Group G of the 2022 World Cup has championship favorites Brazil and an impressive-looking Serbia team, and both Switzerland and Cameroon were eager to get off to a solid start. The Swiss players have won three straight competitive matches leading up to the tournament, including victories against Portugal and the Czech Republic on home soil and, most notably, Spain.
Meanwhile, though they haven't won any of their last four friendlies, Cameroon qualified for the finals by virtue of finishing third in the Africa Cup of Nations, despite having to play an extra game against Algeria to do so. After beating Algeria in the playoff, the Indomitable Lions will bring both World Cup experience and youthful vigor to the field.
With Xherdan Shaqiri of the Chicago Fire supplying them with a steady stream of dangerous crosses and smart passes, Switzerland have shown in recent months that they can be entertaining to watch. Breel Embolo, one of Shaqiri's targets, has had a personal stake in the match.
Why Breel Embolo refused to celebrate after scoring against Cameroon
Although Breel Embolo scored the winning goal for Switzerland in Thursday's World Cup Group G match against Cameroon at the Al Janoub Stadium, the Swiss striker didn't seem to want to celebrate the goal and instead appeared almost embarrassed as his teammates raced to congratulate him.
After a scoreless first half in which the Swiss were clearly the inferior team, they took the lead in the 48th minute when Embolo netted a Xherdan Shaqiri cross. However, his first World Cup match and goal on Thursday had special significance for him.
Embolo spent most of his upbringing and early career in Switzerland, despite being born in Yaounde, the capital of neighboring Cameroon. In 2014, he became a naturalized Swiss citizen. As a native Cameroonian, he opted to keep his festivities low-key out of respect for his country.
He and his mother relocated to France when his parents divorced when he was five years old, and then to Switzerland the following year. In 2014, the forward made his debut for Basel in the Swiss Super League after becoming a naturalized Swiss citizen.