Embolo, after scoring his team’s opening goal, refused to celebrate and stood still with an apologetic face. The 25-year-old swept home an Xherdan Shaqiri cross to give the Swiss the lead in the 48th minute.
Embolo was born in Yaounde (the capital of Cameroon) but raised in Basel.
The Swiss goal came after Cameroon, without a win in the World Cup for 20 years, had dominated the first half, missing several good chances to take the lead.
🇨🇲 Born in Cameroon🇨🇭 Represents Switzerland⚽️ Scores in #SUICMRRespect, Breel Embolo 🤝#FIFAWorldCup |… https://t.co/CBkw1KKZdM
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) 1669288458000
The Indomitable Lions, who eliminated Algeria in a playoff to qualify for the tournament, had outplayed the Swiss in the first 45 minutes with quick combinations, speed and power as their opponents remained toothless up front.
They carved out their first chance after 10 minutes with Bryan Mbeumo testing goalkeeper Yann Sommer before Karl Toko Ekambi sent his rebound over the bar.
The Swiss were in trouble again a little later with in-form forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting snatching the ball from an opponent to charge into the box only for Sommer to block his effort.
In search of their first win at a World Cup in 20 years, Cameroon were bolder, taking on their opponents in one-on-one situations, while the Swiss rarely managed to get into their opponents’ box.
Switzerland, who reached the round of 16 in the two previous World Cups, struck at the start of the second half with Xherdan Shaqiri cutting into the box and Embolo tapping in what proved to be the winner.
An almost identical move just past the hour almost saw the Swiss score again but Ruben Vargas’s shot was pushed wide by keeper Andre Onana who kept his team in the game.
The Swiss next play Brazil on Monday with Cameroon taking on Serbia.
(With inputs from Agencies )