Saturday, April 20, 2024

Embolo gives Switzerland victory over Cameroon

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Switzerland’s Breel Embolo scored the only goal against Cameroon – the country of his birth – in a hard-fought World Cup Group G opener.

Embolo refused to celebrate when he finished off a slick Swiss attack shortly after half-time.

The Indomitable Lions were unfortunate to lose after an enterprising display at the Al Janoub Stadium in Qatar.

Victory was vital for Switzerland, as both sides still have to face Brazil in the group.

Embolo moved to Switzerland from Cameroon with his family as a six-year-old and pledged his allegiance to the European nation after being granted citizenship in 2014.

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

He said before the game it would be “a very special” occasion to play against Cameroon and when he scored, he respectfully raised his arms and closed his eyes.

“I told him, ‘Breel, friendship until the start, then they are your opponents,'” said Switzerland coach Murat Yakin. “Football writes such stories but he completed his mission.

“I am very happy with his performance.”

Cameroon boss Rigobert Song admitted afterwards he would “have liked him to be on my side” but did say he was “proud” of Embolo.

“We are all proud of our country and you saw he did not celebrate the goal,” said Song. “That is part and parcel of football and I’m proud of him.”

Uruguay 0, South Korea 0

Nothing could separate Uruguay and South Korea in their World Cup opener in Group H despite plenty of attacking quality on show in Qatar.

In front of a vibrant crowd at the Education City Stadium, the South Koreans frustrated Uruguay but did not create many clear-cut opportunities.

Their best fell to Hwang Ui-jo, who fired over the bar in the first half, before Uruguay captain Diego Godin headed a corner against the post.

Hwang stood with his head in hands afterwards, while team-mates fell to their knees in disbelief, all in front of a group of South Korean fans behind the goal, who were in fine voice throughout.

South Korea had controlled most of the first half but Uruguay began to dominate as the game wore on and they almost won it in the final minute of normal time when Federico Valverde’s long-range effort crashed off the post.

There was one last chance for Tottenham striker Son Heung-min – South Korea’s star man – but he dragged his shot wide, much to the relief of the Uruguayan supporters. (BBC)

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