The 48th minute of Cameroon’s 2022 World Cup opener is a perfect example of the thin line between victory and defeat. The Switzerland team (minus goalscorer Breel Embolo because he was born in Cameroon) celebrate in front of a frenzied crowd, relieved that the close-fought game is finally going their way.
Only a few yards away, Andre Onana and the Cameroon defense look anguished, knowing that their chance of winning its first World Cup match in 20 years would be even harder.
And indeed it was hard. The swarming, unstoppable Swiss press broke down Cameroon’s offense, and the energetic attack kept Andre Onana hard at work. Yet the Indomitable Lions should not blame the loss on Switzerland’s excellence.
This flat Cameroon side was nothing like the 1990 Cameroonian squad that left Diego Maradona and Gheorghe Hagi speechless at the World Cup, nor the 2002 AFCON team that went undefeated en route to its fourth Africa Cup of Nations title. Cameroon, dysfunctional and disjointed, looks worse than ever as today’s match with Switzerland showed.
Onana’s heroics not enough
For a good while, Cameroon’s game against Switzerland looked surprisingly even. Brentford’s Bryan Mbeumo forced a save out of Yann Sommer, and Hellas Verona winger Martin Hongla nearly scored to give Cameroon a comfortable lead.
City center-back Manuel Akanji nearly broke the deadlock as the first half closed with a glancing header to the bottom right corner. But Akanji’s poor touch on the ball ensured the game stayed even going into halftime.
But finally, Switzerland broke through in the 48th minute when Xherdan Shaqiri played a perfect cross to Embolo, who easily tucked the chance away. And from then on, Cameroon looked lost.
Ruben Vargas nearly scored from the exact spot as Embolo, but Onana’s diving save kept Cameroon in the game. Granit Xhaka nearly doubled Switzerland’s lead in the 89th, but Onana’s outstretched fingertips denied yet another…
Source link : https://worldsoccertalk.com/news/cameroon-falls-flat-against-switzerland-in-1-0-loss-20221124-WST-409840.html
Author : Deolu Akingbade
Publish date : 2022-11-24 14:09:07
Copyright for syndicated content belongs to the linked Source.