The group G opener started with the presentation of an award of recognition by FIFA to Cameroun’s Roger Miller, the 1990 Italia world cup star who led Cameroun all the way to the quarter-final.
Xherdan Shaqiri got the ball rolling for Switzerland at the start of the game.
The entire first half of the game was an interesting tussle between two nations who had never met before on the international stage.
The African continent had looked forward to this match with the hope that the indomitable lions would give the continent, its first win in Qatar. Everyone also wanted to see an end to the 7 streaks of losses the team had had at the games.
During the first half, Cameroonians produced more clearances and interceptions than their Swiss counterparts. The 10th minute was particularly intriguing as Bryan Mbeumo made an attempt with a left-foot shot at goal but was stopped by the Swiss goalkeeper. Karl Toko-Ekambi also had a shot from the center that went high and wide.
In the 36th minute, Collins Fai got a yellow card for his reckless challenge on Nico Elvedi, the first yellow card in the match. In the first minute of the extra time, Manuel Akanji of Switzerland missed a close-range header in the box, one he would regret for a long time.
The first half ended nil-nil, and Cameroon had a decent game.
In the 48th minute of the game, Cameroun, unfortunately, failed the Swiss test with a Breel Embolo right-footed shot from the center that got into the back of the net. Embolo, who is Cameroonian by birth, could not celebrate his goal, obviously in solidarity with his roots.
Cameroon had another chance at goal with Eric Choupo-Moting’s right-footed shot, but it was saved by Sommer, the undisputed number 1 Swiss goalie.
The game ended 1-0 in favor of Switzerland with 8 and 9 attempts at goal for Switzerland and Cameroun respectively.
A moment of Shaqiri moves did the work for Embolo and this was the goal that gave a decisive win to a delighted Murat Yakin’s team of Switzerland in their 12th time feature at the world cup.
The disappointed Rigobert Song side had their high moments in the first half where they could have clinched at least two clear goals.
I know they now regret this but would lift their spirits to do better in their next group match against Serbia on Monday.