpads are in, the fans are on the edge of their seats and Switzerland are about to kick-off at the Al Janoub Stadium.

09:00

THE TEAMS ARE IN!

Cameroon line up in a 4-3-3 formation, and Bayern Munich striker Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting starts. In-form Napoli midfielder Frank Zambo-Anguissa also gets the nod.

As for Switzerland, national hero Xherdan Shaqiri is in the team, as is Granit Xhaka who has been outstanding this season. They’re playing a 4-2-3-1. Breel Embolo starts up top, the forward has seven goals in fifteen league games this season.

CAMEROON XI:

A. Onana, C. Fai, J. Castelletto, N. N’Koulou, N.Tolo, F. Zambo-Anguissa, M.Hongla, S. Oum Gwet, B. Mbuemo, E. Choupo-Moting, K. Toko-Ekambi

SWITZERLAND XI:

Y. Sommer, S. Widmer, M.Akanji, N.Elvedi, R. Rodriguez, R. Freuler, G. Xhaka, X. Shaqiri, D.Sow, R. Vargas, B. Embolo

09:00

SWITZERLAND VS CAMEROON

It’s the first game of Group G, as Switzerland face Cameroon at the Al Janoub Stadium. Both sides will be keen for a strong start in a group that is very evenly matched group on paper, aside from Tite’s Brazil!

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