Switzerland made the perfect start to their World Cup campaign despite a valiant effort from Cameroon.
With the other two teams in the group being Brazil and Serbia, both sides went into their opening match knowing they couldn’t really afford to lose, but that didn’t make things cagey.
There were half-chances at both ends in the opening 30 minutes with Switzerland dominating possession but Cameroon being a big threat on the counter-attack.
The African side had two real chances to take the lead with Yann Sommer saving two efforts from inside the box from Eric Choupo-Moting and Martin Hongla.
They continued to be the more threatening side after that with only a last-ditch challenge from Silvan Widmer preventing Karl Toko Ekambi from scoring the first goal of the match after 35 minutes.
Four minutes later, Switzerland had their first real chance with Nico Elvedi heading wide from a corner after Breel Embolo went through on the goal but had the ball stolen from him byJean-Charles Castelletto.
Just before the break, Manuel Akanji too had the chance to head in a corner but his effort also went wide, ensuring the sides went in level at the break.
They didn’t stay level for long after it though with Breel Embolo giving his country the lead after 47 minutes, turning in a cross from Xherdan Shaqiri to complete a fast and fluid attack.
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Cameroon almost struck back just under 10 minutes later when Choupo-Moting broke into the Switzerland box but had his shot saved by Sommer again.
In the 65th minute, it was Onana’s turn to save the day with the Inter keeper making an excellent save from Ruben Vargas to keep it 1-0.
Cameroon struggled to create anything after that with a second Switzerland goal looking more likely than an equaliser, but ultimately there wasn’t another goal at either end, giving the European side a crucial victory.
GK: Yann Sommer – 8/10 – Played a huge part in his side’s win, making five really good saves.
RB: Silvan Widmer – 7/10 – Was the better of Switzerland’s full-backs at both ends.
CB: Manuel Akanji – 6/10 – Missed a big chance from a corner but performed well at his own end.
CB: Nico Elvedi – 7/10 – Was rock solid at the back, winning the majority of his duels.
LB: Ricardo Rodriguez – 6/10 – Did well defensively but would’ve wanted to do more going forward.
CDM: Remo Freuler – 6/10 – Kept things ticking over well at the heart of the midfield.
CDM: Granit Xhaka – 5/10 – Didn’t get on the ball as much as he would have hoped.
RW: Xherdan Shaqiri – 6/10 – Struggled to make an impact for most of the match but did set up Embolo’s goal with a great cross.
CAM: Djibril Sow – 5/10 – Failed to get involved for the 70 minutes he played.
LW: Ruben Vargas – 6/10 – Was often one of his team’s most dangerous players, creating a lot with his dribbles and passes, but lacked an end product.
ST: Breel Embolo – 7/10 – Missed a few chances but took his goal really well and was a handful for the Cameroon backline.
SUB: Fabian Frei (71′ for Sow) – N/A
SUB: Noah Okafor (71′ for Shaqiri) – N/A
SUB: Haris Seferovic (71′ for Embolo) – N/A
SUB: Fabian Rieder (81′ for Vargas) – N/A
SUB: Eray Comert (90′ for Rodriguez) – N/A
Manager: Murat Yakin – 7/10 – Ensured his team improved in the second half to get the win they needed.
GK: Andre Onana – 6/10 – Made one good save and couldn’t do anything about the goal he conceded.
RB: Collins Fai – 6/10 – Impressed with the ball at his feet but wasn’t great at the back.
CB: Jean-Charles Castelletto – 7/10 – Made some excellent tackles and blocks
CB: Nicolas N’Koulou – 6/10 – Didn’t do too much wrong but wasn’t as solid as his partner.
LB: Nouhou Tolo – 6/10 – .Performed his attacking and defensive duties fairly well.
CM: André-Frank Zambo Anguissa – 6/10 – Battled well in midfield but would’ve hoped to create more.
CM: Samuel Oum Gouet – 6/10 – Protected his defence but couldn’t do anything in possession.
CM: Martin Hongla – 6/10 – Had a decent effort saved and made some good passes.
RW: Bryan Mbeumo – 6/10 – Was one of Cameroon’s more dangerous players on the right wing, with the decision to sub him a questionable one.
CF: Eric Choupo-Moting – 5/10 – Caused some problems for Switzerland but missed a few good chances.
LW: Karl Toko Ekambi – 4/10 – Missed a big chance and didn’t do too much else.
SUB: Gael Ondoua (68′ for Hongla) – N/A
SUB: Vincent Aboubakar (74′ for Choupo-Moting) – N/A
SUB: Georges-Kevin N’Koudou (74′ for Toko Ekambi) – N/A
SUB: Nicolas Moumie Ngamaleu (81′ for Mbeumo) – N/A
Manager: Rigobert Song – 6/10 – Set up his side to threaten on the counter-attack which worked well in the first half, but couldn’t find a way to break Switzerland down after going behind.