Doha, Nov 24 Breel Embolo scored the only goal to lift Switzerland past his native country Cameroon in their World Cup Group G opening match here on Thursday.
Embolo, who moved to Europe with his mother as a boy, scored in the 47th minute after receiving a low cross from captain Granit Xhaka.
Cameroon’s miserable run at the world’s most important tournament continued after losing their 10th consecutive World Cup match.
The Indomitable Lions, who claimed a shock victory over Diego Maradona’s Argentina at the 1990 World Cup, scored only one victory in their last 15 World Cup matches.
They were confident at the Al Janoub Stadium, looking more likely to win the match from the start thanks to some brilliant moves upfront.
Only 10 minutes into the action, a brilliant through pass found Bryan Mbeumo on the left side. The Brentford forward raced into the box but his shot was stopped by Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer. Karl Toko-Ekambi then fired the rebound over the bar from 10 meters.
Martin Hongla delivered another effort on the right but Sommer once again made a great save.
The Swiss side did not create any clear-cut chance until two minutes into the stoppage time. Manuel Akanji jumped high to head Remo Freuler’s corner wide of the left post.
Two minutes after the interval, Murat Yakin’s side took the lead the easy way. Shaqiri sent a cross from the right and Embolo had a comfortable tap-in from six meters.
The 25-year-old Embolo, who joined Monaco from Borussia Moenchengladbach in the summer, did not celebrate because he was born in Cameroon.
Embolo should have doubled the lead but his shot was too high under pressure from Frank Zambo Anguissa.
Second half substitute also wasted a chance in the last minute as his close-range shot was blocked by Jean-Charles Castelletto.
Switzerland will next play against Brazil in four days while Cameroon is going to take on Serbia.