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World Cup 2022 final score: Switzerland downs Cameroon as Breel Embolo's goal makes history in 1-0 win

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Switzerland made an efficient start to their FIFA World Cup campaign with a 1-0 win over Cameroon in Al Wakrah. Yaounde-born Breel Embolo made history early in the second half by becoming the first player in tournament history to score a goal for their adopted country against their nation of birth.

It was frustration for the Indomitable Lions, though, who were the better side in the first half and missed some good chances to take the lead at Al Janoub Stadium. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Bryan Mbeumo, and Karl Toko Ekambi all looked dangerous at times, but the Swiss have established themselves as a tough nation to face at international level and asserted their dominance in the second 45.

It could have been worse for Rigobert Song's men had Andre Onana not been so sharp between the sticks to keep the Swiss at bay. However, the Nati ultimately remained tight at the back and saw it out for the win which launches their hopes of another deep run after conquering France at Euro 2020.

As for Cameroon, a tough group just got tougher with Serbia and Brazil to come in arguably tougher matches than this one. Can they fight back to make good on their hopes to reach the knockout phase for the first time since 1990, or has the damage already been done?

All eyes in this group will now be on Brazil who face Serbia in Lusail later on Thursday -- and while you're at it, sign up for our new newsletter covering the beautiful game in all its glory, including daily updates about the World Cup, here.  

Some takeaways from Al Janoub Stadium.

Embolo makes history

The only goal of the game came early in the second half when Shaqiri teed up Embolo to score against his country of birth. Hailing from Yaounde, like absent international teammate Yvon Mvogo, the Swiss-raised striker was muted in celebration out of respect for his homeland. This is the first time it has happened in a World Cup, although Poland-born Lukas Podolski did so for Germany at Euro 2008 when they beat the Polish side. With quite a few players now representing their adopted nations rather than their birth nations, this could be an increasing trend from this point onwards.

Cameroon squander chances

At half time, the Africans looked the most likely to win it with Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Bryan Mbeumo, and Karl Toko Ekambi all giving Switzerland issues at the back. Ultimately, Yann Sommer, Manuel Akanji, and the Nati back line held firm and kept Cameroon at bay, but it was a lesson in efficiency for the Indomitable Lions. Rigobert Song's men cannot be so wasteful against Serbia if they want to still have anything to play for against Brazil.

Shaqiri transformed

Although his club career has followed an odd trajectory, the 31-year-old has been a consistent performer for his country over the years and that is reflected in his incredible 50% involvement rate based on Switzerland's goals over their past four international tournaments. Now with Chicago Fire in Major League Soccer, Shaqiri provided the only goal for the game for Embolo and continues to demonstrate how indispensable he is to Murat Yakin's men.

Choupo-Moting dependency?

Much of Cameroon's approach was based around the Bayern Munich man's recent uptick in form despite a number of quality players across the pitch. Choupo-Moting is in superb form at present, but cannot be expected to singlehandedly carry the Indomitable Lions to the knockout phase. If Song's men are to advance, which admittedly looks less likely after this result, then they will have to be more clinical and perhaps bring more players into the mix by going less direct against Serbia's collective technique.

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FT: Switzerland 1-0 Cameroon

It is all over in Al Wakrah! Breel Embolo's historic goal gives the Swiss a narrow victory over the Indomitable Lions. Song's men showed well early on before fading while Yakin's side stayed resolute at the back and took their chance when it came. Shaqiri showed himself to be a man for the international stage once more and things could have been worse for the Cameroonians if Onana had not been alert in goal. Things looking tough for Cameroon now while Switzerland can dream of a knockout phase berth.

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Shaqiri loves the big stage

Cameroon are still in this, but they need to get back to the level they were at when creating chances earlier in the game. Also, Onana made a great save moments ago to keep the score at only 1-0. Shaqiri, known for his consistency at international level with Switzerland, is now at a staggering 50% involvement rate for Swiss goals across their past four major tournament outings. The Chicago Fire man is transformed when he pulls on the Nati jersey.

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Switzerland 1-0 Cameroon!

Deadlock broken immediately in Al Wakrah! Cameroon-born Embolo gives the Swiss the lead after being teed up by Shaqiri. The Nati assert their dominance at the start of the second half. Big test for Song's Indomitable Lions now after such a good opening 45. Also, history made with Embolo becoming the first player ever to score a World Cup goal for their adopted country against their nation of birth. Polish-born Lukas Podolski did so for Germany against Poland back at Euro 2008.

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HT: Switzerland 0-0 Cameroon

Goalless at the break, but not without a few moments of action. The Indomitable Lions are looking better and better as this match goes on and you feel that the opening 15-20 minutes of the second half could be key for them. Resolute Swiss defending, but Choupo-Moting, Mbeumo, and Toko-Ekambi are being a handful. Can Song's men find the breakthrough, or will Yakin find the right combination of words to coax a more dominant second 45 from his troops?

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Cameroon confidence?

The Indomitable Lions have been fairly solid so far and are proving tricky opponents for the Swiss. Rigobert Song standing out through his tactical nous as well as his choice of headwear. This Cameroonian side will need to start taking its chances, but can be encouraged by their opening 30. Choupo-Moting's recent confidence given his Bayern form is clear to see.

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Goalless start

No goals so far in Al Wakrah. It has been a fairly dominant start from Switzerland who have seen most of the ball, but Cameroon are taking a direct approach in the early stages. Will it pay off? Toko-Ekambi and now Choupo-Moting have had openings, but Sommer does well to deny the Bayern Munich man. Much of Switzerland's early play is running through their midfield pairing of Freuler and Xhaka.

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Today's slate

Moments before we get underway between Switzerland and Cameroon in Group G, a reminder of the other games coming you way later on this Thanksgiving...

At 08:00 a.m. ET there is Uruguay vs. South Korea in Group H, then we have Portugal vs. Ghana from the same group at 11:00 a.m. ET before finishing with Brazil vs. Serbia in Group G at 14:00 p.m. ET.

You can follow all of that and more here.

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Wednesday refresh

A catch up on yesterday's results as we saw Japan stun Germany, Spain demolish Costa Rica, and Canada lose out narrowly to Belgium despite a spirited performance. The Red Devils are in control in Group F while the Germans are now feeling the heat in Group E after that shock loss.

Group F: Morocco 0-0 Croatia

Group E: Germany 1-2 Japan

Group E: Spain 7-0 Costa Rica

Group F: Belgium 1-0 Canada

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Starting XIs

Here is your official team news with Granit Xhaka leading the Swiss and in-form Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting skippering the Indomitable Lions. Two former players go head-to-head today as well with Murat Yakin in charge of the Nati and the legendary Rigobert Song leading his beloved Cameroon.

Switzerland: Sommer; Widmer, Elvedi, Akanji, Rodriguez; Freuler, Xhaka (c); Shaqiri, Sow, Vargas; Embolo.

Cameroon: Onana; Fai, Castelletto, N'Koulou, Tolo; Anguissa, Gouet, Hongla; Mbeumo, Choupo-Moting (c), Toko-Ekambi. 

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Good morning, everybody! Welcome to our coverage of Switzerland vs. Cameroon in FIFA World Cup Group G. Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating! This Thursday promises to be another epic day of soccer with this clash kicking off another four-game slate. Uruguay vs. South Korea, Portugal vs. Ghana, and Brazil vs. Serbia to come, but we get started at Al Janoub Stadium where the team news is already in.