national grades. Widmer outstanding ++ Embolo delivers ++ Xhaka remains pale.

national grades. Widmer outstanding ++ Embolo delivers ++ Xhaka remains pale.
national grades. Widmer outstanding ++ Embolo delivers ++ Xhaka remains pale.

Switzerland wins their World Cup opening game against Cameroon

The Swiss national team starts the 2022 World Cup in Qatar with a win. She wins the first group game against Cameroon 1-0. Ironically, Breel Embolo loosens the button with his goal.


The start of the World Cup went well: the Swiss national team celebrated a clean sheet victory against Cameroon. Who convinced, who fell away? The national players in the individual review.

rating key
6 bag strength
5 Good
4 Enough
3 Weak
2 Very weak
1 underground

Is summer ready for the World Cup? Yes, he is it. In the 10th minute, with the sun on his face, he lets a first dangerous shot pass, but that’s criticism at the highest level. Whether on the line, with the ball at his feet or with cross balls, the 33-year-old is always in control of the situation. A clean sheet at the start, what more could you ask for?!

Widmer is the man of the match. The 29-year-old leaves absolutely nothing to burn. In the 30th minute he clears a summer rebound in front of the well-placed Cameroon attacker and five minutes later he thwarts the threatening Cameroon lead with a miraculous tackle. But he’s also making progress in the game going forward, and his side is dangerous on several occasions. His preparatory work in the 66th minute is outstanding, with a clever pass behind the Cameroon defense he prepares Vargas’ top chance. Even a slap in the face doesn’t throw him off course.

Silvan Widmer with a sensational tackle.

key stone

The defense boss exudes great security and knows how to convince in the game structure. He often runs into free space and then overplays the opponent’s front row with a precise pass. It’s a shame that he headed just wide of the goal in injury time in the first half after a corner. In the 83rd minute he picked up a yellow card, but prevented an impending counterattack. Also clever how he begs in the last minute for the opponent to foul him – and he obeys the request.

Akanji misses the Swiss lead just before the break


Of course, Elvedi is not a risk factor, but he does not appear as confident as his neighbor. Like Akanji, he heads wide from a corner and like Akanji, he is booked for illegally stopping Choupo-Moting. The 26-year-old plays a passive role in the build-up and one or two small wobbles creep in.

Rodriguez, not exactly known as a header monster, wins two of two aerial duels in the first few minutes. If you want to hold something against him, it’s that he’s a little hesitant to approach his opponents when they try to cross. He has less to offer going forward than Widmer, but overall it’s a confident performance from the left-back who has the experience of over 100 international matches. In the 90th minute he makes room for Eray Cömert.

The Nottingham mercenary is wide awake from the start and wins three balls in the first quarter of an hour. What’s a bit unusual is that he often falls far behind, taking on the role that was reserved for Xhaka in previous games. He has his feet in the game in the creation of the goal, with a well-timed pass he launches assist Shaqiri.

Pictures of Switzerland – Cameroon

At Arsenal he’s convincing in a slightly more attacking role this season, but against Cameroon he’s not able to fulfill that role as desired. The captain also seems a bit frustrated because the game passes him by for long stretches. But there are rays of hope, for example he has his feet in the game in the Swiss attack that decides the game. And in the 89th minute he tested the confident André Onana with a long-range shot.

Sow is similarly inconspicuous as Xhaka. Although he offers himself again and again, he usually only plays the ball across. An exception is the 40th minute, in which he launches Embolo with a through ball. As a fan, you wish he would act a little braver more often. Whereby players like Sow are valued, especially by coaches, precisely because they help others to shine at their side. Sow was substituted in the 72nd minute.

Shaqiri has not played any serious fights in recent weeks, but he has often moved into the national team with little match practice. Of his genius, which he undoubtedly brings with him, there is little to see against Cameroon. And yet: Shaqiri once again made a decisive contribution to the victory. Shortly after the break he makes a perfect fit from the right wing to Embolo, who only needs to push in. In the 67th minute there was almost a second assist, but his dangerous corner kick was cleared in extremis by the Cameroon defender. About five minutes later he makes way for Noah Okafor.

The in-form Breel Embolo did what was expected of him: he shot Switzerland to victory in a game that was particularly emotional for him. Embolo was born in Cameroon on February 14, 1997 and therefore does not celebrate an exuberant goal. Otherwise he hardly comes dangerously in front of the opposing goal. How Embolo perceives his role as “first defender” and how it is hardly possible for Cameroon to play in a controlled manner at the back should also be positively emphasized. In the 72nd minute, Yakin Embolos ended his working day and sent Haris Seferovic into the race in his place.

gooool! Embolo gives Switzerland the lead against Cameroon


In the 13th minute Vargas broke through on the side and, as textbook, fits in the middle, but because no teammates are running, it doesn’t become dangerous. In the 66th minute he missed a top chance from the best position. His run is perfect, but the finish is insufficient. Apart from his well-kicked corner kicks, these are the only offensive actions worth mentioning. Vargas make a lot of small mistakes and that’s probably why some people wished that he was replaced by Okafor. But one of Vargas’ great qualities is the way he supports Rodriguez on the defensive. No distance is too long for him and so he contributes to the fact that Switzerland is hardly vulnerable over the wing. In the 81st minute Fabian Rieder comes into play for him.

In the 73rd minute, Elvedi went down in a duel, several Swiss waited for the referee’s whistle, but it didn’t sound. Frei takes care and clarifies the situation, which is a good thing. Too short for a grade.

Okafor, definitely a starting eleven candidate, remains pale after being substituted on and cannot advertise himself. Too short for a grade.

Seferovic hardly gets a chance at Galatasaray Istanbul, but in the Nati he can play for the last 20 minutes. But he can’t boost his self-confidence, in the fifth minute of injury time he misses a top chance. Too short for a grade.

The 20-year-old YB player makes his national debut against Cameroon in the hot final phase of an important World Cup game. Hardly on the pitch, in an unfamiliar position on the wing, he plays a strong pass to the middle, which Seferovic misses by a foot length. An assist to start, that would have been it. Too short for a grade.

Cömert comes in to swing the lead over time. But that almost catches the eye, because he inserts himself with a bad pass. Don’t worry, nothing happened. Too short for a grade.

Switzerland 1-0 Cameroon (0-0)

Al-Janoub Stadium, Al-Wakrah. – 39’089 spectators. -SR Tello (ARG). –Goal: 48 Embolo (Shaqiri) 1-0.

Switzerland: Summer; Widmer, Akanji, Elvedi, Rodriguez (90th Cömert); Freuler, Xhaka; Shaqiri (72nd Okafor), Sow (72nd Frei), Vargas (81st Rieder); Embolo (72.Seferovic).

Cameroon: onana; Fai, Castelletto, N’Koulou, Tolo; Hongla (68th Ondoua), Gouet, Anguissa; Mbeumo (Ngamaleu 81), Choupo-Moting (Abubakar 74), Toko Ekambi (Nkoudou 74).

Remarks: Switzerland without Steffen (injured). Cameroon complete. Warnings: 36. Fai. 64. Elvedi. 83. Akanji.

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How did you watch the game and do you agree with our grades? Or not? We appreciate your feedback!

The article is in German

Tags: national grades Widmer outstanding Embolo delivers Xhaka remains pale

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