Brill Empolo Strike helps Switzerland overtake Cameroon



Brill Embolo’s goal lifted Switzerland to a 1-0 victory over Cameroon at the World Cup on Thursday, fulfilling his promise not to celebrate scoring goals against the country of his birth.

The Swiss forward scored from Yaounde with a right-footed volley in the 48th minute, standing alone eight meters (yards) down the middle of the goal-axe to take Xherdan Shaqiri’s low pass.

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Embolo then pursed his lips in a wry smile and raised his arms wide, before putting his hands up in an apologetic gesture as his teammates lunged at him near the penalty area.

He pointed to the Swiss fans behind the goal as he scored and then to the Cameroonian fans in the opposite corner of Stade Al Janoub.

The 25-year-old striker left Cameroon with his family when he was five years old. They spent time in France before settling in Switzerland, the country he now represents in his second World Cup.

Even though a player of African descent scored a goal, African teams are now goalless during the four matches they have played in the World Cup. All of them played higher ranked teams, and Morocco and Tunisia drew 0-0 respectively against Croatia and Denmark.

Cameroon’s losing streak in the World Cup tournaments extends to eight matches, dating back to 2002.

Brazil and Serbia are also in Group G and meet later on Thursday.

In a move for Embolo to score, it was very easy for the Swiss to pass the ball quickly through the Cameroonian defense lines from the left flank to the right.

The Swiss’ quick start to the second half contrasted with a hard-to-explain lack of urgency in the first half by 1pm – one of only seven matches in Qatar to be played entirely in broad daylight. The heat peaked at 29°C (84°F), humidity was low and most of the playing area is shaded.

Cameroon missed the opportunity to score clear goals to take control in the tenth minute. A long, straight pass in front of the Switzerland centre-back led to Karl Toko Ekambi firing a half-volley over the bar from just 10 meters (yards).

Cameroon applied little pressure trying to level the game. Andre Franck Zambo Anguisa in the 66th minute was directed directly at goalkeeper Jan Sommer, who saved easily.

On the next play, a Swiss move from the right nearly repeated the goal but goalkeeper Andre Onana made a save from Ruben Vargas.

miles time

Cameroon’s player Roger Milla was shown on the pitch before the match. Fans were shown a video montage of his goals at the 1990 World Cup as Cameroon became the first African team to qualify for the quarter-finals.

Join Samuel Eto’o, Cameroon’s greatest player and who now heads the Football Association. Eto’o scored the only goal when Cameroon won the World Cup for the last time – 1-0 against Saudi Arabia in 2002.

Referee Facundo Tello’s day was much quieter than when he had 10 players sent off in Argentina before coming to Qatar. He showed red cards to seven Boca Juniors players and three Racing Club players after an extra time brawl. Here, Tello showed three yellow cards and no red cards. This was the thirteenth match of the World Cup and so far no player has been sent off.

Switzerland will then play Group H matches with Brazil on Monday evening in Doha. Earlier in the day, Cameroon faces Serbia.

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