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Murat Yakin praises the “mature performance” as Switzerland squeezes past Cameroon

Switzerland coach Murat Yakin praised a mature performance by his side, who opened their World Cup season with a 1-0 win over Cameroon.

Breel Embolo, who was born in the West African country, scored the only goal when he canceled a low cross from Xherdan Shaqiri.

The 25-year-old’s celebrations were understandably muted but his goal was nonetheless crucial for Switzerland, who are aiming to at least reach the quarter-finals at last summer’s Euro 2020.

Cameroon had the upper hand in the first half but Switzerland started the second half well when Embolo scored the goal in the 48th minute.

Switzerland coach Yakin said: “Of course you need patience. It was a mature achievement.

“Of course there is some uncertainty in a World Cup, not everything can go well from the start, but I’m happy with the way we converted possession.

“Maybe 1-0 or 2-0 isn’t enough for my taste, maybe we could have scored more goals, but overall we showed a mature performance from our team.”

When asked about Embolo’s reaction to the goal, Yakin said: “We know his history, his past in Cameroon and Breel, you can be friendly until kick-off and after that they will be your opponents and we need you in our squad.

“You have an opponent who of course wants to score a goal for his team and has fulfilled his task, we are very happy about that.

“He also had very good moments during the game, his dynamics and his movements. Breel has done his job well.”

Cameroon coach Rigobert Song said his team were punished for not being disciplined enough.

Karl Toko Ekambi and Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting gave away good opens in a first half where Cameroon was better.

“Generally in football, when you’re dominating, you have to hit the net,” Song said.

“Yes, we had more chances than they did (in the first half) but we didn’t have the finishing touches. That made the difference.

“We showed we were hungry for that win but the goal just didn’t come. We play football at a high level here, it’s not child’s play. You can monopolize possession, it is important to take risks.”

The defeat meant Cameroon have now lost eight straight World Cup matches and face a difficult road to the knockout stages, which still have games against Serbia and Brazil to play.

“We haven’t given up hope, we have two games left,” said former Liverpool and West Ham defender Song.

“All systems are running now. We still have this faint hope. I think the next game will be different.”

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