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Wasteful Cameroon pay the price in World Cup defeat to Switzerland

Cameroon face an uphill battle in Group G at the 2022 FIFA World Cup following a 1-0 defeat to Switzerland in their opening match on Thursday in Al Wakrah, Qatar. Swiss striker Breel Embolo scored the game’s only goal early in the second half as Cameroon failed to make their opportunities count in a cagey showdown. The Indomitable Lions, who have now lost their last eight matches in World Cups, will need points in their next match against Serbia on Monday while Switzerland face group and tournament favorites Brazil.

Despite Cameroon’s recent record on the world’s biggest stage a fearsome forward line gave Indomitable Lions supporters hope for a positive result and there were early indications the African side could come out on top. The Swiss controlled possession but looked vulnerable on the Cameroonian counter, resulting in a 10th minute opportunity for Bryan Mbeumo that drew a reaction save from Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer before Karl Toko Ekambi fired his rebound attempt over.

The third member of Cameroon’s forward line, in form Eric Choupo-Moting, snuck past Swiss center back Manuel Akanji soon after but Sommer did well in another 1-on-1 situation to deny the Bayern Munich player. Cameroon came to regret those early chances as the Swiss settled into the match and looked more in control.

After the first half ended scoreless the Indomitable Lions defense was exposed early in the second half when Xherdan Shaquiri was sent in down the right wing and put in a low cross towards Embolo. Cameroon center back Nicolas Nkoulou could not react quickly enough and Embolo waited for the ball to reach him before smashing a shot past goalkeeper André Onana from six yards out, a goal that the Cameroonian-born Embolo refused to celebrate.

Sommer did well to come up with a couple more saves soon after Embolo’s opener, repelling efforts from Choupo-Moting and André Zambo Anguissa. Onana did brilliantly to deny Switzerland’s Ruben Vargas in the 67th minute but Cameroon could not find a way to trouble the opposition defense, bringing on forward captain Vincent Aboubakar and Georges-Kevin N’Koudou in search of an equalizer but to no avail.

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