Soccer

PLAYER RATINGS: Breel Embolo shines as Switzerland beat Cameroon

PLAYER RATINGS: Breel Embolo comes back to haunt his country of birth, while Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is thwarted as Switzerland pick up opening game World Cup win against Cameroon

  • Switzerland beat Cameroon in the opening match in Group G on Thursday
  • Breel Embolo scored the only goal of the game against his country of birth
  • Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting was unable to get Cameroon back into the match
  • Click here to read the full match report following Switzerland’s winning start 
  • Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results

Switzerland made a winning start to their World Cup campaign as they saw off Cameroon 1-0 in the opening match in Group G on Thursday.

After a slow start, the European side hit their stride after the break, with Breel Embolo scoring against his country of birth in the 48th minute. 

Cameroon rarely looked like finding an equaliser as Switzerland went on to pick up an important three points.

Breel Embolo scored the winner against his country of birth as Switzerland beat Cameroon

For Cameroon, it was not the start they would have hoped for, and they must now look to bounce back when they face Serbia on Monday. 

In a tight affair, there were still some standout performers at the Al Janoub Stadium, and Sportsmail’s Sam Brookes has rated the players from both sides. 

Yann Sommer – Sommer had to be alert in the first half, but made a bit of a meal of a couple of saves, pushing one effort from Bryan Mbeumo back into the danger area. Was a calming presence after the break, though. 6

Silvan Widmer – Offered a threat, particularly in the first half, putting a couple of dangerous balls into the box. Rarely troubled defensively. 7

Manuel Akanji – Solid enough at the back but will know that he should have scored with a close-range header from a corner late in the first half. 6

Manuel Akanji was shown a yellow card in the second half but delivered a solid performance

Nico Elvedi – A little over-eager with his tackling at times, and it was no surprise when he was booked. A decent showing alongside Akanji, though. 6

Ricardo Rodriguez – Seems to have been around forever in this Switzerland team, but remains a consistent performer at left-back for the side. 6

Djibril Sow – A hard-working performance, and played his part in Switzerland taking control of the match after half time. 6

Granit Xhaka – Kept the ball well, and played some neat passes into the final third. Found his range with a late shot, but it was well kept out by Onana. 7

Granit Xhaka helped Switzerland take control of the midfield battle in the second half

Remo Freuler – Quietly went about his work, but that’s always been the case with the former Atalanta midfielder who moved to Nottingham Forest in the summer. 6

Xherdan Shaqiri – came into the game more after half time, finding himself in more and more space with his clever movement. Provided the well-measured cut-back for Embolo’s goal. 7 

Xherdan Shaqiri set up Embolo for Switzerland’s winning goal three minutes after half time

Ruben Vargas – Full of energy and had a good battle with Fai down Switzerland’s left. Unlucky not to get on the scoresheet as Onana produced a fine save to deny him. 7

Breel Embolo – Always positive on the ball, looking to turn and run forwards whenever possible. Got the goal his performance deserved, and was a constant handful for the Cameroon defence. 8 

CAMEROON (4-3-3) 

Andre Onana – Produced a fine save to keep out Vargas in the second half and got down well to save from Xhaka after that. No chance with the goal. 7

Andre Onana produced a fine stop to deny Ruben Vargas midway through the second half

Collins Fai – His battle with Vargas was fun to watch. Picked up a booking in the first half for mistiming one too many tackles, but stuck to his task well. 6

Jean-Charles Castelletto – Gave the ball away in a dangerous area in the first half but got back to make an inch-perfect tackle. Also made a key block at the end of the game to deny Seferovic from adding some gloss to Switzerland’s win. 7

Nicolas N’Koulou – Had a tough game up against Embolo who looked dangerous throughout. 5

Nouhou Tolo – Switzerland attacked down their right regularly. Did well in the first half to keep them at bay, but found it more difficult after the break. 6

Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa – Has had a brilliant season at Napoli but could not make a major impact in this game. Tidy enough, but rarely looked like making a decisive contribution. 6 

Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa was unable to replicate his Napoli form for Cameroon 

Samuel Oum Gouet – Kept Xhaka and co relatively quiet in the first half, but Switzerland’s midfield began to take over the longer the game wore on. 6

Martin Hongla – Can’t fault his effort but couldn’t find a killer pass into the final third before he was the first man to be replaced. 6

Bryan Mbeumo – Started very brightly and had an early effort beaten away by Sommer. drifted out of the game as the game went on and was eventually taken off. 6

Bryan Mbeumo looked dangerous early on, but drifted out of the game after the break

Karl Toko Ekambi – Linked up well with the other Cameroon attackers early on, but wasted a big chance when he blazed over from inside the area, and he hardly had a kick after the interval. 5

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting – Cameroon needed more from their star striker. he played a lovely pass in the first half as his team began to get on top, but other than that he was quiet. There were also a couple of times when it looked like he should shoot, but he dallied on the ball and the chance went away. 5 

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting could not find a decisive moment for his side when they needed it




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