Why Embolo Refused To Celebrate After Scoring For Switzerland Against Cameroon In Group G 2022 World Cup Opener.

Matchday 5 at the ongoing 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar kicked off with a slim 1-0 victory for Switzerland over Cameroon in a hard-fought Group G opener on Thursday afternoon.

The Indomitable Lions had eliminated Algeria in a play-off to qualify for the World Cup, and carried much of that momentum into their Group G opener, using pace and power to outmanoeuvre their European opponents.

Switzerland’s striker Breel Embolo scored the only goal which made the difference in the game against the country of his birth Cameroon.

He became the first player in World Cup history to score against his birth nation but refused to celebrate.

The game which went down at the Al Janoub Stadium in Qatar, saw Cameroon who are 43rd in the FIFA ranking, enjoy the better of the opening period after an intense pressure from the African side. 

They ought to have taken the lead, having dominated an entertaining first half, with Eric Choupo-Moting, Bryan Mbeumo and Martin Hongla all missing presentable opportunities.

Following Switzerland’s early dominance in the second-half, they eventually took the lead as Embolo rounded off a free-flowing move in the 48th minute. 

Former Liverpool's man Xherdan Shaqiri had drove the ball forward toward the byline to pull a low cross back for Embolo who could not miss in front of goal, as he fired the ball beyond Andre Onana.

Despite scoring his side's first goal in Qatar and his first ever at a World Cup, the Monaco forward refused to celebrate as a sign of respect, given his connection to the African nation, as just raised his arms and closed his eyes in what appeared to a gesture of apology.

Embolo, who was born in Cameroon's capital Yaounde but raised in Basel after moving with his family as a six-year-old, pledged his allegiance to the European nation.

He is representing the Swiss at his second World Cup after being granted citizenship in 2014, and has incidentally found the net in each of his last three competitive appearances.

At the age of just 18, he set up the Embolo Foundation to support refugee children in Switzerland and disadvantaged children in the country of his birth.

It was an unfortunate defeat for the Indomitable Lions after an enterprising display in front of the legendary Samuel Eto'o.

The Embolo's goal rocked Cameroon as they couldn't fight back and the Swiss even had more chances to extend their lead.

It was a tight game with Switzerland having 51 percent of the ball possession and Cameroon with 49 percent.

The victory was vital for Switzerland ranked 15th by FIFA, as both sides still have to face Brazil and Serbia in the same tricky group.

“We know his story, i told him (Embolo), it's friendship until the start, then they are your opponents,'” said Switzerland coach Murat Yakin who has declared his squad as “the best Swiss side ever” and said he expects them to achieve their best outing at a World Cup.

“Football writes such stories but he completed his mission... He added.

“I am very happy with his performance.”

It’s Switzerland’s sixth straight opening game at the World Cup without defeat, their last first-game loss was against Germany in 1966.

They made their World Cup debut in 1934 in Italy, and have progressed from the group stage in three of their last four tournaments.

Meanwhile, Cameroon have now lost their last eight World Cup games dating back to 2002, as the are without a win in 20-years. Only Mexico have ever lost more games in a row in the competition's history (nine between 1930 & 1958).

The Indomitable Lions made their World Cup debut in 1982 in Spain, and will need to improve in front of goal if they are to get a positive result in their next game against Serbia next Monday, November 28.

Head coach Rigobert Song admitted afterwards their next game against Serbia will be “decisive” if they are to stand any chance of becoming the first Cameroon team to progress beyond the group stage since 1990.

Song also reserved a word of praise for match-winner Embolo, telling reporters at the Al Janoub Stadium: "he is my little brother."

We often speak to each other on the phone and I wanted to congratulate him," he continued. "Just because we are on different teams, it does not mean we are not still brothers.

Switzerland next face hotly-tipped favorites Brazil on the same day; kick-off 5pm (NGA).

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