Switzerland won their World Cup Group G opener on Thursday with a 1-0 win over Cameroon thanks to a goal from Cameroonian-born Brel Embolo.
Born in Yaounde and raised in Basel, Embolo scored three minutes into the second half after receiving the ball from Xherdan Shaqiri’s cutback.
The 25-year-old forward refused to celebrate his goal as a small group of Swiss fans cheered wildly at Al Janoub Stadium.
Serbia will face Brazil in their other group match on Thursday.
Switzerland’s goal came after Cameroon, who have not won a World Cup in 20 years, dominated the first half but missed several good chances to take the lead.
Having qualified for the tournament after defeating Algeria in the playoffs, the indomitable Lions dominated the Swiss in the first 45 minutes with quick combinations, speed and physicality.
They created their first chance ten minutes later with Brian Mbumo testing goalkeeper Jan Sommer, but Karl Toko Ekambi sent the rebound over the bar.
The Swiss again ran into trouble a little later, with in-form Cameroonian forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting stealing the ball from his opponents and charging into the box only for Sommer to clear.
Cameroon continued to battle their opponents in one-on-one situations, but the Swiss rarely managed to get into their opponent’s box.
Switzerland, who have reached the 16th round in the last two World Cups, secured victory at the start of the second half with Shaqiri cutting into the box and Embolo tapping.
Almost the same move after an hour saw Switzerland nearly score again, but Ruben Vargas’ shot was pushed out by keeper Andre Onana.