The opening game in Group G of the World Cup between Switzerland and Cameroon ended in a narrow 1-0 victory for the European side. The match was decided by Breel Embolo, a native of the Cameroonian capital. The Swiss striker, who emigrated from Africa to the old continent at the age of five with his family, did not celebrate the winning goal. Cameroonian footballers were unable to withstand the final pressure, mainstay goalkeeper Yann Sommer was always able to eliminate rare opportunities from counterattacks.
Cameroon extended their disastrous record at the World Cup, losing their eighth game in a row and waiting for a win since 2002. Switzerland will be looking for a third successive round of 16, as they will also face Brazil and Serbia in the four-year group. ago. The footballers from the land of the Helvetic cross will face South America on Monday, the same day Cameroon will face Serbia.
Switzerland started with the same line-up as in the clash against the Czech side in the final round of the Nations League, but unlike their September game they failed to make a breakthrough in the opening round. The start of the match went much better for the Cameroonian footballers, who threatened on the counter-attack. Toko Ekambi, Choupo-Moting and Hongla all had chances to open the scoring, but their shots ended outside the net or were caught by Sommer’s superb tackle.
However, three minutes after changing teams, Switzerland took the lead, straight from the first shot between the posts. Shaqiri crossed from the right into the box, where he found Embolo. The Monaco striker had no problem finishing into an open net. Unlike his team-mates, he did not celebrate the blow against his team from his country, and even turned to his opponent with an apologetic gesture.
In the 66th minute, Vargas got a shot in the box, but Onana made a reflexive save. Embolo could have added a second from the following corner, but Shaqiri’s cross was turned in by Anguiss in the dying moments. At the other end, Choupo-Moting charged towards goal and his effort from a sharp angle was saved by Sommer.
The Cameroon team was unable to equalize at the end of the game. Although the Swiss defended honestly, they didn’t get a chance. On the contrary, they still managed to collect. Substitute Seferovic had a chance thanks to his effort but his shot was thanklessly blocked for a corner by stopper Castelletto.
Switzerland extended their unbeaten World Cup opener streak since 1966. Cameroon had been waiting to pick up a point from the last tournament since June 6 2002, when the African side beat Saudi Arabia 1-0.
Switzerland – Cameroon 1:0 (0:0)
Goals: 48. Embolo. Referees: Tello – Brailovsky, Chade – Vigliano (video, all Arg.). ŽK: Elvedi, Akanji – Fai. Audience: 39,089.
Switzerland: Sommer – Widmer, Akanji, Elvedi, Rodriguez (90. Comert) – Freuler, Xhaka – Shaqiri (72. Okafor), Sow (72. Frei), Vargas (81. Rieder) – Embolo (72. Seferovic). Coach: Sure.
Cameroon: Onana – Fai, Castelletto, N’Koulou, Tolo – Hongla (68. Ondoua), Oum Gouet, Anguissa – Mbeumo (81. Moumi Ngamaleu), Choupo-Moting (74. Aboubakar), Toko Ekambi (74. N’Koudou) . Coach: Song.
Uruguay played a goalless draw with Koreo
Uruguay’s players drew with South Korea in their World Cup Group H opener in Qatar. At the Education City stadium in Doha, no goals were scored and the Asian team did not lose for the first time in their third match against each other in the world championships.
Uruguay did not extend their five-match winning streak in the World Cup group stage, but did not concede for the fifth straight time. In the next round, South America will face Portugal on Monday. Korea faces Ghana.
Captain Son Hung-min, who had to undergo surgery three weeks ago due to a fractured eye socket, was not absent from Korea’s starting line-up. The Tottenham shooter played with a protective mask on and remained on the pitch throughout the game. Second captain Diego Godín, at 36 years and 281 days old, became the oldest Uruguayan footballer to play in a World Cup.
A cautious first half either side didn’t offer many scoring chances. Hwang I-cho, playing for his 50th international cap, threatened for the first time after half an hour, but his shot was over from a promising position in the box. Godín had the best chance just before half-time, whose header from a corner found the post.
Valverde also hit the structure of the goal at the end of the game with a shot from twenty meters, otherwise the picture of the game did not change even in the second half. Neither team has recorded a shot between the three posts in the stats.
The Koreans improved their negative balance with the quarter-finalists of the last championship and did not lose to them for the second time in a row.
Uruguay – Korea 0:0
Referee: Turpin – Danos, Gringore – Brisard (video, all Fr.). ŽK: Cáceres – Cho Ku-song, Bento (coach). Audience: 41,663.
Uruguay: Rochet – Cáceres, Giménez, Godín, Olivera (79. Viňa) – Bentancur, Vecino (79. De La Cruz), Valverde – Pellistri (88. Varela), Suárez (64. Cavani), Núñez. Coach: Alonso.
Korea: Kim Sung-kyu – Kim Moon-hwan, Kim Min-jae, Kim Jong-kwon, Kim Jin-su – Hwang In-pom, Jeong U-jong I – Son Hung-min, I Jae-song (74th Son Chon – ho), Na Sang-ho (74. I Kang-in) – Hwang I-cho (74. Cho Ku-song). Trainer: Bento.
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