26/02/2024

Xherdan Shaqiri produced another great national team performance against Cameroon (Photo: FIFA World Cup)

Xherdan Shaqiri and Ruben Vargas delighted Switzerland fans and powered their side to an important 1-0 win over Cameroon.

The Swiss duo were evenly matched by Cameroonian wingers Bryan Mbeumo and Karl Toko Ekambi, producing some of the most damaging passages throughout the 90 minutes.

Both sides looked to use the outside and utilise the dangerous attackers, with much of the play dictated through the wings and their ability to cross the ball into the box.

The opening few minutes of the contest outlined Switzerland’s tactics for the game, as they looked to find Shaqiri down the right side and use his ability to get the ball into a dangerous position.

Shaqiri was the focal point of the Swiss attack (Photo: FIFA World Cup)

Switzerland used this tactic and had all of the attack in the opening minutes, forcing Onana to play the ball from his feet much more often than he would have liked and putting Cameroon’s defenders under significant pressure.

As Cameroon caught on to Switzerland’s play, they began to utilise the left wing and got Vargas involved, who almost immediately got into the action with a low cross looking for Embolo, who wasn’t there.

A breakaway from Eric Choupo-Moting almost saw Cameroon score a goal against the run of play, but he failed to convert on the counterattack.

This then sparked a resurgence from the Indomitable Lions, who began to utilise their own wingers in response to the Swiss.

Mbeumo produced a spark as he tore into the box and shot at Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer, who parried the ball away.

Mbeumo’s presence was noticeable throughout the first half, who combined with fellow winger Toko Ekambi to terrorise the Swiss fullbacks.

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After Switzerland held control of the match for the first 10 minutes, Cameroon were able to seize the rest of the half yet couldn’t convert.

The second half saw a much improved Switzerland outfit as they looked to restrict Mbeumo’s impact on the game.

Just three minutes after the half began, the ball fell to the ever-dangerous Shaqiri, who sent the ball into the box for Embolo to smash into the back of the net.

Shaqiri has been a star for the national team for many years now and showed exactly why he is still the most important player for Switzerland at 31 years of age.

The goal from Embolo ended up being the only score of the match, with Cameroon failing to string together a meaningful attack after half-time.

The substitution of Choupo-Moting and Toko Ekambi in the 74th minute seemed to be counter-intuitive as the two of them, along with Mbeumo, are the most dangerous attacking players in the Cameroon squad.

Switzerland’s wingers were subbed off in the last 20 minutes of the game as they looked to lock up the win.

Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer played a fantastic game between the sticks, producing five saves and keeping a clean sheet.

The match was the first time Switzerland and Cameroon have ever played each other at an international level and Cameroon’s first appearance since the 2014 World Cup.

Cameroon have not won a game at the World Cup since 2002, where they defeated Saudi Arabia.

The Swiss now have the toughest challenge of the group in their next game as they take on Brazil, while Cameroon will try to bounce back against Serbia.

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